Story: Brent Moya
Dry Road is a once-monthly evening aimed at providing recovering alcoholics with the chance to maintain a social life, whilst also providing all the benefits of a pub without consuming alcohol.The scheme is run by LaunchPad, a community-based project which offers a range of activities to the general public.
Rita Hardwick, who set up Dry Road, hopes the scheme will offer a safe haven for people to come and socialise without the prospect of drinking.
“Dry Road offers a relaxed pub-like atmosphere without alcohol consumption, where people can meet, play games, listen to live music and generally enjoy themselves. Most of us love the idea of going to the pub, although not everyone wants to be confronted by alcohol, be it for religious beliefs, past experiences or something else,” she said.
The group consists of people from all walks of life.
Ian is the first recovering alcoholic to come forward and has been sober for over a year. “Its been 491 days (almost 16 months) since I last had a drink. I am lucky enough to be able to walk into a pub without drinking, although I coudn’t have done this without the help of others.”
He hopes other like minded people will come forward and join the monthly sessions.
“I’m definitely an advocate for this type of place as it’s very welcoming and people are here to support each other. The drop in centre at Sheffield Alcoholic Advice Centre is akin to this, although I would say this represents a step forward as there is a strong social element to it.”
Rita explained they are working with Sheffield Alcohol Advice Centre, who’s volunteers will be helping out. Each event will also bring in live acts as well and offer a range of activities. “We've been really encouraged by the number of people who have said they want to come and perform here. We are open to ideas or suggestions and would encourage people to come forward regarding any.”
Dry Road takes place on the first Thursday of every month at the Vestry Hall, from 7pm onwards – Next event 2nd December. To get involved contact Rita Hardwick on 07949 816 124.