Substance misuse project awarded almost £400,000

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A charity which supports people affected by drug, alcohol and solvent abuse has received funding of almost £400,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Escape Family Support based in Bondicar Terrace, Blyth, was awarded £390,070 to extend its support to families, children and carers of people who misuse substances in rural areas of the county.

Escape’s chief executive Janet Murphy set up the organisation in February 1995 after her 16-year-old daughter Jennie died from methadone and Valium poisoning.

Janet felt that there were no services available to families either dealing with a young person using drugs or who had suffered a bereavement through substance misuse.

This compelled her to setup Escape, with the help of a local social worker.

In just two years Escape became a registered charity with national recognition and branches across the county.

Back in December it also received £110,000 from the Northern Rock Foundation.

Janet said: “It’s fantastic news at a time of great change for Escape that the Big Lottery and Northern Rock Foundation funding will guarantee the provision of specialist county-wide services to the families and carers of substance users, bringing an increase in family team staffing to support residents in the rural west and north.

“The support services we offer are unique to Escape and there is a growing demand for them.

“Escape hasalways believed in holistic family support and despite the great disappointment in losing our contracts with Northumberland County Council for tier two and three service provision, including structured day care; services which we previously delivered directly to drug and alcohol users, the core of our work goes on and it will continue to grow throughout the entire county and we are here to stay”.

“We strongly believe that family support and interventions should be included in future commissioning and we are hugely relieved that charitable funding once again enables us to provide this invaluable support to residents across the county whose lives are negatively impacted by a loved one’s substance use for the next three years.”