'Tina's Haven' launches to helps mums fighting addiction in memory of Sunderland woman Tina Robson

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A new project in memory of a Sunderland mum torn apart from her beloved son by addiction is helping other women facing the same heartache.

Thirty-five-year-old Tina Robson, from Penshaw, was found dead at her flat in Bridgehouse Mission in Stockton in July 2020.

Her son Vinnie was just 11 when she died.

Now Tina’s mum Dr Sue Robson was set up Tina’s Haven in her memory, to provide women separated from their children by trauma-based addiction with holistic and therapeutic nature-based support and learning in a calm, safe, outdoor environment at The Barn in Easington.

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Dr Sue Robson with daughters Louise, Katy and Jamie, at the launch of Tina's Haven.Dr Sue Robson with daughters Louise, Katy and Jamie, at the launch of Tina's Haven.
Dr Sue Robson with daughters Louise, Katy and Jamie, at the launch of Tina's Haven.

Official launch

Tina’s Haven was officially launched with an event at East Durham Trust, which also saw the start of an initial “Field of Hope”, project funded by East Durham Creates.

Field of Hope is introducing a group of women from Addictions North East to Tina’s Haven, through a series of taster sessions.

“Many children are permanently severed from their birthmothers and families through closed adoption because of untreated trauma-based addiction, resulting in lifelong trauma and attachment difficulties,” said Sue.

"It is these circumstances that Tina’s Haven is seeking to transform.”

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Steering group members are highly experienced in addiction recovery, nature-based healing, the treatment of trauma, child-protection and violence against women and girls, while artists Nell Catchpole, Sharon Bailey, and Nicola Balfour are working alongside trauma expert and trainer Ingrid Ford on the project.

“The development of addiction support services has been largely driven by concerns about crime and public safety, and subsequently shaped around the needs of men,” said Sue.

‘Women like Tina are highly vulnerable to risk and danger’

"Addiction services designed to respond to the broad and multifaceted needs of women are rare. As a result, women’s unmet needs become entrenched and ‘complex’.

“Women like Tina are highly vulnerable to risk and danger and their intensifying trauma is frequently misunderstood and untreated.”

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The second phase of the work, funded by Awards for All (Community Fund), seed-funding from Addictions North East, and donations in Tina’s memory, will see women participating in a 12-week “own my life” course.

The nature-based artistic and therapeutic aspects of Tina’s Haven will resume in the Spring. A fundraising page has been established at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tinashaven

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