People in Filton and Patchway who have a child, partner or relative with drink or drug problems can get help from a new local service.
The West Country-based charity Developing Health and Independence (DHI) is running a support group and one-to-one counselling sessions for local families.
The support group, called Families Also Matter, meets at the Sure Start Centre in Epney Close, Patchway, on Thursday evenings, and the counselling is held on Thursday and Friday at the Patchway Clinic in Thirlmere Road.
Anyone who wishes to take part should contact Esther Harris, Service Coordinator, at Families Also Matter, on 01454 868 750; Freephone 0800 0733011.
“The trauma that parents can go through when their child has problems with drink or drugs can be enormous,”
said Ms Harris.
“It’s very important that we can offer people help locally so that it’s easy to get to meetings and people can meet outside of groups if they wish.”
The service was set up because the nearest Families Also Matter meeting was in Yate, which can be difficult to reach by public transport from Patchway. One family member said:
“I wouldn’t be able to get to a group if I had to travel by bus.”
And another said:
“Being in the local area, we can support each other outside the group.”
The support group and counselling are part of a range of services available to families in the area. Other include the Southern Brooks Community Partnership, a community organisation that has been running for over 20 years, providing services for children, young people and families in Patchway, Filton, Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford. Its services include staff who work with local families who feel they need support, and with children aged 8 to 12 at risk of exclusion. It is based at the Coniston Community Centre. See www.sbcommunitypartnership.org.uk for further details.
Other local services for families include the Patchway Sure Start Children’s Centre, in Epney Close, which is managed by South Gloucestershire Council. This works with parents-to-be and parents of children under five to help them give their children the best start in life. Also based locally is the Young Carers Family Support, which helps 8 to 18 year-olds affected by substance abuse in the family. It can be contacted at: www.prtcarerscentre.org.uk.