RESIDENTS recovering from substance misuse issues spent the weekend without television or internet to immerse themselves in the outdoors.

Residents of The Well Communities in Barrow spent an outward bound weekend at Rookhow in the Lake District to refocus and reset.

The Well, based in Barrow, is a network of staff and volunteers with ‘lived experience’ of addiction to help those that need support. The Well has 51 residents in Kendal, Barrow and Morecambe who learn to live independently without non-productive behaviours.

A group of Barrow residents took part in the residential daily behaviour change programme which entailed a weekend without TV or internet.

Project development manager, Ged Pickersgill, described the weekend as ‘challenging’ but ‘important’.

“Mental health and emotional wellbeing is a very important part of the work we incorporate at The Well,” he said.

“As well as making sure residents can live independently, we operate a model where we look after a number of people very intensely to help engage in behavioural change programmes. These people are with us because they want to change but may struggle to carry out simple tasks.

“Pre-Covid we were carrying out these residential trips around two to three times a year and saw first-hand how beneficial they can be.”

Mr Pickersgill said the residential trips have a host of benefits. which can help residents ‘reintegrate into society’.

He said: “It helps break down stigmas of what those those with substance misuse issues look like and allows them to reintegrate into society. A lot of people have never took to engaging in outdoor space before so this gives them the opportunity to see the benefits of getting outside. And often friends, family, parents can see how rewarding it can be too. Speaking as someone who has been through this process and experienced a profound life change - The Well Communities residents, I applaud you.”