A Sunderland wellbeing group has been awarded £500 by a company in support of its work in the community.
FUSHIA, based at Bridge House in the city, was founded through the personal experience of the caring for a chronic heroin addict.
The group supports carers and family members affected by a loved one’s substance misuse.
The project provides art and craft sessions for elderly parents caring for grown up children, some of whom will have returned to the family home after a relationship breakdown brought about through their addiction.
Karyn Jackson, general manager and founder, has had personal experience with the effects of substance abuse on her family.
She said: “In our experience the elderly are exceptionally vulnerable because they find it difficult to grasp the dynamics of addiction, feel shame and/or are overprotective and therefore more easily bullied and manipulated.
“We have evidence of elderly carers going hungry and others spending savings to pay a loved ones’ debts, resulting in depression, anxiety, isolation and poor health. We aim is to prevent this.”
On receiving the £500 Community Support Scheme from Nation-wide utilities company, kinex, Karyn added: “We’re beyond happy and thankful to receive this award contribution, it will give our carers much-needed respite from the daily struggles they face.
“It will go a long way in providing the resources for our craft classes which our carers love so much.”
Any community group or organisation who could benefit from the scheme should email email@example.com