Woodford Green rehab remains open providing a ‘fantastic’ service for the community
PUBLISHED: 15:45 28 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:45 28 April 2016
A rehab centre, set up by a mother and daughter after addiction destroyed their family, goes on after winning the fight to stay open.
Independent charity One North East (1NE), The Broadway, Woodford Green, lost its contract from Redbridge Council to national provider Blenheim last year.
It was supported by Russell Brand, an advocate of abstinent-based treatments, in a campaign to keep the 30-year-old service in the community.
“We are by no means closed” said co-founder Fiona Dunwoodie. “If you want to stop, 1NE is the way to go. We are purely abstinent, no drugs, no harm reduction.
“They presumed we lost the contract and lost the service.”
The charity survived after Fiona gained much needed funds from Comic Relief and other charities to add to the £27,000 raised with the help of Brand.
Woodford Green MP, Iain Duncan Smith called the service “a fantastic organisation with a success rate like no other”.
He said: “What is particularly special about One North East is that it is user friendly for the local community and offers outstanding support for relatives.”
By treating addiction as a family illness, the charity not only helps addicts and alcoholics, it provides a free service to teenagers and relatives of the substance misuser.
The young persons service run by Jane Clack and aimed at 12 to 21-year-olds, run is also branching into schools.
Jane said: “Addiction in the family can lead to young people being isolated and it can affect homework.”
A learning mentor said: “Without this support I do not believe that many of these pupils would have made the progress they have.”
1NE has managed to bounce back from two major threats to its service, the first when the charity was based in Walthamstow and called Working at Continuous Sobriety (WACS).
“When we lost WACS to Turning Point it was absolutely devastating. We was not expecting it. We were running such a brilliant service and had gained the respect of professionals,” said Fiona.
“When we lost the contract to Blenheim it wasn’t a shock. Independent services are getting swallowed up by these big name supermarkets and small shops.”
What seemed as a threat has now turned into a silver lining for the charity which was serving the Woodbridge, Redbridge, Waltham Forest and Epping areas.
“At last, we are not borough bound,” added Fiona. “We have freedom and in that way it is wonderful to be free from the restriction of the local authority.”
People kept telling me I drank too much
“Two weeks ago I celebrated three years sobriety.
“It was wonderful and felt so good,” said Janet aged 57 from Woodford Green.
“I didn’t ever think I would get that. I thought I would be drinking for ever and ever.”
Janet had her first taste of sherry after taking a sip from her mother’s cup aged four.
“I really liked it,” she said. “I then started sneaking it and by aged 10 I was drinking out of a bottle.”
The mother-of-one discovered 1NE from her GP.
“I went to the doctor one day and said people keep telling me I drink too much.
“My doctor said she wouldn’t think that of me. She asked how much and I lied, I said a few glasses a few times a week.
“She did a blood test and said she couldn’t believe that I was still walking around.”
Describing her first experience of 1NE, Janet said: “Jo (who has sadly died) was the first person I met, she was so kind to me, I was so scared.
“Everyone there was so kind, they made me feel special like I was the only person that was important at that moment.
“They said we can help you. I went in on a Wednesday and started the following Monday.”
Although it took a while for Janet to commit she was always welcomed back.
She said: “Without 1NE I absolutely would be dead.
“I am divorced now but my son is so supportive. I am just so happy.”
Mum Maxine on a mission to break the cycle of addiction
The 1NE Relatives Service has provided a much valued and needed service to family members who are often overlooked by big brand treatment services.
“I needed someone to talk to desperately, to make sense of what was going on in my mind,” said mum-of-two Maxine Gargan, 45.
“Addiction ran in my family and I had chosen partners who suffered from it too.
“I looked all right on the outside but inside myself it was a different story.”
Like many adult children of alcoholics, Maxine found herself being overly responsible for other people and filled with shame and anxiety.
“I tried to make things better but found that I couldn’t,” she said.
“I realised I needed help and wanted to break the cycle as I had two children myself.”
Maxine researched what help was available and came across 1NE.
“I started having one-to-one counselling with the relatives service and it was like being held down under water and coming up for air,” she said.
“It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
“They helped me establish boundaries and learn how to be my own person.
“I now take responsibility for my own life and can choose healthy relationships.”
Relatives counsellor Joan Parsons said: “When relatives access counselling for themselves, the whole family benefits.”