A FORMER client of ADAS in Harlow has been waiting for counselling with Phoenix Futures for four weeks and still doesn’t know when he will next be seen.
Eighteen months ago Essex County Council decided it only wanted to fund one charity in the county for people with drug and alcohol problems. ADAS placed a bid to run the service but was unsuccessful and as a result, it closed on March 31. Phoenix Futures now looks after the clients.
However, it appears that the changeover has not been without problems. A previous client of ADAS, who did not wish to be named, said: “I was receiving counselling from ADAS from July, 2018 until late March, 2019.
“I was informed that I would have my next session, which would be the first with Phoenix, the week before Easter. However I never received a call.”
A client, who has struggled with depression, found ADAS counselling sessions helpful and felt mentally stronger after the help he received. Now however, as they don’t have any counselling, they fear that they will go back on the wrong path. They said: “I have been informed that I may not actually have counselling going forward, despite being promised that I would still have the same counsellor at the same time.”
James Armstrong, director of marketing and innovation at Phoenix Futures, said: “We are not aware of any ongoing issues but if the client gets in touch with us, I’m happy to speak to them myself, so that we can look at getting them the support they are looking for.”
Carol Leach, former chairman of ADAS, said: “I’m so disappointed to have been the chair that was tasked with actually closing it down.
“Our staff didn’t lose their jobs. They have been taken to the other organisation and the service will continue to be provided for people with alcohol problems in a different way and not through ADAS.”
Carol said that the most rewarding part in being involved with ADAS was being able to see people recover and know that they had turned their lives around to get back on track.
Our photo shows Harlow MP Robert Halfon centre with Carol Leach, second from the right and ADAS board members.