Staff from the Sheffield Treatment and Recovery Team have completed the 170 mile Way of the Roses bike ride to raise awareness of drug and alcohol support on offer in Sheffield.

The ‘Recovery Ride’ brought together NHS staff, current and former service users and workers from local charities Human Kind and Project 6, to celebrate recovery from addiction and help challenge stigma.

The Way Of The Roses route starts on the west coast in Morecombe and sees riders cycle 170 miles across the country to the east coast, finishing in Bridlington.

The team completed the route over five days, starting on Monday 13 September and ending on Friday 17 September.

Along the route the team camped overnight in Austwick, Pately Bridge, York and Pocklington.

Bicycles, helmets and camping equipment were donated by staff with volunteers supporting the team over the five days.

Carl Bidden, Community Engagement Co-ordinator in the Sheffield Treatment and Recovery Team, organised the ride, he said: "Exercise like cycling is a great way to help with the anxiety and depression that many of the people experiencing addiction face.

"September is national Recovery Month and we thought this was the perfect opportunity to take on a challenge as a group and show what we can all achieve, regardless of where you are in your recovery journey. The boost to your self-esteem having completed a ride like this is unbelievable. Once you’ve done something like this you feel like you can achieve anything.

"We want to inspire anyone who is struggling with addiction on their own that there is help available, all you have to do is ask for it. Recovery isn’t easy but by working together we can help you reach your goals."

Matthew Bird received support from START in the past and completed the whole ride. He said: "I wanted to do this to help boost my confidence and to inspire others - I know am at my best when able to help people. It was important to me to take part as I had not cycled for a while and I saw this as a way to improve my fitness and wellbeing.

"For anyone struggling with addiction, I would ask them not to be ashamed at admitting you have a problem. By admitting you have a problem you are taking the first step. By talking to someone and asking for support you can get help. Asking for support has helped me."

You can find out more about the free drug and alcohol support available in Sheffield at www.shsc.nhs.uk/start

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For more information please contact Ben Solly, Communications Manager, by emailing ben.solly@shsc.nhs.uk