Left to right: Charlie, Georgina and Paul.

From Georgina Lyttleton, Friend of Broadway Lodge

If there’s a ‘feel-good factor’ associated with being a Friend of Broadway Lodge, it’s this: witnessing first-hand the personal transformation that recovery from addiction has to offer. And on Sunday 22nd October I got to do just that.

I’d been invited to give a ten-minute talk on behalf of the team at Broadway Lodge at a fundraising event arranged by one of their former clients Charlie, and his close friend Paul Fisk. Paul is founder and promoter of Mind Over Matter, an independent and fledgling project (est. June 2017), that aims to break down the stigma of mental health by encouraging artists to vocalise their personal experiences through Hip Hop, Spoken Word Poetry and Open Mic. 

Paul’s own experience of severe depression, alcohol and cocaine abuse was the catalyst for starting Mind Over Matter (MOM): “I founded Mind Over Matter on 26th June this year, after going on a three-day solo binge.  On that morning, on that date, I just said, 'I've had enough' and I've been sober ever since. And setting up MOM whereby I get to put something back and help others who may be struggling is life-saving for me. It keeps me sane.”

Charlie, a Hip Hop artist, and member of the headlining crew, The Delusionists, came into Broadway on 12th September 2016 and has been clean and sober for 14 months after successfully completing treatment. He returned immediately to work and reports he is now stable and can support his work much better and contribute to society responsibly. Charlie is keen to acknowledge Broadway as the launch pad for where he is now: “If it wasn’t for Broadway Lodge and the team of counsellors and staff who supported me throughout, none of this would be happening.” Charlie told me. “I’ve recently re-joined my former Hip Hop crew, The Delusionists, and we’ve just finished recording our new forthcoming album.”  At this point during our conversation Charlie shows me a box of cassette tapes. “And here it is! We’re selling these tonight and half the proceeds will go to Broadway Lodge.” I’m astonished that with SoundCloud and audio streaming at these guys’ fingertips, they’ve chosen to go retro. “It’s something different isn’t it, and that’s what we’re about really”, Charlie assures me.

And what Broadway Lodge does, and is about, is also providing 'something different'.  Caroline Cole, Broadway’s Interim CEO, tells me: ‘Unlike many alcohol and drug rehabs, we do not see the substances or the behaviour as the issue; they are merely the symptoms of the addiction.  At Broadway Lodge we go straight to the core of the problem and treat the addiction itself.  We support our clients to go deep within where the wounds are hidden, and we cheer them on while they reach down into their own psyches, draw out the warrior within and find the strength and wholeness of who they truly are, so they can build resilience and enough recovery capital for a lifetime of freedom.’

Contributors and Acknowledgements:

Paul Fisk (Founder of the Mind Over Matter project)
Charlie Loveday (Former client at Broadway Lodge)
Markkus  Trew (Head of Counselling and Aftercare at Broadway Lodge)
Georgina Lyttelton (Friend of Broadway Lodge)
Caroline Cole (Interim CEO at Broadway Lodge)

A huge thank you also goes to all the artists, who kindly donated half of the proceeds from their fees and the sale of their work to BWL. In addition, a big shout out too must go to the audience members on the night, who dug deep into their pockets and raised just over £107.00, at the door.

Links:

Mind Over Matter: www.facebook.com/mindmatterldn

Charlie Edison: https://charlesedison.bandcamp.com/album/reception-ep