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 Biggleswade Deanery

Diocese of St Albans

A partly rural deanery, with a tradition of joint worship and an active synod.

Diocese of St Albans

News from The Living Room, St Albans
Biggleswade Deanery Synod Project 2013

We were all delighted that The Deanery had decided to choose The Living Room as their charity of the year in 2013.

Opening its doors in May 2000 and established by Janis Feely MBE, with the support of Churches Together in Stevenage, The Living Room provides structured day treatment for those with addictions and support for the whole family.

Since that time, over two and half thousand people have passed through our doors and many hundreds of people have left free of addiction with the support networks that they need to sustain their recovery.

At The Living Room we have always supported the family and children of those who are in recovery and run an on-site Crèche and Family support service from our Stevenage Centre. Unlike many centres we treat all addictions, not just alcohol and drugs, but also behavioural addictions such as problem gambling, disordered eating, spending and obsessive love. Due to the local uniqueness of our services people travel many miles to attend our services, from across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, North London and Essex.

It was in 2011 that one of our ex-family group members approached us with the idea of opening a new recovery centre in St Albans, noting that many people travel to us from the south and west of Hertfordshire as well from Luton. Since then we have worked with people from local churches and won funding for a scaled down new project in St Albans (opening in November 2012). We will be providing four days a week group therapy for all addictions and one day a week for family support groups.

It is our plan to scale these services up at the end of the first year of operations (October 2013) so that we can run two simultaneous groups and better meet the wide variety of addictions faced by our clients and also ensure a five day a week service is available for those with addictions. In our experience therapy is more effective if we can also provide ancillary groups for specific addictions. This foster identification between clients who are able to discuss specific issues in more depth associated with an addiction in more depth.

We will use the funding awarded by The Deanery toward covering the capital costs associated with taking on an extra group counselling room in 2013, which includes group room furniture and resources such as whiteboards.

We would like to thank the deanery for supporting us in this endeavour - which will help bring recovery to more families in the coming years.

Simon Bloomfield, Funding and Development Manager
November 2012

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