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Funding boost secures support group’s future

A Doncaster-based support group, which provides a lifeline for people coping with a loved one’s alcohol or drug problems, has received a £25,000 funding boost.

Thanks to the funding from the People’s Health Trust through The Health Lottery, Doncaster’s Support 4 Change Carers’ Group has secured its future for the next two years, allowing it to become a charitable incorporated organisation run by its members.

Aspire Drug and Alcohol Services Family Support Manager Sandra Hardy, who provides professional advice and support to the group said: “Addiction has a devastating impact on families and family life, arousing complex emotions, dividing family members and weakening the very foundations upon which family units are built – it’s not a path anyone would willingly choose for their loved one.

“It’s often a shameful secret that’s kept hidden away from friends and colleagues, and can leave people feeling isolated and exhausted.

“Our group offers anyone aged over 18 a safe place to meet others in the same situation and provides them with an outlet to speak openly about their feelings and experiences.”

Support 4 Change meets at Rosslyn House, 41 Thorne Road on Monday evenings, between 6.15pm and 8.15pm. As well as receiving information and education on addiction and recovery, group members can enjoy complementary therapies and day trips out. There’s also an opportunity to take part in one-to-one therapeutic sessions and skills development to help people cope with the stresses and strains that living with addiction can bring.

Group member Sheila Seymour, who is now a trustee said: “I’ve been part of Support 4 Change for over four years and I don’t know how I’d cope if it wasn’t here. It allows me to get completely away from everything for a few hours each week.

“There’s no magic wand to take away what’s happening in our lives, but meeting up with the group means there’s always a shoulder to cry on and advice from someone who’s been there.”

Sheila added: “Support 4 Change has helped me realise I didn’t cause my daughter’s alcohol addiction, I wouldn’t choose it and I can’t control it – but I can learn to live with it thanks to the help of some wonderful people, who have become my lifelong friends.”

The group is open to anyone. People can just go along to a meeting, or can ring a member of the Support 4 Change team for a confidential chat first on (01302) 730956.

Sandra Hardy of Aspire Drug and Alcohol Service (left) pictured with Support 4 Change Group member Sheila Seymour.
Sandra Hardy of Aspire Drug and Alcohol Service (left) pictured with Support 4 Change Group member Sheila Seymour.