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Dear All,

Many of us know someone who has been affected by alcohol or drugs and will know how vital it is that people are able to access timely and effective support when struggling with alcohol and/or drug difficulties. ADAS was established more than 22 years ago in response to a real concern within the Harlow community about the lack of facilities for the treatment of local people with such dependency problems – and this was exacerbated by the closure of a specialised unit at PAH. Over the years,

ADAS has developed into a highly effective and well respected agency that provides a service for the whole of West Essex from Saffron Walden in the North to Waltham Abbey in the South. ADAS
is managed by a board of Trustees under the chairmanship of Dr Shaun Firth. Two of our trustees are ex-service users whose contribution to the continual development of services is highly focussed and much appreciated. We have a team of 88 staff with 82 non-paid volunteers and only two full-time and four part-time paid employees.

ADAS has won several awards including the East of England award for Tackling Drugs and Saving Lives in 2008 for the excellent professional services it provides. The charity provides services for people who regard their main problem as alcohol but may have a secondary problem of non class A drugs (cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy). As well as the Harlow-based service, we have satellite services at Saffron Walden, Thaxted, Dunmow, Ongar and Loughton. We work from GP practices in the villages where transport may be problematic. We are happy to consider expanding services into different areas if premises are available as we believe it is important for people to be able to access services locally.

Alcohol & drug dependency is not always well understood, and the reasons for it are very varied including childhood trauma, abuse, domestic violence, redundancy, breakdown in relationships, anxiety, mental ill health, loss of a loved one – in fact for many of us there is certainly an element of ‘there but for fortune go I’. ADAS was one of the first services in the UK to introduce a service for children affected by parental substance misuse. We have a professional
team delivering specialist services to children and families and referral forms for both the adult and children’s service are available on our website. The variety of services available at ADAS is listed later in the newsletter.

We live in very challenging times and since 2010 our funding has been dramatically reduced by 55% whilst over the last 5 years, the growth in the numbers of people we have treated has increased by an incredible 325%. In this year alone, over 1000 people will have accessed treatment in our alcohol services as well as the day-care, aftercare, and child and family services. The likelihood is that this trend will continue. This agency is certainly one of the most costeffective specialised units in the country.

We are always pleased to talk to other professionals about the services we provide, so please call us to book a presentation from the team. We enjoy an excellent reputation for achieving good outcomes with our client group. We are able to think outside the box and will cut through red tape in order to facilitate change for the individual.

Finance remains our biggest challenge. If you have friends who may be interested in supporting a local charity, perhaps you can encourage them to make a donation or if anybody works for a company that has a charity donation match scheme, then please consider supporting ADAS through sponsorship. We are interested in any fund-raising ideas you have whether it is organising an event or offering support in a voluntary capacity. If you are a public figure whose patronage could benefit the charity please get in touch. Robbie Williams we would be delighted if you wish to do a benefit concert for ADAS!

Service Users meetings take place on the last Thursday of every month at 12pm in our art room — your views are important to us so make sure you attend these meetings. I have been at ADAS for the past 16 years and I feel privileged to have worked with our wonderful courageous client group, many of whom have overcome,

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