Q. If people decide to abuse alcohol or substances or continue in abusive relationships, how should we help?
A. Of course, misusing drugs or alcohol, or carrying on with any kind of destructive behaviour is not the cleverest thing to do, but it happens for all sorts of reasons including being supplied under duress to bring people under control for exploitation. We have all been in difficult situations and made bad decisions, where we have needed someone else to offer a helping and supportive hand. We don’t see people who abuse drugs and alcohol, but we see people who are under the control of the items that now abuse them. In such circumstances, the family becomes dysfunctional and children are negatively affected. Our conviction and experience is that given the desire to break the addiction/unhelpful behaviours, the person can work towards fulfilling life. We take the view that we didn’t deserve the sacrifice that Christ made for us, but He made it nonetheless and we are simply following His example and instruction to love our neighbour as ourselves.
Q. Is it better for children to stay with their mother during her recovery or does distract from recovery?
A. Every woman who comes through recovery has considerable changes to make over a lengthy period in some cases and when she has to be separated from her children the distress caused can be counterproductive. If the relationship is positive and the mother able to meet the needs of the child, the child is unlikely to benefit from being separated and placed with people they do not know – social workers are able to assess is best for the child. During rehabilitation Mum continues to care for her children, she can cook and wash for them as normal and together they manage the change process. When Mum finally leaves recovery and has a place of her own it is a more gentle transition and she isn’t faced with the anxiety of trying to get her children back. During the whole experience from beginning to end, Mum is encouraged to be with and share with her children and support is always present to help her parenting skills and coping mechanisms.
Q. Who can refer someone to GNFC?
A. Basically, anyone can refer to each level of service – including the individual themselves. Often it will be Social Services, but if you feel you or someone you know has a need, talk to us. See the referral page, phone us on 01298 24761 or email us for more information.
Q. If I’m struggling with addiction, or in an abusive relationship, how do I know that it’s time for my situation to change?
A. We belive that nobody deserves to be bound up by addiction, held in abusive situations or treated in a way that de-values them. We are always ready to support people out of these situations. We ask that people who come to GNFC are ready to commit and make the changes needed and engage with the support and advice offered by staff.
Q. Who is eligable to access services?
A. It depends what service the person is wanting to access. For example, women can be referred for residential support in the Recovery Centre or Family Centre. Basically, if women are in difficult situations needing medium-high level complex needs, we may be able to help. Hurt people, hurt people and we try, with God’s help to heal the hurt. We don’t make judgements, everyone is loved and given a level playing field. Sometimes the journey is hard and can be two steps forward and one step backward, we accept that this struggle exists and encourage toward the next step forward. See the referral page, phone us on 01298 24761 or email us for more information.
At present we do not have residential support for men. Men and women can be referred to the Work-skills projects, where they can access support alongside developing a wide range of skills on the farm. For more information see the Work-skills projects page or contact Hazel Guest or Matthew Preston on 01298 24761.
Q. Do you only help Christians?
A. No, anyone who needs our help and desires to be helped is welcomed and treated equally. We make ourselves available to talk about God and pray if people want it, but never force people to have a particular belief. We just do what Jesus did and asked His disciples to do, ‘to love our neighbour as ourselves’, He made it very clear that our neighbour is anyone near us. If our actions of care and love challenge and lead people to our God so be it, but we don’t put any pressure on anyone. We lead, not push and demonstrate God’s love by our actions, rather than talk about it.