Parents In Need of Support (PINS)

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Up and down the country, there are thousands of people doing good deeds every day, and we decided to celebrate the great work that charities undergo with a regular feature on Tuesdays, to tie-in with #CharityTuesday on Twitter. This week, we caught up with Parents In Need of Support (PINS) to find out more...

Where are you based and what geographical areas do you support people in?
Parents In Need of Support is a Charity working in Hartlepool to support parents, carers and families who are affected by their child's Drug/Alcohol misuse. Our workers are CRAFT trained and fully implement the Community Reinforcement And Family Training program into client care plans.

How do you support people?
We support parents, kinship carers and families by actively engaging with people who find themselves confronted with their loved ones drug/alcohol misuse and the associated challenges of dealing with an addictive behaviour pattern. PINS helps them manage the worries, feelings of isolation and stigma that surrounds drug/alcohol issues. Using PINS support framework we can tailor care packages, develop individual care plans, all based around the specific needs of each client’s circumstances. Via a substantial network of voluntary groups, organisations and other charities we provide a full wrap around service aiming to cater for every eventuality that substance misuse has introduced into the family.
Without intervention, without wrap around services families may become ever more vulnerable, desperate, reaching breaking point with no idea where to turn, or how to manage a deteriorating situation with real concerns for the related health and wellbeing, of not only the person involved with the substance misuse but themselves and their other family members. Criminal penalties, finance/debit matters or housing issues, to name but a few have a huge impact and all manifested from the same drug/alcohol misuse issue.
A small selection of services we can offer are One to One Practical and Emotional Support, Home Visits, Information & Advice, Signposting, Counselling and Parenting skills, Training. All our services are completely confidential; for a full list please see our website at or contact us at, Tel: 01429 260110, Mobile: 07966022784.

How did the charity come to be founded?
The organisation was established in 1996 when it became apparent there was a lack of support for parents, carers and families of young people who had fallen victim to drug/alcohol misuse. In these early beginnings Kay our founder ran the service from her home; but as people recognised the value of her work and the quality of support that was being offered The Safer Hartlepool Partnership provided office space for her.
Kay was now able to employ a second worker Kevin. Kay and Kevin worked together both dedicated and passionate about PINS and the people who came for help. So began the development of a network supporting individuals and families with similar issues.
Sadly in 2003 Kevin passed away which was a great loss not only to his family and friends but also to PINS. It was at this time that Steve a project coordinator stepped in and helped to continue to offer this invaluable service to families. PINS continued its work adding additional services and moved to new premises at Dimensional House, Stranton where PINS worked developing services year on year. In 2015 we moved Greenbank, Stranton.
This move has allowed us to continue with the development of the PINS Personal Development Project (PPDP). PPDP aims to provide a range of accredited and non-accredited learning opportunities for both individuals and groups who wish to develop a new hobby or interest or re-engage with learning or training, after period(s) of unemployment or illness which may have been as a result of their child's drug/alcohol misuse. PPDP is building a wide range of creative, technical and work related courses; further information on PPDP can be found on our website

How many people do you have working at the charity?
PINS currently has 5 members of staff and a team of dedicated, selfless volunteers who give generously in time and commitment; many of whom are parents/carers themselves who have been affected by their son or daughter's addiction and a number have gone on to train as support workers to help others in a similar situation.

How can people support you?
Share our website, Twitter and Facebook pages on social media. We ALL need to remove the stigma and isolation that can blight parents, carers and families when their loved one becomes a victim of drug/alcohol misuse. We need to let them know they are not alone and not to suffer in silence and there is support, so we really want to reach as many parents, carers and families and like minded charities as we can.
The local community and general public have been so supportive of our charity we have held some great events in 2016 and have more plans for this year.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?
One of the very first challenges we faced was getting the word out that we were here and ready to offer support. While it was felt there was some support for those directly affected by substance misuse, there was little or no recognised support for the parents, carers and families themselves. Engaging with the local community, organisations and businesses to push our message out and the use of the internet and social media has helped a great deal.
We are always challenging the stigma that society wrongly imposes on families blighted by drug or alcohol misuse. Society as a whole needs to recognise that for many different and complex reasons children can and do fall victim to drug or alcohol misuse. Part of our work is to dispel the myth that substance misuse is only found in the lower socioeconomic sections of society and the more affluent families did not or rarely had, substance misuse issues. It is important to understand that substance misuse has an impact on families right across the social spectrum.
Other challenges have included finding other like minded charities and organisations who wish to collaborate with us to bring about positive change to the clients and families affected by drug or alcohol misuse. Offering support and guidance can have a positive affect for parents, carers and families and for the local community and wider society.

Do you have any charity events coming up and where can people find out about these events?
We have a several events coming up; one of the biggest will be our PINS Summer Fete on the Saturday 26th August 2017 a great community day (save the date and pop along to see us). A list of events can be found on our web site under the news/events sections which is constantly updated.

Is there any advice you could give to other charities?
More established organisations will already have a good understanding of their fundamental aims/objectives and their obligations to the Charities commission. Although through experience we can observe similarities, it is important to note that “one brush” does not cover all eventualities. Look at new ways of collaborating with like minded charities and organisations that can bring additional expertise to benefit your client and help them further to achieve their outcomes. Be adaptive where possible but balance all of this with input from the client as this demonstrates their commitment to change. It’s very tempting to try and do too much, offering more than you and your organisation are capable of delivering at a comfortable pace and with the degree of quality you’re happy with.

You can find out more about Parents In Need of Support (PINS) on their PINS website, PPDP website or via Facebook and Twitter.