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Action on Addiction – ‘A Moment of Opportunity’

On Friday 23 November, to mark the end of Alcohol Awareness Week, Action on Addiction launched ‘A Moment of Opportunity’, an interactive online photography exhibition.The exhibition documents the journey of recovering addicts from the grip of addiction to the hope and possibilities of recovery. It is the result of a six-month collaboration with photographer James Oaten, who travelled around the UK to meet recovering addicts at Action on Addiction’s centres and document the true face of recovery.The online gallery features two photographs for each subject: one of the place where they felt they had hit ‘rock bottom’ and realised something had to change. The other image shows them in recovery, capturing the means by which they rebuilt their lives and discovered new possibilities beyond addiction.In the run-up to the launch, we spoke to the people featured in the photographs to find out about their personal experience of addiction and how recovery has helped them to transform their lives. These personal accounts sit alongside the images and help to draw out the contrast between the emptiness and despair of addiction, and the new-found purpose and joy that come with a life in recovery.As a small charity with a limited budget, it was not feasible for Action on Addiction to host a public exhibition of the images, so we came up with the idea of creating an online gallery using social image-sharing site, Pinterest. It is still relatively unusual for charities to use Pinterest, and Action on Addiction had never used the platform before, so we felt this gave them an opportunity to be innovative and increase their voice on social media. Pinterest also provided an accessible, visually-engaging and cost-free solution for displaying the images, and the interactive nature of the site meant we were able to invite people to collaborate by commenting, liking, repinning or even submitting their own ‘Moments of Opportunity’.Alongside launching the exhibition board, we also created additional ‘boards’ to help promote some of the charity’s other initiatives, including an ‘Action on Addiction shop’ that features a selection of the charity’s products for sale.Visit the online photo exhibition and Action on Addiction shop here.

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