Recovery Turtle found at last

For those of you who don’t know me I’m MeShell and I am a Recovery Turtle. There are not many of us around and our main claim to fame is that we support recovery wherever we can. 

I have always lived in Grimsby but since my travels to the Gambia I had developed itchy feet, or to be more accurate itchy flippers. While I was there I met so many new friends and experienced so many new things that it left me curious about other places. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy my life in Grimsby or love my friends in ASPIRE. Alright with short legs and flippers, helping on the allotment could be hard work, but it wasn’t that. It was just I felt there must be more to see out in the world.

At the ADS staff conference in June I had heard about a Recovery Community in a place called Scunthorpe. As a Recovery Turtle this had caught my attention at the time but, until now I hadn’t thought much about it. As began to dream of travel and seeing other places I remembered Scunthorpe. Clearly though I would have to consider transport.

One day an opportunity presented itself. I heard Dr Flemons say he was going to Scunthorpe and as he opened the boot of hi car to put his briefcase away, I seized my chance and jumped in. The road was long and bumpy but eventually the car stopped and I snuck out to explore the bright lights and opportunities of this new town.

The people of Scunthorpe were really friendly. I visited CAS where they explained to me what a real football team is and introduced me to new friends at the Recovery Café. The Recovery Cafe was great and there is always a welcome for any-one who pop s in for a chat and a coffee. I even met a volunteer mentor who has won more awards than One Direction! So much was happening, it seems recovery is infectious. I went to a quiz night and learnt to play some awesome riffs on the guitar. In short I had a ball.


Everything was new and exciting but I felt there was even more to discover so I decided to set off alone as many a young impressionable turtle has done in the past. I left behind the support of the new friends and community I had become part of and hit the road. I met some kind people on the road who took me to a place where lots of other animals lived together. After a little time there, the inevitable happened and I met and fell for a small handsome stranger.Our tryst was passionate but short lived, and soon I was left alone and feeling bereft, and a little sick in the mornings. I knew what I needed was to be with friends and so I set off back to Scunthorpe.


On my arrival, my first stop was a friendly GP surgery, I remembered my friends at the cafe talking about the wonderful Shared Care clinic they host with The Junction. They were very friendly and concerned that I have a thorough health check after my recent travels. After the examination I was given the exciting but scary news that I was pregnant.


 I knew where I needed to be and immediately set off for Grimsby and my friends at ASPIRE. The journey was terrible, I couldn't  stop thinking about being a mum. I was excited but I was also scared and wanted my friends around me. the journey seemed to  take forever but once back I made straight for the place I felt most comfortable and safe – the shed on the ASPIRE allotment. While I had been on my travels, I was so busy seeing new things and meeting new people that I hadn’t sent one postcard or  made one phone call home. Little did I know my friends in ASPIRE had been really worried and had been out looking for me for  days and even nights! Now I’m sure you all know that turtles lay eggs, and I just made it back to the shed in time! One morning I  awoke to a friendly face and I proudly showed off my eggs.

One night I felt a movement underneath me, what on earth was that! I saw tiny cracks appearing in one of the leathery eggs I had kept so nice a warm. Once one crack appeared there seemed to be lots on all the eggs all at once. Then, I saw a little head poking out and before I knew it I had a whole group of turtles or as the proper collective noun for us is, a ‘Recovery’ of turtles.

As Recovery Turtles leave home at an early age I am keen to see what they all get up to and whether they can live up to their name and go on to support recovery. I will keep posting up dates on the ADS facebook page and website 

Published 17th September 2013

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