A Chester dance company is searching for Guardian Angels to help continue its life-saving work with people in recovery from addiction.
Fallen Angels Dance Theatre, which has a recovery group at Storyhouse, has launched a Guardian Angel scheme inviting supporters to contribute regularly to their work so that they can increase capacity and help more people reach their full potential.
Artistic director Paul Bayes Kitcher, himself a recovering addict, said: “The Covid pandemic and lockdown has been tough for many people but especially tough for those battling poor mental health.
“I know from lived experience that isolation makes people in recovery more vulnerable to relapse, so during lockdown we moved quickly to transfer our groups online.
“These workshops became a lifeline so we are appealing to the public to consider giving us regular support so that we can offer more and more recovering addicts access to our unique and creative practice.”
Becoming a Guardian Angel costs as little as £3.50 a month although people can choose to contribute as much as they like. Guardian Angels will receive a regular newsletter from Fallen Angels Dance Theatre plus twice-yearly exclusive insights into their exciting and innovative work. Details of how to sign up are available on the Fallen Angels Dance Theatre website.
The work that Paul and Fallen Angels Dance Theatre do in recovery workshops has never been more important. Statistics⑴ show that deaths from alcohol rose 20% in 2020 compared with 2019, the highest level since statistics were first measured. Pre-pandemic, a government report recognised the importance of intervention stating that for every £1 spent on treatment for alcohol, the return is worth £3 and for every £1 spent on drug treatment that return increases to £4.
Paul added: “Our research and evaluation, with Dr Zoe Zontou of Liverpool Hope University, shows that the outcomes of being part of our recovery groups include significantly increased confidence, raised self-esteem and physical and emotional wellbeing.
“Many of our workshop participants have gone on to volunteer, to further education and into employment. Support from individual donors would go such a long way in helping us allow more people to reach their full potential.”
Fallen Angels Dance Theatre was founded in 2011 and will celebrate its 10th birthday in the autumn. The company has recovery groups in Chester, Liverpool and Leigh and continues to work online.
Picture: Paul Bayes Kitcher & Claire Morris of Fallen Angels Dance Theatre, credit: Brian Slater.
⑴The research from the ONS quoted in this press release about deaths from alcohol can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/quarterlyalcoholspecificdeathsinenglandandwales/2001to2019registrationsandquarter1jantomartoquarter4octtodec2020provisionalregistrations
The research quoted on return on investment can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alcohol-and-drug-prevention-treatment-and-recovery-why-invest/alcohol-and-drug-prevention-treatment-and-recovery-why-invest
Details on how to become a Guardian Angel can be found here: (https://fallenangelsdt.org/support-us/ways-of-giving/become-a-guardian-angel/)
Published 12th July 2021