We may be powerless but we’re not helpless
— Anonymous


The Road to Recovery Trust is a network of individuals inspired by the transformative effects of 12 step recovery in their own lives and those of others. Its principal aim is to bridge the gap between those who have found recovery and those who still suffer unaware that a solution which is free to all exists.

We work to raise funds to facilitate 12 step recovery and freely work with other organisations to promote this aim. Our business meetings and membership are open to all and we are committed to our dealings being open and transparent.


Our members are people in recovery, who in addition to service work in their fellowships, have also developed relationships with outside organisations to provide abstinence based services to the wider community.

We have helped to facilitate the first 12 step day care program in the North East, Oak trees in Gateshead, and have helped introduce the concept of 12 step workers for local services.


Our experience suggests that recovery works best in the community, where the examples of those who live clean and sober can lend aspiration and direction to those new to recovery. As part of this philosophy we will open the first ‘Dry – Bar’ in Newcastle city centre, providing a safe alcohol free space for people in recovery and the wider community. Our aspiration is that this will be a fun place of lively activity where community and support will be accessible to all. We also hope to provide access to services for people at all stages of recovery.




Lionel Joyce, CBE, OBE, is an alcoholic in long term recovery. He was a Legal Services Commissioner, a Mental Health Act Commissioner, a member of the Public Guardian Board and CEO of Newcastle Mental Health and Community NHS Trust. He chaired the national association of NHS Trusts.

He has founded several charities including Mental Health Concern, the Friends of Summerhill and the Road to Recovery Trust. He chaired Turning Point appointing its current CEO Lord Victor Adebowale.

Lionel is currently Chair of R2R.


Buster Lake has been in recovery now for over five years. Buster graduated in chemistry from The University of Birmingham in 1977 and then went on to University College Wales to engage in research and left with a Masters degree in 1978. He worked in industry as a production chemist before returning to full time study at Newcastle University gaining a PGCE and B.Ed. Buster taught chemistry in the state sector for 26 years before retiring in 2009.

Buster says “I came into the trust to further enhance my chances of continued recovery and to help those that would like a slice of what I have worked hard for over the last five years”.

Buster became a Trustee in 2016.


James Baxter is now 2 years into his recovery. He is a Film Producer specializing in documentaries, music videos and TV commercials. James holds a BA (Hons) in Media Production   and had completed a fellowship from the Institution of Digital Innovation at Teesside University. He currently runs his own film production company  ‘J6 Films’ which he started 10 years ago. James is active in his 12 step fellowship.

He has a keen interest in Buddhism and has just completed a documentary for the NHS about the impact of mindfulness on people’s lives.

James became a Trustee in 2016.


Revd Dr Nicholas Buxton is the Vicar of the Church of St John the Baptist, Grainger Street, and he also leads a popular meditation group in the city centre. He has been in recovery since 1994 and joined the Board of Trustees in 2016.


Connie Harrison has been in Recovery for 19 years and is active in 12 step fellowship. Connie says “It has been a long held ambition of mine to help create premises for those in recovery to socialise in an alcohol and drug free environment”.

Connie has been a Trustee since R2R was formed and serves as the Charity Treasurer



Andy Hackett has been in recovery for 4 years and currently works in public health engaging with drug and alcohol services in Newcastle. Andy has been a trustee for over a year and is committed to offering people in recovery choices and options in their journey to a healthy life.

Andy said “The trust and the work we do continues to be a great support I my own recovery, exciting times ahead”.



Beth Collard has been in recovery since October 2007. Beth says ‘I am currently a stay at home Mam. I have two sons who are aged 4 and 2. They are wonderful and crazy and hilarious and hard work! I know the challenges involved with sustaining recovery alongside being a parent. I want to help provide opportunities and activities for other parents in recovery’.

Beth joined the trust in 2016 to be part of a support network for people in recovery.