Avalon Recovery Society Radio

Avalon Recovery Society

Join Leanne Utendale from Avalon White Rock every week as she hosts women and allies in recovery to share their stories of experience and hope.

All Episodes

As the co-founder of Avalon Recovery Society, Helen Burnham knows all too well the unique challenges women face when battling drug and alcohol addiction. In 1990, Helen and her co-founder opened the first Avalon Women’s Centre in Vancouver. For over 30 years, It continues to be a warm, inviting space for women to share their stories, free of judgment, and with others who had been there before. 

Sep 30

14 min 50 sec

Val is a woman, mother, and grandmother to five grandchildren in long time recovery. She is celebrating 29 years of sobriety. She is a nurse and has worked in a variety of roles within the addiction field for over 27 years. 

Sep 16

22 min 38 sec

She is a sober and life coach, founder of Westcoast soul food society and an executive business consultant, and most importantly a woman in recovery with 14.5 years clean and sober, my date is March 25, 2007.

Sep 2

32 min 5 sec

Brooke is the co-host of Seek Purpose Now Podcast, a sober content creator who designs at Sober Lifestyle clothing, a published author, and a mom of three that is in recovery. She shares her story of recovery and how she tragically lost her brother to an overdose earlier this year. 

Aug 31

27 min 40 sec

Jennifer M is a Gitxsan person, a wife, a mother, and a teacher. 

Aug 12

39 min 3 sec

Lena is a 63-year-old woman living in S Surrey and retired from a career as a Special Education Assistant. Born in Finland her family immigrated to New Westminster where she attended school there and then moved to South Surrey in 1980. She was married and had 2 daughters. Alcoholism brought her down in 1998 and she finally surrendered and went to AA. After a divorce and going back to school she has continued to attend meetings and raise her daughters in a sober home. 

Jul 29

29 min 48 sec

Mari was born and raised in Vancouver residing in the Kitsilano/ Kerrisdale area. She is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (Graduated in 1988) and her primary Nursing career is serving the Geriatric community focusing on Dementia/Alzheimers and Palliative care. She absolutely loves working for the Elderly community. She retired early in Feb. 2020 from my 27-year full-time nursing career and now works casually in the elder community. She has raised her daughter on her own and She is the bright light of her life. She will have 5 years of sobriety as of Sept 6th, 2021.

Jul 22

13 min 59 sec

Janice entered into Recovery in Winnipeg in 1970 after a disastrous series of events which brought her to the “jumping off” point. She’s been successful in Recovery for 48 years; and in that time time enjoyed an amazing career, a lovely marriage, extensive travel and an ever increasing sense of joy about life in/ after Recovery. She moved to BC with her husband and became painfully aware of the barriers to Recovery for young women .. especially if they had young dependant children. One evening at a retirement party a woman asked “do you think there are enough Recovered women in WR to sustain an Avalon Center”. That question became the formative moment for the White Rock Avalon centre. The project has given meaning and purpose to her life... which turns out to be what she had been searching for all along.

Jul 1

31 min 13 sec

Olga started her recovery journey in 2002. She grew up in Russia and felt isolated in Canada and in the recovery community. She met a lot of obstacles before she was able to gain lasting sobriety in 2008. Today Olga facilities Avalon’s first Russian-speaking AA meeting.

Jun 17

34 min 34 sec

Guylaine is a woman of a trans experience and an alcoholic. By the age of five, she knew she was inwardly a girl. When she entered the school system in grade 1, she was placed over with the boys she didn’t know. The expectations of these times were if you are born with anatomy, and then you are that anatomy in the culture. She struggled to fit in, had an ongoing trauma in my childhood home, and became very confused about how to fit in anywhere. She suffered from anxiety and found alcohol in her teen years. She used this to treat her gender dysphoria, trauma, and life. It would continue for 30 plus years as a poisonous tool of survival. Eventually, there was a pivotal moment that led her to recovery. She was able to address the dysphoria when she became sober and started a spiritual way of life. The path to recovery enabled a lifelong dream of actually being one authentic, true person to the world. This is a journey she is so grateful she has been given a chance to walk.    

May 20

33 min 1 sec

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, but raised in Vancouver BC - Hibby Bartlett is a, Serial entrepreneur, humanitarian, and a contributing member of the recovery community.  Her start up businesses have always been focused on services to improve society, such as parenting and connecting families.  She is committed and inspired to show up authentically every day. Through her experiences with life's hurdles, such as sorrow, sobriety, and success, she strives to stay in the solution to any problem with optimism, grace and a sense of humor.  She believes in the power of words and knowledge, and is known to say “when we learn the lesson, the suffering stops”.   She is now developing and preparing to launch a community wellness coaching business Spring 2021.

May 13

21 min 41 sec

Kevin Diakiw is a Qualified MBSR Teacher through University of Massachusetts  Medical School in Amherst and is also Certified CISM (trauma work) through the Justice Institute of B.C. He is the founder of Still Here Mindfulness Inc. Jas Sandhu is a Substance Use Counselor at Sources in White Rock where he works with many clients incorporating mindfulness into his sessions.  

May 6

49 min 46 sec

Tara began working alongside women in recovery in Ontario more than 8 years ago. She came from a place of having experienced an internal transformation despite living with complex trauma and the shame, behaviours and self- hatred that often go hand in hand. No longer the woman believed least likely to succeed, she was now emanating a powerful sense of hope, confidence, and so much gratitude with a renewal of spirit, soul, and body. This provoked a passion to journey alongside others and share this deep and lasting hope she had found.   She instinctively gravitated to those who hurt, who have been marginalized and who have suffered. This led her to her current work in the DTES of Vancouver BC at Union Gospel Mission. She is the Manager of Women’s Recovery & Housing and is able to strategize to provide women with trauma informed, culturally aware, individualized and accessible care.

Apr 29

37 min 5 sec

Tune in to hear Jody, Erin, and Megala share their unique experiences in volunteering at Avalon Recovery Society. 

Apr 22

26 min 46 sec

George Passmore is currently the Director of Personal & Family Counselling and Support at Sources Community Resources and has managed the Substance Use Services program since 2010 with a strong involvement in the community of White Rock/South Surrey and the larger continuum of substance use services throughout Fraser Health.  As Chair of the Tides of Change Overdose Prevention and Response Community Action Team, he is currently involved in developing a network of support, outreach and system navigation for people using substances, producing overdose awareness videos for people in the trades, and increasing compassionate understanding for first responders.  He has a busy private practice on the side in White Rock and is a proud dad of 3 teenagers.

Apr 15

49 min 53 sec

Jen was born in 1965, adopted by a Caucasian family, at 10 given back to the system. She soon realized if you can't beat them then you should join them. She received her degree in Social Work. After a traumatic event, her career came to a halt and her drinking took over. The next six years were dark. After a two month stay in hospital, she met someone who would bring her to Avalon, she got into a recovery house and her journey began. She is 17 years sober and has an amazing life.

Apr 8

27 min 20 sec

Jean McCarthy is an award-winning blogger, podcast, and the author of 2 books about recovery. She began chronicling her adventures in life-after-alcohol on her first day of sobriety in 2011 in her blog, UnPickled. Every week she holds space for others in recovery as host of the podcast The Bubble Hour. Jean lives in Alberta, Canada.

Apr 1

47 min 19 sec

Kathy has recently celebrated 34 years in recovery. She is a woman who is grateful for her recovery and is a member of Al-Anon and AA.    

Mar 25

28 min 1 sec

Stacy is a mom of 2 beautiful boys, a nurse and has been separated from my spouse for the past 3 years, whom she loves co-parenting with and continue to enjoy a lifelong friendship.  She has been sober for 14 years, and attributes a significant portion of that to Avalon which she had the privilege to help set up when it first came to White Rock. While still sober, She has experienced grief with the loss of loved ones in addiction and without a doubt knows that her continued recovery was through the support of the fellowship, friendships, service, step work, sponsorship and her higher power.  She is a grateful alcoholic and is excited to have the opportunity to share her story with others.  

Mar 18

19 min 28 sec

Stephanie Cadieux was first elected MLA for Surrey-Panorama in 2009, and elected MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale in 2013, re-elected as MLA for Surrey South in 2017, and again re-elected as MLA for Surrey South in 2020.  She currently serves as the Caucus Chair and the Official Opposition Critic for Gender Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion.      She is a member of the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations and served as Vice-Chair of the Committees to appoint the Representative for Children and Youth and the Human Rights Commissioner.  Stephanie served as Minister of Children and Family Development, Minister of Social Development, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government. She also previously held roles as Co-critic for Advanced Education and Finance, and Critic for ICBC.   Stephanie worked with SCI-BC as director of marketing and development and was manager of accessibility for 2010 Legacies Now.  She has been an active community volunteer and was the president of Realwheels Theatre Society, a member of the advisory panel with International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries (ICORD), and a mentor with the YWCA.  

Mar 11

26 min 9 sec

Anne describes herself as once a lover of crack, now is clean, filled with compassion but often drowns in co-dependence, a chameleon, a comic, a creative soul who struggles with connection, crazy quirks and has recently been diagnosed with cancer.  Anne is.....becoming.  

Mar 4

54 min 13 sec

Natasha Roop is a Master’s student in Counselling Psychology at Adler University and is currently completing her Social Justice Practicum with Avalon Recovery Society for the 2020/2021 academic year. Natasha has been working in the field of addiction for many years and is incredibly passionate about helping individuals heal from both trauma and addiction. As a Splatsin First Nations woman, Natasha is also passionate about helping to decolonize the field of counseling.  

Feb 25

21 min 24 sec

Jenn Morrow is the centre manager at our Avalon North Shore, a mother of two, and an active member of recovery.  She is a new addiction counselor and uses those skills to thrive in her work at Avalon. 

Feb 18

25 min 22 sec

A Prince Edward Island native, Michelle has adopted the West Coast and enjoys exploring the natural beauty of British Columbia. Hiking, biking, birdwatching, gardening, cooking, and doing yoga. Michelle "came to" or started her journey in recovery in Edmonton, Alberta in 1987. She is the centre manager at the Vancouver Avalon Centre and loves working with the recovery community.

Feb 11

26 min 7 sec

Shonah Marie is the author of Steady in the Storm, a personal journey of what it was like growing up as a sheltered, fearful and anxious Christian. This background was not the ideal set up for what it would be like to be married to an alcoholic. ⁠

Feb 4

25 min 42 sec

Shelly is a sober mom of three, recovery coach, trainer, mentor and she is currently exploring her indigenous culture. Over the last three years has experienced a life and career shift that has enforced her inner strength and resilience. 

Jan 28

56 min 41 sec

Rosemary Keevil has been a TV news reporter, a current affairs radio show host, managing editor of a professional women’s magazine, and the author of The Art of Losing it.  She has a master’s degree in journalism and is currently a journalist covering addiction and recovery. Rosemary has been clean and sober since 2002.

Jan 21

30 min 48 sec

Leah Strange is the owner of Gratitude and More, author of a series of guided journals, self-published poet, and lover of sobriety and deep conversations. Leah shares her journey of how she found recovery at 25 years old, fueled by sadness and rage. 

Jan 14

29 min 53 sec

Arlene is a clinical counselor who is known for her workshop Finding Freedom Through Forgiveness. In this episode, Arlene shares her recovery story and how she found her freedom.

Dec 2020

31 min 55 sec

Frances Stone is the founder and board president of Mothers Recovery Society, a self-published author, former radio host of Talk Recovery Radio, a Canadian certified addictions counselor, and a mother of three. Frances walks us through her journey of recovery and what inspired her to create Mother's Recovery Society. 

Dec 2020

26 min 40 sec

Rebecca is a woman in recovery, mother, student and Avalon sister. In this episode, she walks us through her recovery journey and the trials and tribulations of being a sober mom. 

Dec 2020

31 min 28 sec

Celeste is the creator of The Ultimate Mom Challenge, a blogger, for andwhatamom.com and is part of The Sober Mom Squad. Listen to her recovery journey as a writer, speaker, and sober mom.

Dec 2020

27 min 44 sec

Jessica Jeboult is the founder of A Sober Girls Guide, a blog, podcast, and recovery community designed to empower women in sobriety. She is an accomplished writer, motivational speaker, coach, and she is currently working with Avalon to help us reach more women recovering from addiction online! 

Nov 2020

21 min 51 sec

Constance is a social activist, a former Vancouver park board commissioner, and a past Board Chair of Avalon Recovery Society. She bravely decided to go public with her addiction in 2009 as an elected official with the City of Vancouver, and following treatment became an active and valued member of the Avalon community.

Nov 2020

24 min 8 sec

Annie McCullough is an inspirational social change advocate whose energy and enthusiasm helped spark the recovery advocacy movement in Canada. Drawing on her vast experience in the health care industry and her expertise in project and event management, Annie shares successful strategies at national and international conferences, delivers workshops and educates local, provincial, and federal governments.

Nov 2020

21 min 52 sec

Join Leanne Utendale every week for honest, open conversations with people and allies in recovery. Please rate, comment, and subscribe so you don't miss an episode. 

Nov 2020

1 min 6 sec