Change Grow Live – health and social care charity

Launch of new Women’s Pathway at CGL New Direction - Lewisham

group of women in front of building

Launch of new Women’s Pathway at CGL New Direction - Lewisham

13 March 2018

2018 is being heralded as the ‘Year of the Woman’ with a range of political and social movements towards recognition of gender equality. On International Women’s Day (8th March), CGL New Direction in Lewisham launched their dedicated women’s pathway, highlighting a commitment to providing a safe, supportive and confidential environment for women in recovery. The launch was attended by guest speakers, members of staff and female service users, all of whom have a special interest in supporting women to engage in treatment.

Heidi Alexander (Labour MP for Lewisham East) attended the event and noted that this year marked the 100th anniversary of women having the right to vote. Since then there has been much progress within all aspects of society and women continue to contribute their ideas, passion and experience to make a difference within our communities.

Jo (domestic violence survivor) bravely and honestly gave an account of her journey, her commitment to and her passion for encouraging other women to seek support. Although the situation proved stressful and at times it was a struggle, her tenacity and determination enables her to continue on. The room was silent when she spoke, heads nodded, tears fell and people identified with her story. Jo’s speech was powerful and insightful, confirming the positive role of a women’s space to help connect people together.

Women have often been underrepresented within drug and alcohol treatment services, representing 31% of people in treatment (Public Health England, 2017). New Direction has stepped forward and made a commitment to bring women to the centre of the service, ensuring that they have every opportunity to access the necessary support as part of their recovery journey.

Addressing substance misuse, and what lies beneath it, is no easy task. To address it, you must peel back the layers and expose the hurt and pain that led to it. Having an environment to do this in is key to committing to it, and having the support of peers around you proves to be a powerful support network. While the building in Lewisham has been developed to create a physical space for this work, it is the staff and their commitment who achieve this.

Roisin Horan (Recovery Worker), along with Sherrie Hoare (Team Leader) have led the women’s pathway in the service. Roisin’s dedication to the women’s group and those who attend it is commendable, and what’s more, she does it without any prompting. The impact this group has had on service users is evident and being able to provide this in a dedicated, all-female space will only enhance the effectiveness of the service to engage more women into treatment.

CGL New Direction not only celebrates women during International Women’s Day, we also celebrate them throughout the year and this new women’s pathway will support this work further.

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement” (Golda Meir)

For more information about the women’s pathway, to access support or to simply ask questions, please contact the service – nd.referrals@cgl.org.uk or call 0208 314 5566.