A huge congratulations to Caroline Shaw, Family Worker in South Shields who has been selected as this years winner of the Adfam Gary Seaman Award.

The Gary Seaman Award celebrates outstanding commitment from practitioners (professional or volunteer) supporting families affected by alcohol and drug use. Caroline was nominated for the award by her manager, Colin Carr-Lawton, to acknowledge her commitment and dedication to the role and after receiving the following client feedback:

My life on more than one occasion was beginning to fall apart and crumble before my very eyes due to my sons mental health problems and his addiction to self-medicating when his life became problematic and intolerable. This has been a long term issue for best part of 20 years. We are a well-adjusted family, I have a very demanding job, my son is just a deeply unhappy individual who is very sensitive to life and therefore finds it hard to cope with everyday stresses and struggles and in that 20 year there has barely been a year or two passed by where he has not attempted suicide. We generally try to cope and stay strong as a family but as you can imagine it becomes unbearable at times and stigmatic. We today would not be a family if it were not for the continuous help and support we have received when needed from NECA and their invaluable employees, I myself would possibly be another statistic as I could not of held down my job. My son would not be alive today and my husband/our marriage may not of survived the trials and tribulations without the services NECA have made available to us and their ability to signpost us to other agencies and services that also gave us valuable input and help. Our problem is on-going and without NECA and the network of services they offer I can honestly say we would not of survived the ordeal thus far.

I take my hat off to each and every one of you for the hard work, determination. Commitment and time you give to others which is crucial to our survival as not only as a family but as individuals…”spoken from the heart”

Thank you NECA, thank you Caroline

 Caroline attended the Adfam Carol Concert in London in December where she was presented with her award.



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