On 10th October, Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge met with service users and staff during a one hour visit to the CRI Recovery Service in William Street, Stockton. Specifically, Her Royal Highness was keen to talk to families who have benefited from Action on Addiction's M-PACT (Moving Parents and Children Together) programme, which has been successfully introduced by CRI in Stockton.
During her visit, the Duchess of Cambridge was shown around the William Street facility and chatted to staff about their work and their commitment to providing whole families with the stability, support and structure they need for their journeys to recovery.
Tracey Harrison, CRI Team Leader, said: "The Duchess of Cambridge was really interested in the way we are helping these families relate more with one another and get their lives back on track. She asked some very perceptive questions which showed she had a strong concern for the problems these families face. Everyone was tremendously excited by the visit, especially the families that met with her."
The CRI Stockton Recovery Service supports people over 18 years old who are using drugs. The service offers tailored support for people using drugs at all stages, including harm reduction, criminal justice, a structured day programme, aftercare and stimulant specific support. It also offers a dedicated family service to support families affected by parental drug use, working with the parents, carers, children and any young carers.
The M-PACT programme is an eight week intervention that takes a 'whole family' approach to tackling addiction, where different families come together once a week. Children and parents work together, and separately, with four specially trained facilitators on a variety of activities and tasks. The M-PACT programme shows children of addicted parents that they are not alone and that their voice is important while strengthening family bonds and putting in place practical measures to avoid further harm.
Nick Barton, Chief Executive of Action on Addiction, said: "Addiction doesn't just affect the individual, it can have a devastating impact on those around them. That's why our families programmes devised by Families Plus are such an important part of our work. We are pleased that the Duchess has taken a keen interest in this area, and it was incredibly informative for her to meet families who had participated in M-PACT first hand and hear their stories of addiction and recovery and working together.
"CRI Stockton is a fantastic best practice example of how our M-PACT programme is delivered. Referring families to this programme from their other family services has been very successful. We need more organisations like CRI Stockton to understand the importance of the holistic, whole-family approach taken by M-PACT."
View photos from the Duchess' visit
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