DrugFAM’s team of dedicated volunteers are an essential part of the charity. They provide key support across all our activities including; working on the helpline, facilitating support groups, fundraising and office support.
I have been involved with fundraising for DrugFAM since 2008 and became Fundraising Trustee in 2012. I have a background in marketing and advertising, and have worked with a variety of UK multinationals, was Marketing Director for Avis, and ran my own strategic marketing consultancy. My objectives are to raise the profile of DrugFAM nationally and develop a comprehensive fundraising programme that enables DrugFAM to meet the needs of those families that need our help. I oversee the delivery of fundraising activities, from our Events Programme through to unique fundraising initiatives such as those in schools and prisons and I help drive our grant applications. Every fundraising activity, big or small, from a Summer Ball to a coffee morning helps us to help vulnerable families and no fundraising would be possible without all the volunteers and supporters who give their time to make our fundraising ideas a reality and to whom we are so grateful.
My background has been in the nursing profession for over 25 years, which I enjoyed very much. I first became involved with DrugFAM nearly two years ago, when I called the office in a somewhat desperate state following the discovery of a family member’s serious drug use.
The kindness, empathy and understanding I received from DrugFAM at this time was invaluable. I started attending a support group and with a mixture of the group, telephone and one-to-one counselling I found myself getting stronger little by little. DrugFAM helped me cope with a heartbreaking situation.
Now through my experience I want to help other families and give them the strength they need to carry on with their own lives. I volunteer in the North of England in Prescot.
Prime Minister Thresa May awarded Karen Golden the "Point of Light Award "for voluntary services to DrugFAM in 2017. This was presented at Downing Street during a reception hosted by the PM in recognition of the charity’s achievements .
This award was introduced in the USA by President Obama and adopted David Cameron when he was PM
I came to DrugFAM as a family member who didn’t know where to turn and I felt completely overwhelmed by my loved ones’ alcohol addiction. Through using the helpline and attending a group I felt relief and acceptance. I was finally speaking to people who understood, who just listened, who didn’t judge, who offered comfort and who acknowledged that my feelings were valid and I was valued.
I love being able to volunteer which allows me to give back in some small way. DrugFAM is a lifeline to those struggling to cope with a loved ones’ addiction and without them I don’t think I would have gotten through one of the most challenging times in my life. DrugFAM understands and are here to listen.
Sophie is an accomplished North West based performer, facilitator, theatre maker, project manager and choreographer and works across the UK. In the last two years Sophie has; received G4A funding to create ‘Monday’ a pop up solo performance as part of Hope Street Ltd’s On The verge festival; and has managed and developed Orbit for inclusive dance company Dancesyndrome, which has also been supported by the Arts Council.
Sophie has worked for DrugFAM since 2012, performing in ‘Mum Can You Lend Me £20’ and delivering their young people’s bereavement project. She regularly delivers arts projects for companies who provide arts programs for those with disabilities; and manages a number of funded projects.
Sheila is retired from paid employment. Her personal circumstances include coping with members of her family with substance-misuse habits. She feels that her experience has become a gift – if she can come through, then she can help others to step out of the pit of despair too, through the support offered by DrugFAM.
Her experience includes instruction in counselling practices and theories, though she has never practised as a counsellor. She has worked since 2009 as a facilitator for DrugFAM support groups, having previously joined a predecessor support network as its client, where she first met Elizabeth, DrugFAM’s founder. She also took over the editorship of the DrugFAM newsletter, FAMfare, in 2013.
Sheila believes that adversity is the best tool for honing the senses of humour, fun and adventure.
Sheila is a facilitator at the Swallowfield Support Group.
As a result of family trauma living with alcoholism and receiving specific family treatment, a startling experience in the night empowered me to create the Renewal Centre for this purpose – self-built and self-funded – in Swallowfield RG7 1TJ. Our family has been profoundly affected. I was fortunate to be directed to a self-help group by an enlightened addictions psychiatrist over 30 years ago, which I continue to attend regularly. I have experience of death and recovery as a result. It is my life’s purpose and pioneering vision.
I am a retired Office Manager and have been volunteering with DrugFAM since January 2016. My youngest son has had an issue with smoking cannabis for the past 10 years. I really understand the devastating effects that this can cause families. When I was asked to be a co-facilitator for a new DrugFAM group locally in Borehamwood, I jumped at the chance to help other families and give them strength to carry on with their own lives.
I am now retired after a career in supporting people with mental health issues. I have for the past 35 years been supporting families who have been affected by addictions.
I joined DrugFAM as a volunteer support group facilitator for Borehamwood. I am passionate about giving back to the community.
I have been blessed with five terrific daughters and I live in the Cotswolds with my youngest child and our delinquent Dachshund, Lola. I have had the misfortune of living with one abusive substance misuser or another for twenty years. I discovered DrugFAM by accident when I phoned a local drug and alcohol abuse service begging for help for my then partner. I started to attend the support group in Witney in 2016 and the help and support that I received from DrugFAM was life changing. I understand only too well the pain of seeing a loved one choose the chaos of drink and drugs over health, recovery and a loving family. I now volunteer on the helpline so that I can share some of the strength and unwavering support that DrugFAM gave to me with others in a desperate situation.
Peter has worked with families affected by drug and alcohol use since 1999, mostly for the national charity Adfam. Peter also has a particular interest in bereavement through working as a specialist bereavement counsellor. Over the last six years these strands of his career have come together through his work on drug and alcohol related bereavements. This has entailed chairing a national working group that produced a set of good practice guidelines for any professional or worker who come into contact with a bereaved person through their work. He works with DrugFAM to train their staff and volunteers about supporting bereaved people, he contributed to the writing of their bereavement booklet, and facilitates the quarterly bereavement support group. He is currently writing a book on how to support people bereaved through a drug or alcohol related death, which is due for publication in 2018.
Chris is a retired chartered civil engineer and woodworker, married, with two adult sons. He has a passion for making friends and has been involved with DrugFAM since 2017. In his spare time he enjoys reading, walking, and listening to music.