Wakefield charity GASPED receives a lifeline from Spectrum

Spectrum Community Health CIC has extended a lifeline to GASPED, a highly regarded Wakefield-based charity which supports the families of people affected by drug and/or alcohol misuse. GASPED had been facing closure following a significant reduction in the funding it receives.

Under the new partnership arrangement, GASPED will see funding secured for a further 18 months from 1st October 2018. Spectrum, a not-for-profit social enterprise which also has its roots in Wakefield, provides a number of substance misuse services across the north of England: Wakefield, North Yorkshire, York, County Durham, South Tyneside and within a number of health and justice settings. Spectrum also leads the Wakefield-arm of the Big Lottery-funded West Yorkshire Finding Independence project, which is aimed at supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the district.

Supporting vulnerable people

Dr. Linda Harris, Chief Executive of Spectrum Community Health CIC, said:

“GASPED is a much-loved charity with local roots which delivers support to vulnerable families and in so doing, shines a much-needed light on the plight of parents and families who are tackling the impact of substance misuse and its wider ramifications both in the home and the wider community. Spectrum CIC is proud to be supporting GASPED and is making an immediate investment into the charity, which will be immediately be put to good use, allowing the organisation to maintain ‘business as usual’ for their beneficiaries and enabling it to continue to deliver its vital community work.

“GASPED complements Spectrum’s substance misuse services and we will be working closely with their small team of expert counsellors who, along with their established network of skilled volunteers, deliver evidence-based care and support for a population that Spectrum and our established partners already reach out to.”

GASPED (Greater Awareness and Support for People Encountering Drugs) was founded in 1995 by Kristine Smith whose son was both heroin and alcohol-dependent. The organisation started as a small support group in Kristine’s living room and grew to becoming a registered charity in June 1998. The organisation provides evidence-based, person-centred counselling support that includes access to round-the-clock help and advice.

GASPED’s services include:

  • A 24-hour confidential helpline – 0845 146 0002
  • Drop-in service for people who need help and support immediately
  • Person-centered counselling
  • Complementary therapies
  • Respite days out
  • Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique and Nero Linguistic Programming
  • A network of family and carer community-based support groups
  • Family Prison Support Service
  • Family community rehab supporting families whilst their loved one undertakes a community detox.
  • Training in life and coping skills

Spectrum and GASPED have had a longstanding working alliance, already working together on a number of drug and alcohol care pathways through a variety of services and wellbeing programmes across the Wakefield District.

Stan Foster, Operations Manager at GASPED, said: “We are extremely grateful that Spectrum have stepped in and ensured that many families and individuals benefit from our support. GASPED has a fantastic reputation in Wakefield, reaching out to some of the most deprived areas in the district. We can now continue to deliver a unique service to parents, partners, families and carers who care for or are affected by a loved one’s drug and/or alcohol misuse.

“Spectrum and GASPED will soon be announcing a programme of developments for parents and families affected by substance misuse and other traumatic events. We can see many opportunities for our partnership.”