From the back of a taxi to the United Nations in Vienna

A Doncaster man who was once addicted to drink and drugs and slept in the back of an old taxi in a scrap yard had his story shortlisted in a national film festival.

Neil Firbank (45), is now a senior practitioner at our Aspire Drug and Alcohol Services in Doncaster and also the Recovery Games Event Manager, and underwent support to come off drink and drugs and started to turn his life around.

He volunteered before getting a paid role helping to commission drug and alcohol services in Doncaster.  His career then went from strength to strength.  He’s also given advice on the world stage when he spoke about drug and alcohol services at the United Nations in Vienna.

His story was turned into a three minute film for the national Recovery Street Film Festival by the Communications Team at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) – the health trust that runs Aspire in conjunction with the Alcohol and Drugs Service (ADS).

Neil and the team behind the film’s creation headed to London last week to find the film had reached the final 15 nationally.

Neil said:”I’ve had quite a journey and during that time created the Recovery Games – a way other people who have had similar journeys to me can come together to celebrate recovering from addiction in a fun way.

“I enjoyed the film being showcased in London and it was good to see the other entries too. I thrive on helping others to overcome their addictions,” he added.

Neil’s film didn’t win, but the aim of the film festival is to spread hope that recovery from addiction is possible.