Our mission is to provide genuine opportunities for life improvement and enrichment for any person or community where substance use has been a problem. We see the complex relationship between drugs or alcohol and mental health, trauma, domestic violence, homelessness and offending and recognise that there are no quick fixes.
Our vision is for realistic and meaningful alternatives to substance use and related issues. We want to see effective support for the different communities affected by drugs and alcohol, that enables sustainable change, through practical learning, personal growth and social engagement leading to long term employment or other rewarding occupations. We want to see improved services and aftercare with diverse user groups at the centre of this.
From our own lived experience we know the importance of installing hope, of not giving up on people, of inviting self-curiosity, of working together to amplify unheard voices. We recognise nuance, support courage and offer a secure base with the freedom to fail. Seeds of change can take time to germinate, and we will offer the conditions that allow for growth.
Linda is a founding member of Inspirit and has been facilitating learning and development in the substance misuse field since1994. She is interested in power, how it can be used, held, developed, negotiated and shared and her passionate question is ‘How best to support humans and communities to grow or develop together for inclusive mutual benefit?’ She is studying for an MA in counselling and psychotherapy at UEL.
I started working in the Drugs and Alcohol field about 20 years ago, starting as a volunteer and went on to gain paid employment at various mainstream voluntary sector Drug and Alcohol services. I have worked with a variety of cohorts over the years, criminal justice, community open access services, young people specific services, and in different roles.
I have always been passionate about supporting people and have always taken my role and responsibilities in that very conscientiously. Always seeking ways to improve myself personally and professionally and ways to improve how I engage and work with people, but I didn’t always feel that my environments have had the same agenda or expectation’s.
I joined Inspirit in December 2016 as I felt that I had found an environment that lives its values and fits my ethos of valuing its service users, staff and all that they come into contact with. Suzanne recently became a qualified counsellor.
Alan is a member of Inspirit and was the operational facilitator for the Patient & Public Participation project which ended in December 2020. Alan’s first lead role was with the Haringey drug & alcohol services tendering process and spent time supporting current service users to lead co-production projects. Alan had his own lived experience of the justice system and took part in the Inspirit Diploma in 2016 and the Inspirit Group Facilitation training in 2017. He is no longer working with Inspirit, instead he works in Haringey on a project helping homeless people in supported accommodation. We miss him!
Founder member and trustee of Inspirit.
Frankie is a qualified therapist and trainer with a background in substance misuse.
He coordinates and facilitates some of the projects Inspirit are commissioned to deliver and specializes In delivering Motivational Interviewing Training and Co-production. Frankie also manages the development of Inspirit’s accreditation work.
Mark is a member of Inspirit and former media, communications and training lead for the Patient and Public Participation (PPP) subgroup, which is a reflection of his interests in the subject for which he gained an honours award.
Mark has now left the PPP project that ended in December 2020. We miss him!
In his other lives, he is a theatre-based workshop practitioner specialising in ‘at risk’ groups, a charity trustee and the drummer in a youth-focused band.
Sherise was the PPP Coordinator at Inspirit before the project closed in December 2020.
She joined Inspirit feeling incredibly aligned with their ethos, “People don’t need to be saved or rescued – people need knowledge of their own power and how to access it.”
She brings her own personal experience in the drugs and alcohol field and has recently qualified as a Spiritual Counsellor with the view to continue to support people in developing their own power and fulfilling their potential.
Bex is a member of Inspirit and has worked in the social sector since 2009. A light lit up when she was first trained in group facilitation in 2012 by Carol and Linda, and she has now gone on to deliver group facilitation training for Inspirit and in Mumbai, India. She is working towards training as an integrative therapist. Bex is particularly interested in the use of metaphor in social and group communication.
Sadly, our friend and colleague Gary died in September 2019, RIP. He had this to say about joining Inspirit:
“I was a service user when I was first taken to one of Inspirit’s classes, I had been in and out of services for many years, but Inspirit was the first time I felt listened to heard and valued as a person. It wasn’t always easy and quite uncomfortable at times, but Inspirit gave me the chance to learn. I did the courses they offered and for the first time with support, guidance and trust I was in education, I felt myself grow in ways I couldn’t imagine, I now work in services and facilitate one of Inspirits projects, ‘freespace’ which is a creative open work space,
In the past we have done arts and crafts poetry mask making printing and paper making drama story writing and telling, this is only some of the wonderful creativity that goes on in freespace. For me Inspirit has enriched my life, I’m proud and humbled to be a trained member of such a unique organisation”
We miss Gary very much and a part of him will always be with Inspirit