ART OF RECOVERY TRANSFORMING CENTENARY TRAM 641
The much loved 641 Centenary tram stationed opposite the Pleasure Beach, has been transformed into a community gallery to illustrate the art of recovery in Blackpool. The renovation of the vehicle and all the artwork displayed has been undertaken solely by the recovery community who have come together to demonstrate that recovery from addiction is not just a possibility, it is happening all across the town.
The project has brought together clients from numerous recovery support agencies from across Blackpool, all working towards a common goal of helping people overcome their addictions and mental health issues to enjoy a healthier more positive lifestyle.
Carole Houston, Communications Lead for Horizon which offers Drug, Alcohol and non clinical sexual health support for Blackpool residents comments “The concept behind the tram is simple; we want to show that the recovery community in Blackpool is strong and creative, focused on helping people with addiction issues get the help they need. So often people only hear the negative side of the substance abuse in Blackpool, so we want to promote the extremely strong recovery community we have in the town.
“As well as displaying artwork created as part of the recovery journey, the tram site will also act as an information point for people looking to access help with their addiction issues. We want to spread the word that recovery is possible for the majority of people who seek help.”
The Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust, which owns the tram, has been extremely supportive of the project from day one. Trustee John Woodman comments, “We are delighted with what the group have done with our vehicle. It looks spectacular and it’s all for such a great cause. The 641 Centenary tram is one of our favourite vehicles in the heritage fleet so it’s great to see it used to illustrate the incredible journey through the recovery process.“
The ‘Art of Recovery in Blackpool’ tram project was supported by Blackpool Council Arts Service, and the budding creatives were encouraged along the way by talented artists Boz Phillips and Lee Fitzgerald who specialise in working with community groups across Blackpool. Blackpool illuminations will be highlighting the tram throughout the illuminations season and many local businesses have also contributed towards the project with lighting, signs, T-shirts, painting supplies, and catering.
The Recovery tram has become a true community project, and with changing displays throughout the coming months it is hoped that the message of the reality of recovery will travel far and wide.
The project will be officially launched on 8th September as part of the FAVOR UK Recovery Walk celebrations which will be taking place in Blackpool over the weekend. A national recovery conference is planned for Friday the 8th September and the annual FAVOR UK Recovery Walk will take place on Saturday 9th September; the largest gathering of people in recovery in Europe with an estimated 5000 people expected to join in the celebrations in Blackpool town centre.