The Road to Recovery Trust, the organisation behind Newcastle’s only recovery café, has been playing a key role in the development of a big Coronation Street storyline that will hit TV screens next week.
Peter Barlow, a long-running Coronation Street character, will be seen facing his demons once again as a traumatic incident leads him to pick up a drink.
Lucy Nichol, Chair, The Road to Recovery Trust said: “We’ve been working with the Coronation Street team for almost a year now, reviewing story ideas and dialogue relating to addiction and recovery. We’ve been able to involve several colleagues with lived experience in the consultation process, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the story plays out on screen.”
The Trust is committed to tackling addiction stigma at a national level, promoting twelve-step abstinence-based recovery for all kinds of addictions and providing safe spaces and supportive communities for people in the North East. It is best known for its Unity Café at George Street Social and it also runs a 24/7 helpline for people struggling with addiction during the lockdown.
Lionel Joyce OBE CBE, Founder, The Road to Recovery Trust who has also been involved in the story consultation said: “Addiction is a complex illness that kills thousands of people every year – particularly here in the North East where we have one of the highest rates of drug and alcohol mortality. With so much stigma surrounding the illness, it is important to blast these stereotypes wide open to enable those who are struggling to speak out and ask for help.
“Shows such as Coronation Street have the power to do just that – to change the hearts and minds of millions of viewers. If we can feel compassion towards long-running soap characters like Peter, hopefully we can begin to extend that compassion towards the many people suffering in our communities today.”
A spokesperson for Coronation Street said: “Coronation Street has a responsibility to tackle real-life issues in an accurate and well-researched way. We could not do this without the help of charities and organisations like The Road to Recovery Trust. The work they have done with us on this storyline has been invaluable and we are hugely grateful to them for their support.”
The episodes will be aired from Monday 16th November on ITV.
If you are based in Newcastle or the surrounding area and struggling with addiction, you can call the George Street 247 helpline on 0191 814 9796
For more information about the Trust, please visit www.roadtorecoverytrust.org.uk