Amidst the uncertainty and turmoil of the COVID-19 outbreak, one thing has become particularly clear across many sectors of society, including the field of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery – we are stronger when we are united, more effective when we collaborate, and better equipped to respond to unprecedented challenges when we come together to focus on the people who need our support.
That is why we are delighted to announce that We Are With You is today joining Collective Voice, bringing a rich array of frontline expertise and policy knowledge with it. We Are With You, formerly known as Addaction, was founded in 1967 as an association of parents of people with substance misuse problems. Today, the organisation provides free and confidential support without judgement to more than 100,000 people experiencing issues with drugs, alcohol or mental health every year in 120 locations across England and Scotland.
The charity is led by Acting Chief Executive Laura Bunt who will join the Collective Voice board. Laura said:
“Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, our research showed that one in six people across England and Scotland had a personal experience of issues with drugs, alcohol, mental health or self-harm, but millions were struggling alone. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we could see this number increase as people self-isolate and can’t make the connections or access the support networks that can help them achieve their goals. It’s important that we come together as a sector during this time to learn from each other, adapt and improve the ways that we are currently working. In addition, by working together with other organisations we can raise more awareness and better influence the national conversation around drugs, alcohol and mental health to make it as easy as possible for more people to take the first step in getting support.”
Collective Voice Chair Paul Townsley (Chief Executive of Humankind) said:
“It’s now more important than ever before that we collaborate. The trustees and I warmly welcome We Are With You into the Collective Voice alliance as we enter a new chapter for drug and alcohol treatment and recovery – and society itself. We Are With You bring over 50 years’ experience in our field and all at Collective Voice look forward to working with them to improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”