“Give it Back” is an opportunity to shape public policy and reduce stigma by highlighting the fact that every day in the UK people in long term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs freely volunteer their time to help others and make their communities better places to live. Giving something back to others is one of the defining features of Recovery from addiction and one of the common denominators of the different pathways to Recovery.

GIB7Every September during Recovery Month The UK Recovery Walk Charity  will coordinate national and regional media campaigns and support members with their own local media campaigns to showcase examples of individuals and groups of people in long term Recovery voluntarily giving something back to their local communities. Actions speak louder than words and this “advocacy in action” will give a powerful message that recovery gifts us a new sense of self, purpose and the opportunity of a lifelong process of development and growth.

Tips for local media campaigns can be downloaded here:


People in long term Recovery from addiction instinctively know that “giving back” to others is a crucial component of their own recovery and wellbeing and now this is supported by scientific evidence and may also explain why researchers have found that long-term recovery is associated with being “better than well”.


The Five Ways to Well-being, Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give, are a set of evidence-based actions which promote people’s wellbeing and were developed by the New Economics Foundation from evidence gathered in the UK government’s Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing. The researchers found that ‘giving back’ to others promotes well-being for people of all ages and was an important predictor of life satisfaction. The New Economics Foundation’s full report on The Five Ways to Well-being presents the evidence and rationale for each of the five actions, drawing on a wealth of psychological and economic literature, and can be downloaded here:

UK Recovery Walk five ways to well being

The UK Recovery Walk Charity wants to promote the powerful message that people in long term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs  are one of the greatest assets local communities have and when organised into local Recovery Community Organisations can be a powerful force improving the lives of people around them.

Please send us details of any “Give it Back” activities during September and we will showcase them on our website and through other media.

It doesn’t matter how big or small they are, or if they are all year round activities or one off events organised specifically for Recovery Month. All that matters is that they are examples of people in long term recovery from addiction to alcohol or other drugs giving something back in their local communities. Also contact us if you want support with local media to highlight what you are doing.

“To keep it, you have to give it away”