Project information

We Care About Healthy LIves

Carers of substance misusers often have to put their own needs aside so they can cope with the many issues that arise from looking after a substance misuser. This project will improve their health and well-being by offering new opportunities to engage in social, physical and health activities.

March 2017 - February 2018

Charity information: Community Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services

Community Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services logo
  • Need


    Carers tend to have shattered lives, and suffer multiple issues including:

    - Poverty due to the financial impact of their loved one’s substance misuse.
    - Poor well-being, depression, guilt, worry, stress and lack of sleep linked to the addiction of their loved one.
    - Domestic violence, poor mental health, crime, or violence from pushers.
    - Stigma from their community even though they personally have not caused any problem.
    - Living in isolation and family relationship breaking down.


    Through this project, we will offer a range of health and well-being activities to carers and family members of substance misusers, including yoga; awareness raising about healthy eating; improved basic skills to access education, training and employment; as well as regular social outings. This project will tackle poor health, stress and isolation to help carers lead more fulfilling lives.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve the health and well-being of carers and family members of substance misusers


    » We will run 2 weekly yoga classes of 1 hour each for each of the 2 carers groups
    » We will run weekly healthy eating classes of 2 hour each for the 2 carers groups

    What success will look like

    Success will be 75% of the participants reporting better health and well-being at the end of their engagement.

    Aim 2

    To help carers become more integrated socially


    » We will organise regular social outings for carers and family members of substance misusers.

    What success will look like

    Success will be 75% of our participants reporting that they feel less isolated and have made new friends with their peers, by the end of their engagement in the project.

    Aim 3

    To help carers improve their skills and employability


    » We will run weekly basic skills training classes of 2 hours each for the 2 carers groups.

    What success will look like

    Success will be 75% of the participants feeling more confident about their skills; and 50% actually finding work or enrolling in volunteering, education or training.

  • Impact


    This project will provide positive opportunities to carers of substance misusers so they can lead more fulfilling lives and fully participate in their community. It will also enable carers to build connections with other carers so they can support each other, and become more resilient to cope with the addiction of their loved ones.

    We will ask carers to fill in well-being questionnaires at the beginning of their engagement, then every 3 months until the end of their participation.


    The main risk to this project is that sessional workers could pull out of this project. This risk is minimized by the fact that we work closely with a network of agencies and professionals who would be able to fill the position very quickly.


    We will report to donors on a quarterly basis by providing an account of recent activities and outcomes achieved. We will also provide quotes and case studies to bring the project to life.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,680

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £7,800 Activities Weekly yoga, nutrition and life skills classes
      £2,880 Outings Monthly social outings
  • Background


    This project will take place in Queenstown, a deprived ward in Wandsworth. Our clients will come from neighbouring wards where there are significant pockets of urban deprivation, where crime, drug use and sexual traffic are heavily prevalent. There, our clients encounter few opportunities, so there is a high proportion of unemployment, poor housing and poor physical and mental health. The most vulnerable people live in large estates where they have little connection with other communities.


    Carers of substance misusers will be the main beneficiaries of this project. By becoming more resilient and able to cope with the addiction of their family member, they will be more able to support them through their journey to recovery. Supporting carers means substance misusers are more likely to complete their treatment for addiction.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    CDARS has over 30 years of experience working with substance misusers and their families. We have acquired a reputation of leaders in this field, and regularly achieve outcomes in the top 10 nationally. We are locally rooted and therefore understand the specific needs of the communities we work with. Moreover, many of our staff members are ex-carers or ex-substance misusers who therefore have a deep understanding of the complexity of addiction.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Viviana Ricciardi

    Viviana will coordinate the activities, manage the sessional workers and ensure the smooth running of the project.