GOING FORWARD: Lisa Love (front) and Ashley Bottrell, David Sutherland and Dean Cage from Bayside Transformations, encourage anyone affected by an addiction to throw on their walking shoes and take part in the Steps for Recovery Walk on February 24.
GOING FORWARD: Lisa Love (front) and Ashley Bottrell, David Sutherland and Dean Cage from Bayside Transformations, encourage anyone affected by an addiction to throw on their walking shoes and take part in the Steps for Recovery Walk on February 24. Alistair Brightman

Walk will honour steps to addiction recovery

AN INITIATIVE to raise awareness for recovering addicts and their families has been rolled out nation-wide thanks to one Hervey Bay local.

Bayside Transformations Drug and Alcohol Centre director Tina Davie is the founder of the inaugural Steps for Recovery Walk, which will be held on February 24 in Hervey Bay, Melbourne, Hobart, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Bendigo.

Whether an addict has been clean for 10 days or 10 years, Ms Davie said the painstaking process would be honoured and celebrated through the walk, as well as acknowledging that family and friends need to be supported after seeing their loved ones suffer.

"It is about raising awareness for the resources available for those impacted by drugs and alcohol in our community," Ms Davie said.

"The aim would be to end the stigma and discrimination towards those that are impacted and celebrate the role that recovery can play in people's lives.

"I believe it's (the walk) something that's going to grow ... it will get its momentum up and running over the next few years and we'll build on that."

Attendees will be invited to carry a tea-light candle bag for a 5km circuit, starting from Bill Fraser Park at 6pm and returning with a walk on the beach.

A name card can also be attached to the candle to symbolise those who have been impacted and offer hope for them and their families.

"Everyone will get a card and if they want to write someone's name on it they can," Ms Davie said.

"It might be John who is recovered or Sarah who is still struggling from addiction or whatever that might be, and then carry that for the 5km."

With a full moon and low tide to set the perfect scene, she said the candles would be placed in the shape of a heart at the end of the walk to incorporate part of the popular Valentine's Day Fun Run fundraiser that had been held in previous years.

Entrants are encouraged to find some sponsors ahead of the walk, with all funds going to the not-for-profit organisation so their vital work can continue on the Fraser Coast.

"We still want to raise funds for Transformations but we also want to be out here being an advocate for those that are impacted by drugs and alcohol in our community.

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"It's all about prevention and helping people affected by drugs and alcohol and our region is high on that list."

There will be a number of inspiring stories told from members in active recovery and information pamphlets available.

There will be games, face painting and food and drinks available.

The registration fee is $15 per person or $30 a family. Candles are $3 each. Register at www.recovery walk.com.au.

For more, see www.baysidetransformat- ions.net.