Comedic titan, Russell Brand, stopped by Carlisle's newest supported housing project, which aims to support people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. 

The Well, which has just opened its new eight-bed premise within Carlisle, looks to integrate users back into the society in order to help combat dependency. 

The organisation, founded in 2012, was created and developed by ex-offender, David Higham, and has been operating in Lancaster and Barrow-in-Furness and until recently, Carlisle as well. 

David, who's spent 20 years within the prison system, said it was "absolutely fantastic" to see the comedian stop by. 

"It was amazing to see Russell Brand come by for a visit, it's great he supports the project and sees the benefit, he's very open about his own recovery as well, it really resonates with all the work we're doing," he said. 

The non-profit organisation sets itself apart from other addiction services by it's operating model. 

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"It's a lived-experience recovery organisation, with myself who's been through addiction and the prison system to know what works and what doesn't. The Well gives people a connection, a meaning of purpose, allowing for us to support them and help them become active citizens within the community.

"Why we have a revolving door of people being locked in the criminal addiction, is because the current methods used are not sustaining or integrating these people into the community.

"In order for people to stay clean and remain abstintent, they need support within their own community, and that's where the Well comes in," he said.


The organisation has had a presence in Barrow since 2015, David said he went through his recovery there, so it was important for him to establish a centre. 

"There's currently not a lived-experience model in Carlisle yet, so we had people coming from Carlisle to our Barrow house, so we knew there was a need to set up in Carlisle," he said. 

The group gets referrals from the drug treatment service, prisons, hospitals, making sure 'there's no stone unturned', with the group looking to establish a foundation and network of others looking to help each other get well. 

The Well founder will be realising his new book next month ''Rat hell to rate park, the core conditions of recovery', a deep-dive into whether or not judicial system, drug services and all other services involved in addiction rehabilitation are correct in their approaches. 

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