Mark Lees is our President and directly involved in the day to day lives of the recoverers, who variously describe him as “a rock”, “the backbone of Recovery House” and “the man who accidentally tore up somebody’s driveway on a Recovery House excursion”. This last we got to hear quite often, as the story provided an opening to the traditional British pastime of embarrassing someone on their birthday!
We had plenty of sausages, burgers and chicken wings – by plenty we mean enough to feed a small army – cooked on the barbecue built by the recoverers, not to mention 3 different cakes! Mark’s family also came along to celebrate and it was great to relax in the garden we had helped to clear out (de-forest would be a more accurate term for a garden sky-high with weeds) with the recoverers, who all seem to be determined to succeed with the project. They are all very open about their experiences and want to share them so that people can understand how and why they came to be at Recovery House.
It was fortunately a very fine evening, and we got to sit in the garden for hours, chatting and laughing together and finally singing Happy Birthday to Mark. And perhaps the biggest proof we could ever have as a club that what we are doing is both fun and making a real difference to people at the same time is that Mark announced to everyone that it was the best birthday he had ever had.