Derby County Community Trust hosted a Christmas meal for its Active Choices participants on Monday afternoon - and Derby County duo Scott Malone and Graeme Shinnie popped in to celebrate with them.
Active Choices is one of the Community Trust’s flagship programmes which provides support for those overcoming substance misuse. Over the last eight years it has supported over 1,000 participants on their recovery journey.
Many of the people it helps have gone through intense hardship alongside addiction, including homelessness or mental health problems, and the programme provides an alternative network to support full re-integration into society through giving participants a routine and opportunities to gain new skills through volunteering.
The Christmas meal was hosted at St Peter’s Church Community Centre and saw over 75 participants attend, along with club ambassadors Marc Edworthy and Michael Johnson and Derby County Chief Executive Officer Stephen Pearce who got stuck in with serving food and doing the washing up. All the food preparation and cooking was kindly provided by Piper Catering.
Along with the food, local hairdresser Rachael Fallows provided free haircuts for attendees, and the festivities were finished off with a carol service in St Peter’s Church.
Adam Rowley, who runs the Active Choices programme, said: “This is the highlight of another fantastic year for our participants.
“We’ve seen countless successes and to be able to bring them together to reward their hard work and achievements, especially at Christmas, is really important to us.
“A lot of our participants might not have a full family network around them, so we are here to ensure that everyone has a Christmas celebration this year.”
Speaking at the event, Shinnie said: “It’s great to come and meet people out in the community, they’ve been through some hard times and if getting to chat to someone new can help them then that’s great.
“Christmas is an important time for being together so it’s brilliant to see so many people here enjoying spending time with each other.”
For more information about the Derby County Community Trust and the Active Choices programmes, please visit derbycountycommunitytrust.com/programmes/health/active-choices.