It is a regrettable fact that within our local communities across Herts and Essex, there are many members of the population struggling with the pressures of modern-day life. People who are suffering from the effects of crime, deprivation, anti-social behaviour, substance misuse, the effects of wider addiction issues, low income, poverty, unemployment, ill-health, skills and training shortages, housing issues and a feeling of detachment from society.
There are also many risk factors which increase as general well-being decreases. These include risk taking behaviour, substance misuse, mental and physical health, access to employment and training, financial issues and family relationships. These poor outcomes may not only impact the individual, but their children and family as well - and this can have long-lasting effects.
Research has highlighted how good emotional and mental health is fundamental to the quality of life and well-being of individuals, families and communities. It is associated with improved learning, increased participation in community life, reduced risk-taking behaviour and improved health outcomes. However, with local authorities cutting back on statutory funding and counselling being seen as an expensive long-term commodity, these issues are remaining untreated.
Forever Ahead Community's strength lies not only in the words we stand by, but most importantly through the actions of our initiatives. We provide a service that is accessible, donation based (fully funded where needed) and valued by its clients and utilises all aspects of the community. We have a blend of qualified staff, volunteers and placement students.
We work with other agencies and charities to deliver the support our clients need to to ensure that local community life is something they are proud to be a part of.
Although Forever Ahead Community is a new not-for-profit organisation, it proudly boasts a 32 year legacy thanks to The West Essex Alcohol and Drug Service, T/A ADAS, which focussed on providing counselling for those suffering from alcohol or drug addiction issues, before sadly closing in early 2019.
Founder and CEO of Forever Ahead Community Adrian Lee is a former senior manager of ADAS who has around ten years experience of working within the Drug and Alcohol field, however it was at ADAS where he saw first-hand what a difference counselling and recovery support services made to people’s recovery.
Through his experiences at ADAS, from the front desk to the board room to the treatment rooms and the staff room, talking to clients, staff and professionals at other agencies, it became very clear to Adrian that the model, the team and the people who suffer with any form of mental health or well being issue, needed a new home.
In February 2019, Adrian teamed up with former Trustee of ADAS, Paul Harvey to launch The Recovery Community®, trading as Forever Ahead Community.
Co-founder Paul Harvey, a local resident to West Essex and ex-service user of ADAS, who in recovery, completed a course to facilitate groups to give back to the charity and to its service users. Paul felt he owed the charity for the support he received and volunteered as a co-facilitator in groups and also gave talks in schools with regards to his journey to inspire others to reach out and get help and support.
Paul wanted to be a part of this project and give his time as a Trustee to create a service that will broaden the support available in the community that will help more people like himself into recovery and plans to inspire many more volunteers and potential mentors into giving back by helping others.
Forever Ahead Community Board also has representatives with corporate, clinical, civil service and commercial backgrounds. They are bringing these insights and their vast experience together to form a viable, ambitious and dynamic team. The Board and Senior Management team also have access to expert advisors to ensure that the Organisation not only delivers its Objectives, but exceeds them.