By Jill Stocks
Armley resident Chris Sylvester is embarking on another journey in his life this weekend.
He’ll be accompanied by Ed Carlisle, a friend and also a Green councillor for Hunslet and Riverside ward.
Chris and Ed will be cycling Liverpool to Leeds, 127 miles, aiming for a sub 12-hour completion time this weekend to raise funds for Getting Clean, which is a Community Interest Company that Chris has set up after his own personal experience of addiction.
Getting Clean has various projects across West Leeds, including conservation projects, soap-making workshops and community projects for clean ups and repairs.
Getting Clean started as a project for recovery for addicts to volunteer in the community and continues to do so.
Their mission is to provide those in recovery with support with the possibility of employment, whilst also using these projects to provide support to the community and the environment.
And this weekend they are cycling the Leeds Liverpool canal to raise funds for the projects.
There are a number of projects ongoing; Conservation projects across the city such as wild flower meadows, and there are also community repairs, across West and South Leeds, assisting those most vulnerable with running repairs to their housing.and environs.
There is also the successful Getting Clean soap workshops. Volunteers gather to make soap because “soap is hope”.
There is much more information on this here.
Chris is a recovering addict. He also told WLD he didn’t have a lot of cycling experience but he’d certainly been putting the miles in when we met with him having got up at three am to get some miles in before work.
The ultimate goal for Chris though is for Getting Clean to be a full time project. To have enough funding to take the project forward full time:
“That’s the goal. The end objective is to be able to create a group that carries that message of recovery to people trapped in addiction to allow people to bring skills and be empowered.”
Chris also emphasised that it’s not just the addict but those around who are affected; that all members of the family and friends are impacted.
You can sponsor Chris and Ed here.
For more information on Getting Clean and to order some soap, click here.