DrugFAM Newsletter Summer 2019

Dear Friends of DrugFAM,

It’s a while since we have been in touch with you all so it seems appropriate as we are just over half-way through the year to give you a roundup of our news and activities.

Meeting  with Victoria Atkins MP – February 2019

In the spring we met with Victoria at the House of Commons and she has officially endorsed DrugFAM’s work supporting families and significant others.

We also have the opportunity to showcase DrugFAM to the National Mental Health Director of NHS England in August which we are really looking forward to.

Our Helpline

We have been very busy supporting clients on our helpline and our latest evidence shows that last year calls grew by 55% to over 10,000 for the year. 

We have recently secured a grant from John Lewis to fund a new internet based telephone system which we will be installing very soon which will make a huge difference for our callers .

We’ve had a strong start to Quarter 1 this year as we’ve taken 2,400 calls to the end of March. Thank you to everyone who works or volunteers on the helpline and to Gill Owen-Conway who is now our helpline manager.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please look at our website here and send your application to Gill (gill@drugfam.co.uk).

March 2019 – The Play

Adapted from Elizabeth’ s book, the play “Mum, Can You Lend Me Twenty Quid?” has been redeveloped and it now a one-hour production suitable for school timetables or other communities and corporates.

It was launched officially in Borehamwood on Sunday March 10th at Maxwell Park Community Centre.  Over 200 people attended and we raised £800 in donations that afternoon.

If you would like to commission  or sponsor the play for your school or community  performed by “It Is What It Is” Productions, please contact Sophie Tickle directly (sophie@iiwiip.co.uk).

The feedback on the new version is phenomenal as you can read on the flyers.

Support Groups

We have launched a new group in Sandhurst every Sunday morning. 

We have merged our support group in Chesham with our Group in High Wycombe  and details of all our support groups can be found here.

We’re  now actively looking to open a group in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, and also in either Aylesbury, or Milton Keynes.

Text Five

We have launched a new campaign called “Text 5” where Russell Brand has kindly lent his support to our cause.  You can watch his short video here  on our fundraising page.

We have other high-profile celebrities lined up, but we won’t share any names until the video is ready to roll. So please do support Text Five if you would like do donate.

The Bereaved

Our annual conference for those bereaved through drug, or alcohol misuse and related causes with be held on Sat October 12th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Gerrards Cross.

For further details please visit this page.

For those families sadly bereaved through drugs or alcohol we continue with our quarterly Sunday afternoon support groups led by Peter Cartwright our experienced bereaved through addiction counsellor.

Our most recent group, held on 21st July, looked at coping with guilt and was very well attended.   We are going to offer our young bereaved clients a brand new service incorporating more opportunities for them to get together to share thanks to the generosity of the Wates Foundation’s grant – we will keep you updated on this.

Current Fundraisers

Our thanks to  Debbie Walker https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/deborah-walker33 and to Paul Myerscough https://www.justgiving.com/teams/PaulM who are raising funds for us.

Deborah is actually climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for DrugAM  and Paul calls his efforts “I am Crazy”. Do have a look at their stories.

Educational Talks Elizabeth

Sometimes accompanied by Gill, Elizabeth has been round and about speaking in a variety of local Thames Valley Schools and other venues including Claire’s Court School Maidenhead,  BCA 6th Form College Burchetts Green, Gillotts School Henley, Emmbrook School Wokingham, Maiden Erleigh School, Waingels Academy in Woodley and the Scouts in Beaconsfield.

Further afield other schools who have invited Elizabeth to speak are Bolton School for Boys, St Bede’s College Manchester, Stockport Grammar School, Cheadle Hulme School also in Stockport. If you would like to commission a talk in your school or organisation please contact office@drugfam.co.uk 

On Wycombe Sound, the local community radio station, Mimi Harker OBE who hosts her own radio show ‘Mimi Meets’ hosted an hour’s interview about the work DrugFAM does both locally and nationally in May this year.

You can listen to the interview here on ‘Listen Again’ after the news and sport on 2nd June 2019.

This is just a snap-shot into the busy day-to-day life on DrugFAM over the last few months!

THANK YOU to our fantastic frontline team – Steve, Jackie, Dawn, Peter and our Helpline manager Gill, plus all of our lovely, committed and dedicated volunteers who all work so hard seven days a week from 9am to 9pm!

A special thanks to Andrew McBarnett who works so hard to keep us afloat financially and has worked closely to evidence our need for core funding.

He and I have been moving and shaking trying to get even more funds into our bank account and we have an exciting meeting booked with the NHS in August and I will let you know how it goes in the next newsletter.

And finally, welcome to our new Chair of Trustees, Charles Owen-Conway, who joined us in June. You can read about Charles here and if you would like to apply to become a trustee then please contact Charles directly (charles@drugfam.co.uk).

Regards, Elizabeth