More funding has been secured from the Selby District Community Safety Partnership for the continuation of the GASPED (Group Awareness and Support for Parents Encountering Drugs) project; an innovative scheme to help parents and carers deal with loved ones who are experiencing substance misuse problems.
The extra funding will enable to project to further develop, after a successful pilot that has been running in the Selby area since the beginning of February 2004. A 24-hour helpline has been set-up, alongside monthly family and carer group meetings (meeting fortnightly from September), one-to-one counselling and complementary therapy services.
The GASPED project has been running in other parts of Yorkshire for a number of years. The project's founder, Kristine Smith, said:
"We offer a caring and supportive approach for parents, families and carers of loved ones involved in substance use and misuse, at what can often be an extremely challenging time for them. Everyone involved in GASPED understands the guilt, pain, stigma and shame carers have to deal with on a daily basis, we therefore base all our services on the individual needs of families and carers.
"I am delighted that we have been able to secure more funding from the Selby District Community Safety Partnership to build on the good work we have been able to undertake in the Selby area."
Chief Executive of Selby District Council, Martin Connor, added:
"One of the key priorities of the Community Safety Partnership is to tackle the issue of drugs and substance misuse. Although the Selby district is a low-crime area, we are not immune to the affects of substance misuse; it is an issue that affects communities across the country…
"The GASPED project has proved to be a valuable tool for parents, families and carers; I would like to thank all those working on the project for their hard work in setting up this scheme."
Selby District Council's representative on the Drug and Alcohol Reference Group, Cllr. Wally Norton, added:
"The Community Safety Partnership works to improve the quality of life for those who live and work in the district. This means we are committed to supporting initiatives like the GASPED project, which offers parents and carers help tailored to the individual needs of families. We all realise the issues substance misuse can cause, so it is therefore a top priority for the Community Safety Partnership."
The 24-hour confidential GASPED helpline number is 0845 1460 002.
Anyone wanting information about how to get involved in the GASPED project should contact Kristine Smith on (01924) 787501, or Selby District Council's Community Safety Co-ordinator, Stuart Younger on (01757) 292151.