At the beginning of July, Jon Cruddas MP's team had the pleasure of visiting Build On Belief at St Lukes Church on Dagenham Road. Build On Belief specialises in designing, implementing and running weekend services for people who are struggling with, or are in recovery from their substance use; namely drugs and alcohol.

Weekends can be a difficult and lonely time in early recovery, especially since traditional treatment providers are usually closed. The experience of addiction often isolates people from family and non-using friends, and one of the greatest challenges in moving forward with your life is making new friends and building a safe support network. Build on Belief's social clubs with their wide range of activities and friendly volunteer teams, most of whom are in recovery themselves, provide a safe place to take these important steps back into the wider world of normal living.

The History

In May 2018 Build on Belief in Barking and Dagenham was opened in partnership with Change, Grow, Live. It is staffed by two very experienced service managers, David Hibbert and Barry Forest.

Uniquely, the founders and many of the staff members for Build On Belief are recovered substance users themselves. This gives them insight and a different level of understanding and empathy when it comes to helping others with their addiction and recovery.

What's On Offer

Build On Belief state: "We understand that for many people addiction is an all-consuming experience and ceasing your substance use can leave a large void in the day to fill. It is therefore really important in early recovery to find new interests. Build on Belief offers a wide range of activities in an open minded and friendly environment, supporting people and giving them the confidence to try something new. People accessing our services often find a sense of belonging that not only gives them hope but reminds them of family. We have always seen ourselves as a family for people without a family."

Build on Belief Barking and Dagenham offer an amazing range of weekend activities including: Workout Classes, Tai Chi, Art Classes, Gardening Club and even Health and Beauty treatments. There is a pool table which is an amazing ice breaker and various refreshments are also on offer.

Whether service user or volunteer, Build on Belief provides safe and non-judgemental spaces where people who are often vulnerable and isolated can re-discover themselves and start to make positive changes on their way to a better future:

"Recovery can be tough, and we provide a place where we can get through it together. Unlike most services, there is no time limit for how often, or how long you can access your local Build on Belief project."

How to get involved

If you are struggling with substance misuse or would like to volunteer for Build on Belief's services more information can be found at their website: Barking and Dagenham | Build on Belief Ltd

UK Narcotics Anonymous: 0300 999 1212
Alcoholics Anonymous: 0800 9177 650 OR help@aamail.org