On 5th June 2018, Kaleidoscope Project celebrated its 50th Anniversary in style in Central London. Over 130 people attended the event and enjoyed socialising with plenty of food and drink to add to the festivities. The event was hosted by Lord Andrew Mawson who has a long history with Kaleidoscope. Guest speakers included Annette Dale-Perrera who spoke about harm reduction and praised Kaleidoscope for their innovation. Annette is Director of ADP Consultancy UK and has authored and co-authored over 50 research, policy, practice and national guidance documents in all aspects of addiction.
Former CEO of Kaleidoscope, Adele Blakebrough, spoke fondly of her memories having grown up in Kaleidoscope, and our commitment to helping vulnerable people and reducing drug related deaths.
Guests also enjoyed entertainment from Mike McNamara of Big Mac’s Wholly Soul Band. Mike is a popular Newport based musician who once worked for Kaleidoscope. He performed a song he wrote 15 years ago for Kaleidoscope called ‘Come on in Out of the Cold’. The song was inspired by his personal experience with addiction.
Comedian Eleanor Conway performed for guests and spoke about how stand-up comedy provided her with the focus she needed to get sober. She says that “the thrill of the stand-up stage is a new form of addiction”, and it has given her the confidence to accept herself for who she is.
Eleanor has been performing nationwide since 2010 and has featured at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Glastonbury Festival’ as well as writing her own show about addiction and recovery, ‘Walk of Shame’.
We also shared our 50th Birthday video at the event; a film made to celebrate the work of Kaleidoscope since 1968 which features our founder Rev. Eric Blakebrough MBE, our current CEO Martin Blakebrough, Kaleidoscope staff, and service users who all spoke about their experiences with the organisation.
The film is available to watch below, or on YouTube where you can also subscribe to our channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I23OVkFWtiI&t=826s