Latest News

Posted on 28 June 2024

Roots Community host community event to celebrate second anniversary

Roots Community, part of the Spark Recovery Collaborative, marked their two-year anniversary with a spectacular celebratory forum.

Held at St Luke’s Church in Blackburn, the event saw an impressive turnout of over 150 people. Attendees enjoyed a variety of programmes and had the opportunity to connect, share their stories and celebrate the achievements of the Roots Community.

The Roots Community is a forum for people in recovery, bringing together individuals affected by addiction and empowering them with opportunities. Funded by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Roots is part of the Spark Recovery Collaborative.

Ivan Johnstone, one of the community’s lead volunteers, was first on stage to introduce the event. Speaking into a microphone for the first time in his life, Ivan confidently shared his experiences as a member of Roots.

He said: “I felt hopeless at the beginning of the year, now I’m a member of the community and that’s what counts. I’ve met so many other people in my position and I feel fulfilled.”

Ivan first joined the community clean-up group, after confessing that littering in Blackburn is his ultimate ‘bug bare’. He continued: “I was isolated until I engaged with litter picking. I’ve also been a part of the Guerrilla Gardening Project since the beginning. I love it”.

The community offer a wide variety of groups across the week to suit all interests, including cooking, photography, gardening and more.

Team Leader Rolonde Bradshaw, who has worked with Roots since it started, also took to the stage to share his inspiring story of recovery.

Not only did he receive a warm round of applause for all his hard work – he was also awarded a variety of warmhearted gifts, including a gold litter-picker to commemorate his contributions to the community.

Craig Worswick, who works alongside Rolonde, added: “Happy Birthday to Roots. Thank you to all the volunteers and employees who have really helped it grow”.

Helen Bingley OBE, the High Sheriff of Lancashire, was also in attendance. She was ‘delighted to learn more about Roots and meet people in the room’, before taking to the stage to share some inspiring words.

She said: “Congratulations on the success of Roots. You’re showing the way for so many – Lancashire is so proud of you”.

Many local charities and services also joined, including Brook, Delphi, Acorn, IMO (Inspire, Motivate, Overcome), Early Break, Narcotics Anonymous, Phoenix Hub, Sanctuary House, Beacon Counselling Trust, Community CVS and more.

The day was filled with joyous activities, engaging discussions, and a warm atmosphere that brought together people from various walks of life.

To find out more about Spark Recovery Collaborative a diverse team led by the Calico group go to and Roots Community, please contact Rolonde or Craig on: or

Translate »