In Coronavirus Funding Impact Stories, Funding Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety

Project: Supporting the families and friends of those living with addiction through the coronavirus crisis
Grant: £5,000
Fund: NET Coronavirus Appeal (more info)

Set up by Elizabeth Burton-Phillips who lost her son Nick to heroin addiction in 2004, DrugFAM‘s primary purpose is to provide a lifeline to families, friends and partners affected by someone else’s addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and those who have been bereaved by substance misuse.

The organisation aims to ensure that family members, friends and loved ones of addicts are listened to, understood and supported.

With their £5,000 grant from the NET Coronavirus Appeal, DrugFAM have been able to continue their vital support in new ways, offering virtual 1-1s and group sessions for those who love someone with addiction.

“Heart of Bucks has enabled DrugFAM to continue its support to desperate families who live with the addiction of others through their use of drugs or alcohol”, said Charles Owen-Conway, Chair of Trustees.

“The present crisis has also increased dramatically the extent of domestic abuse within the family setting fueled by an inability of the addict to satisfy their cravings.

“[The grant] has allowed us to move to a completely ‘virtual support’ process. We can now support our existing and new clients fully by way of group meetings and one-to-one visual interaction, as well as by telephone and email.

“We have been able to invest in new and updated technology, both hardware and software, which in turn demands considerably more technical background support which has come at a significant cost to the charity”.

When we asked Charles Owen-Conway what he thinks about how the local community is responding to this crisis, he shared that the response has been “frankly amazing”:

“The speed of assistance and inter-agency cooperation has been outstanding as very clearly demonstrated by Heart of Bucks. Thank you to them”.