Recovery Walk 2017 – Blackpool

This year’s Recovery Walk takes place in Blackpool on 09/09/17. CRC will be running a coach to the event, departing from Coventry Railway Station at 7.15am on the day. To reserve a seat please message Bess on 07880 035356 or Simon on 07786 261821.

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CRC Community Fete – 26/08/17









We will be holding a Community Fete on 26/08/17 to raise funds towards the cost of a coach to attend this year’s UKRW Recovery Walk in Blackpool on 09/09/17.

The fete will feature stalls, arts & crafts, activities and refreshments, and takes place at the CRC Hub, Rose Community Centre, Hope Street, CV1 3LH, between 11am and 3pm this coming Saturday.

On the 9th of September, we will be joining thousands of people in recovery, along with their families and friends, for the biggest annual gathering of Recoverists in Europe. The event begins at noon on the day at The South Pier Promenade, Blackpool FY4 1BB. The walk through Blackpool will be followed by an afternoon of entertainment celebrating visible recovery from substance misuse.

This year we be sharing a coach with Dear Albert, from Leicester. The coach departs from Coventry Railway Station at 7.15am, prompt. We have 25-spaces available, so please contact us through the CRC Facebook page – or by phone: 07835 769783 – to reserve your place. For full details of the walk, follow the link below:


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CRC – Code Of Conduct

CRCCIC Code Of Conduct:

CRCCIC’s code of conduct applies to all community members and directors. Any breech of this code should be reported to the board of directors for investigation. any actions taken as a consequence of any breech will be duly anounced to members through community meetings.

CRCCIC promotes recovery in accordance with our recovery principles:

We believe that recovery lies within individuals, families and communities, and is self-directed and empowering. Recovery lies within our ‘connectedness’ to others, is holistic, and involves all areas of our lives. Recovery is supported by peers, families and allies within communities. Recovery involves the personal, cultural and structural recognition of the need for participative change, transformation and the building of recovery capital. Recovery involves a continual process of change and self- redefinition for individuals, families, organisations and communities.

Recovery challenges all discrimination, shame and stigma. Recovery emerges from hope, gratitude, love and giving to others. There are many pathways to Recovery and no individual, community or organisation has the right to claim ownership of the ‘right pathway’. Recovery exists on a continuum of improved health and well- being. Recovery embraces a wide variety of approaches and does not seek to be prescriptive. Honesty, self-awareness and openness lie at the heart of Recovery. Recovery is a reality & contagious.

CRCCIC respects the dignity and diversity of community members:

We will treat each community member with care and respect and be mindful of individual differences. We strive to understand and respect issues of social diversity, including race, ethnicity, national origin, colour, sex, sexual orientation, age, relationship status, political belief, religion, and mental or physical ability.

CRCCIC acts with integrity:

We will act honestly and responsibly, and conduct ourselves in a manner consistent with our recovery principles.

CRCCIC honours commitments:

We make a strong effort to show up on time, arrange cover if we cannot attend, keep communication channels open with participants and aim to manage the community in line with the ethos of the our recovery principles.

CRCCIC pursues knowledge and competence:

As part of our commitment to personal and community development, we commit to ongoing learning and continual improvement in our approaches. We also commit to not acting beyond our individual competence , skills and abilities.

CRCCIC respects confidentiality:

We respect community members’ right to privacy, both within and outside of the community. We will not share, solicit or disclose private information, unless failure to do so may put someone at risk.

CRCCIC safeguards vulnerable people:

If a participant appears to be at imminent risk of harm or there is evidence they are putting a vulnerable person at risk, we will seek the advice and support of relevant organisations such as Local Authority Safeguarding team. There may be a legal requirement to report disclosures relating to abuse or risk of harm to a vulnerable person.

CRCCIC avoids conflicts of interest:

We will not exploit any community member or any aspect of community activity to further our own personal, religious, political or business interests. We will be alert to and avoid conflicts of interest.

CRCCIC avoids harassment:

We will not engage in any form of harassment or exploitative sexual relationships between community members.

CRCCIC works together in partnership:

We will strive to work cooperatively with commissioned services, charities and third sector organisations, and acknowledge the positive contributions of any approach that aims to help individuals to achieve, sustain and develop recovery.

CRCCIC provides accurate representation:

We will make a clear distinction between statements made as a private individual and those made as representatives of CRCCIC. We will represent ourselves as knowledgeable only within the scope of our experience.

CRCCIC, Rose Community Centre, Hope St, CV1 3LH

T: 02476 555773

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CRC Complex Needs Group – Wed 2pm – CRC Hub



CRC‘s Complex Needs Group meets at the CRC Hub, Rose Community Centre, at 2pm on any given Wednesday. Substance misuse problems are complex, with complex causes, they require complex solutions. The objective of this group is to explore individual and community approaches to complex needs perspectives, through shared learning and the connectivity of experience.

Week 1:

We begun with an overview of complex needs, defining and explaining context and illustrating how the complexity of need complicates approaches to recovery from substance misuse. To begin, we studied the work of  Dr Hayley Pinto:

We then considered the pillars of the ‘luck of birth’ and the ‘myth of responsibility’ as explained here by Raoul Martinez, who’s excellent book ‘Creating Freedom’ is an essential read for those who want to fully understand so many people face a crisis of identity at some stage in their lives, and turn to substances to self medicate:

Week 2: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow‘s (1943, 1954) hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.

Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behaviour. Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on.

This five stage model can be divided into deficiency needs and growth needs. The first four levels are often referred to as deficiency needs (D-needs), and the top level is known as growth or being needs (B-needs).

The deficiency needs are said to motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the need to fulfil such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. For example, the longer a person goes without food, the more hungry they will become.

One must satisfy lower level deficit needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. When a deficit need has been satisfied it will go away, and our activities become habitually directed towards meeting the next set of needs that we have yet to satisfy. These then become our salient needs. However, growth needs continue to be felt and may even become stronger once they have been engaged. Once these growth needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization.

Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization. Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by a failure to meet lower level needs. Life experiences, including divorce and loss of a job may cause an individual to fluctuate between levels of the hierarchy. Therefore, not everyone will move through the hierarchy in a uni-directional manner but may move back and forth between the different types of needs.

Maslow noted only one in a hundred people become fully self-actualized because our society rewards motivation primarily based on esteem, love and other social needs.

The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model includes:

1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.

2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).

4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.

5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

Maslow posited that human needs are arranged in a hierarchy:

‘It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?

At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency’ (Maslow, 1943, p. 375).

The expanded hierarchy of needs:

It is important to note that Maslow’s (1943, 1954) five stage model has been expanded to include cognitive and aesthetic needs (Maslow, 1970a) and later transcendence needs (Maslow, 1970b).

Changes to the original five-stage model are highlighted and include a seven-stage model and a eight-stage model, both developed during the 1960’s and 1970s.

1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.

2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, etc.

3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).

4. Esteem needs – self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.

5. Cognitive needs – knowledge and understanding, curiosity, exploration, need for meaning and predictability.

6. Aesthetic needs – appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, etc.

7. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

8. Transcendence needs – helping others to achieve self actualization.


Instead of focusing on psychopathology and what goes wrong with people, Maslow (1943) formulated a more positive account of human behavior which focused on what goes right. He was interested in human potential, and how we fulfill that potential.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow (1943, 1954) stated that human motivation is based on people seeking fulfillment and change through personal growth. Self-actualized people are those who were fulfilled and doing all they were capable of.

The growth of self-actualization (Maslow, 1962) refers to the need for personal growth and discovery that is present throughout a person’s life. For Maslow, a person is always ‘becoming’ and never remains static in these terms. In self-actualization a person comes to find a meaning to life that is important to them.

As each individual is unique the motivation for self-actualization leads people in different directions (Kenrick et al., 2010). For some people self-actualization can be achieved through creating works of art or literature, for others through sport, in the classroom, or within a corporate setting.

Maslow (1962) believed self-actualization could be measured through the concept of peak experiences. This occurs when a person experiences the world totally for what it is, and there are feelings of euphoria, joy and wonder.

It is important to note that self-actualization is a continual process of becoming rather than a perfect state one reaches of a ‘happy ever after’ (Hoffman, 1988).

Maslow offers the following description of self-actualization:

‘It refers to the person’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially.

The specific form that these needs will take will of course vary greatly from person to person. In one individual it may take the form of the desire to be an ideal mother, in another it may be expressed athletically, and in still another it may be expressed in painting pictures or in inventions’ (Maslow, 1943, p. 382–383).

Are you self-actualized?

Although we are all, theoretically, capable of self-actualizing, most of us will not do so, or only to a limited degree. Maslow (1970) estimated that only two percent of people would reach the state of self-actualization. He was especially interested in the characteristics of people whom he considered to have achieved their potential as individuals.

By studying 18 people he considered to be self-actualized (including Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein) Maslow (1970) identified 15 characteristics of a self-actualized person.

Characteristics of self-actualizers:

1. They perceive reality efficiently and can tolerate uncertainty;

2. Accept themselves and others for what they are;

3. Spontaneous in thought and action;

4. Problem-centered (not self-centered);

5. Unusual sense of humor;

6. Able to look at life objectively;

7. Highly creative;

8. Resistant to enculturation, but not purposely unconventional;

9. Concerned for the welfare of humanity;

10. Capable of deep appreciation of basic life-experience;

11. Establish deep satisfying interpersonal relationships with a few people;

12. Peak experiences;

13. Need for privacy;

14. Democratic attitudes;

15. Strong moral/ethical standards.

Behavior leading to self-actualization:

(a) Experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration;

(b) Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths;

(c) Listening to your own feelings in evaluating experiences instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority;

(d) Avoiding pretense (‘game playing’) and being honest;

(e) Being prepared to be unpopular if your views do not coincide with those of the majority;

(f) Taking responsibility and working hard;

(g) Trying to identify your defenses and having the courage to give them up.

The characteristics of self-actualizers and the behaviors leading to self-actualization are shown in the list above.  Although people achieve self-actualization in their own unique way, they tend to share certain characteristics.

However, self-actualization is a matter of degree, ‘There are no perfect human beings’ (Maslow,1970a, p. 176).

It is not necessary to display all 15 characteristics to become self-actualized, and not only self-actualized people will display them. Maslow did not equate self-actualization with perfection. Self-actualization merely involves achieving one’s potential. Thus, someone can be silly, wasteful, vain and impolite, and still self-actualize. Less than two percent of the population achieve self-actualization.

Educational applications

Maslow’s (1968) hierarchy of needs theory has made a major contribution to teaching and classroom management in schools. Rather than reducing behavior to a response in the environment, Maslow (1970a) adopts a holistic approach to education and learning. Maslow looks at the complete physical, emotional, social, and intellectual qualities of an individual and how they impact on learning.

Applications of Maslow’s hierarchy theory to the work of the classroom teacher are obvious. Before a student’s cognitive needs can be met they must first fulfil their basic physiological needs. For example a tired and hungry student will find it difficult to focus on learning. Students need to feel emotionally and physically safe and accepted within the classroom to progress and reach their full potential.

Maslow suggests students must be shown that they are valued and respected in the classroom and the teacher should create a supportive environment. Students with a low self-esteem will not progress academically at an optimum rate until their self-esteem is strengthened.

Critical evaluation

The most significant limitation of Maslow’s theory concerns his methodology. Maslow formulated the characteristics of self-actualized individuals from undertaking a qualitative method called biographical analysis.

He looked at the biographies and writings of 18 people he identified as being self-actualized. From these sources he developed a list of qualities that seemed characteristic of this specific group of people, as opposed to humanity in general.

From a scientific perspective there are numerous problems with this particular approach. First, it could be argued that biographical analysis as a method is extremely subjective as it is based entirely on the opinion of the researcher. Personal opinion is always prone to bias, which reduces the validity of any data obtained. Therefore Maslow’s operational definition of self-actualization must not be blindly accepted as scientific fact.

Furthermore, Maslow’s biographical analysis focused on a biased sample of self-actualized individuals, prominently limited to highly educated white males (such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, William James, Aldous Huxley, Gandhi, Beethoven).

Although Maslow (1970) did study self-actualized females, such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Teresa, they comprised a small proportion of his sample. This makes it difficult to generalize his theory to females and individuals from lower social classes or different ethnicity. Thus questioning the population validity of Maslow’s findings.

Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to empirically test Maslow’s concept of self-actualization in a way that causal relationships can be established.

Another criticism concerns Maslow’s assumption that the lower needs must be satisfied before a person can achieve their potential and self-actualize. This is not always the case, and therefore Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in some aspects has been falsified.

Through examining cultures in which large numbers of people live in poverty (such as India) it is clear that people are still capable of higher order needs such as love and belongingness. However, this should not occur, as according to Maslow, people who have difficulty achieving very basic physiological needs (such as food, shelter etc.) are not capable of meeting higher growth needs.

Also, many creative people, such as authors and artists (e.g. Rembrandt and Van Gogh) lived in poverty throughout their lifetime, yet it could be argued that they achieved self-actualization.

Psychologists now conceptualize motivation as a pluralistic behavior, whereby needs can operate on many levels simultaneously. A person may be motivated by higher growth needs at the same time as lower level deficiency needs.

Contemporary research by Tay & Diener (2011) has tested Maslow’s theory by analyzing the data of 60,865 participants from 123 countries, representing every major region of the world. The survey was conducted from 2005 to 2010.

Respondents answered questions about six needs that closely resemble those in Maslow’s model: basic needs (food, shelter); safety; social needs (love, support); respect; mastery; and autonomy. They also rated their well-being across three discrete measures: life evaluation (a person’s view of his or her life as a whole), positive feelings (day-to-day instances of joy or pleasure), and negative feelings (everyday experiences of sorrow, anger, or stress).

The results of the study support the view that universal human needs appear to exist regardless of cultural differences. However, the ordering of the needs within the hierarchy was not correct.

“Although the most basic needs might get the most attention when you don’t have them,” Diener explains, “you don’t need to fulfill them in order to get benefits [from the others].” Even when we are hungry, for instance, we can be happy with our friends. “They’re like vitamins,” Diener says about how the needs work independently. “We need them all.”


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North Wales Recovery Community Visit

CRC made the journey up to Bangor, North Wales, on 06/06/17, to visit North Wales Recovery Community at their home, Penrhyn House. A dozen community members made the journey, funded by Aquarius CIAS, as part of their National Volunteers Week celebrations. NWRC is a residential unit, complete with its own gym and games room, home to 16-idividuals in recovery. 

NWRC‘s community approach to maintaining and developing recovery is based on the ABCD principles of activity and connection. Through a program of group work (12-step & SMART Recovery), 1-2-1 support, and activities such as horticulture, the residents keep themselves busy productively. NWRC grow their own fresh produce, in their onsite allotment and poly-tent, which they supply to local restaurants and markets. They keep ducks producing fresh eggs, and make jams and pickles, alongside a range of other fresh produce to enable their ultimate goal of self-sustainability. They have plans to keep pigs under development, a potting shed under construction, and enough space in their grounds for other smallholding innovations. 

We were made to feel very welcome by James Deakin and his team. We were fed and watered, and shown around the site. We spent an enjoyable three hours relaxing in the gardens, chatting with NWRC residents, exchanging recovery stories, and exploring what we can learn from each other as communities.

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