Tees pair lead the way on recovery

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The Recovery Advocates and Consultants (TRAC UK) is a Middlesbrough-based independent advocacy service that has found itself centre stage recently, thanks to the hard work of founder and CEO Annalice Argyle – the winner of the Inspiring Others award at the 2020 Tees Businesswomen Awards.

A shining example of how you can turn your life around with dedication and determination, the former addict, now 11 years clean and sober, is a figure of hope for the 200-plus Teesside women who use TRAC UK and the 4,500 women nationally and across the world who use its women-only online hub.

“TRAC was founded in 2014 to advocate, educate and empower women to take control of their lives, enter recovery and formulate goals for the future,” explains Annalice.

“A peer-led organisation, we provide free, at-the-point of delivery support to those who need it most.”

Along with Annalice and Brian Hutchinson, the charity’s finance manager and bid writer, there are five female sessional workers who provide TRAC with support, delivering a timetable of recovery programmes and events.

“We help women by individually assessing their needs and making realistic goals to help with their recovery journey,” continues Annalice.

“We also provide a wide variety of activities where I take a critical and central role, taking charge of many of the groups and delivering a woman’s way through the 12-step programme.”

In 2019 TRAC UK became a charitable incorporated organisation and the Lobster Recovery Service CIC was created, which delivers support to men who want to recover.

Lobster also offers careers advice and guidance to clients who are ready to make the next step in their journey.

“It’s a strange name for a recovery service,” said Annalice. “But we wanted a name which relates to personal development and we discovered that, in order for a lobster to grow, they shed their old shell and grow a new one, transforming and strengthening themselves.”

Annalice is a director of Lobster, as is Brian Hutchinson – himself in long-term recovery.

Between them the pair deliver the work of the company with dedicated volunteers and they are currently looking for a project worker to join the team on a 16-hour-per-week basis.

“Lobster is developing a housing model to provide clients with safe accommodation, allowing the recovery process to commence in a space where it will be maintainable,” said Annalice.

“We are aiming to develop several sustainable ventures which will steer it away from a full grant-funded model in the future, allowing it to more readily grow its workforce and help more clients who require its service.”

With the services of TRAC and Lobster Recovery more in demand than ever thanks to the pressures of Covid, Annalice has long-term plans for both.

“Our aim for TRAC UK is to see our service grow and move into other areas of the country, to continue delivering bespoke person-centred recovery and to provide people with sustainable employment opportunities,” she added.

“We are also exploring the possibility of delivering training to businesses around substance misuse and offering recovery coaching to private clients.

“For Lobster Recovery we hope to grow our housing model into a sustainable project that provides clients with healthy futures and people with employment opportunities.

“For both organisations the goal is for clients to have somewhere to turn in their hour of need.”

To volunteer your time or to support TRAC and Lobster Recovery, contact Annalice via the website, call 07761 933030 or 07947 738362. Visit tracuk.uk to find out more.