HUNDREDS of people gathered to celebrate the cathedral blessing of a banner promoting recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

The Recovery Banner, which was paraded in last summer’s Durham Miners’ Gala, was designed by people from the Recovery Academy Durham, the community drugs service and Durham Prison.

It was blessed at Durham Cathedral by the Vice-Dean Canon David Kennedy, following a special service opened by County Durham NHS director of public health Anna Lynch.

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Rev Matthew Tetley, chaplain to Durham Prison, gave a sermon.

Mark Gilman, strategic recovery lead at the National Treatment Agency, said: “The blessing of this banner is testament to the power of that community (the Recovery Academy) and provides an inspiration for people to begin their journey to recovery in County Durham.”