Well, what can we say? 2018’s Reunion was held on Saturday (22nd September) and like previous years, it was a day full of emotions, predominantly love, hope and positivity – even the constant rain didn’t dampen spirits.
Almost 200 former clients and their families (including two new adorable babies), travelled far and wide to gather at Broadway Lodge to celebrate recovery, reconnect and catch up with staff and peers. One even cycled all the way from the Netherlands to join us, taking him 10 days!
This years’ theme was Strong and Inspirational Women in Recovery, marked by an all-female share where 6 former clients including 1 staff member shared their journey from addiction to recovery. All of their shares demonstrated honesty, hope, faith, the first three spiritual principles of the 12 step programme alongside other characteristics such as resilience, strength, determination and love. Noone could not have felt inspired by their stories from pain to joy, sadness to happiness. Some of these women have faced serious challenges since leaving Broadway Lodge yet have remained clean and sober.
It was probably the coldest and wettest Reunion on record. Another first was a very special live performance from song writing legend and frontman of British rock group Squeeze. Chris Difford kicked off the Reunion in great fashion, entertaining attendees by performing several Squeeze classics including Cool for Cats and Up the Junction. The crowd sang along and were particularly amused by the solution for having no mic stand! We were honoured to welcome Chris to Broadway Lodge who is passionate about helping those suffering addiction and individuals in recovery.
After speeches from Markkus and CEO Ian Middleton, former patients who have sadly lost their lives to addiction in the last 12 months were remembered. This was an emotional and poignant moment that reinforced the reality that addiction is a killer.
Later, attendees enjoyed a drumming workshop led by counsellor Chris whilst others joined a group therapy session led by counsellor Alan. The photo booth provided by Yellow Booth Company, gave the opportunity for staff and guests to dress up in silly accessories and create fantastic memories for 2018.
This year, after a long delay, we were finally able to put together the book,’ Broadway Lodge – A Life Story’ by Sue Davis which details the history of Broadway Lodge. All books, 12 step calendars and t-shirts sold out. Thank you to everyone who purchased the items and who donated – all the money will go back into the charity to help us continue to provide the passionate care and life changing treatment to those suffering with addiction. In addition to Broadway Lodge products, a former patient from the Netherlands displayed his photography art, a hobby which he rediscovered a love for this year following treatment. All of his art and prints can be viewed on his website here.
It was amazing to experience the huge presence of love and happiness in one place and be able to catch up with so many former clients looking healthy and glowing – every one of you are an inspiration. As Markkus said, “addiction wants you dead” but the reunion is proof that Broadway Lodge provides the tools and inner strength to begin a pathway to recovery.
Watch a short clip of the celebration on the day by viewing the video below. See our Facebook page here for the full photobooth album.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on Saturday – remember to take each day at a time and we hope to see you all again next year on Saturday 21st September 2019. Save the date!