The Concordat Graduates is a group of former patients of rehab centres who have made it their mission to ensure that more people are offered the opportunity to go into residential rehab treatment.
Castle Craig fully supports this initiative, and wants to give its blog subscribers the chance to hear more from the Concordat’s overall coordinator – Dominic Ruffy – about the official launch of “the Graduates” in the Houses of Parliament yesterday.
Letter from the Concordat Coordinator
“I wanted to brief you all on how the launch at the House of Commons went yesterday, as it was a powerful afternoon which demonstrated the height of the hurdle we have to overcome but also the great likelihood we have of being able to overcome it:
* Lord Mancroft gave an address in which he explained that when you talk to a politician about addiction the politician will quickly turn the conversation around to a discussion about crime, because there are votes to be had in revolutionary crime reduction policy. There are far fewer votes to be had in revolutionary addiction policy.
* Having said that he has the support of David Cameron and of Oliver Letwin, both of whom are set on ‘full recovery and total abstinence’ policy.
* In the current climate it is not however top of the list of national problems!
He did however say that Prime Ministers’ usually get what they want, so the challenge is to do the work for him (the PM) and make it an easy piece of policy to pass through the House of Commons.
Our best way of doing that is by getting out there and telling our stories and championing total abstinence recovery.
So we are well on board with that ultimate aim.
He is working hard to get the research project up and off the ground and has asked to speak to me next week to discuss the graduate involvement in the research, so I will report back to you all on that then.
Mitch Winehouse was there and has asked for a meeting with us to tie his charity, The Amy Winehouse Foundation, in to what the Graduates are doing. I have suggested some dates to him for this meeting and will keep you all posted.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, a member of his team (a Mount Carmel graduate) there who suggested that Boris is also interested in meeting us, so I have suggested meeting again to fashion a formal approach to Boris Johnson.
So a lot was achieved.
Cath’s (Pierpoint graduate) daughter, Stacia, gave a truly emotional address to the audience and it became very apparent that there is a lot of power in family members sharing their stories.
Mitch Winehouse asked to meet with Stacia privately too and we are now looking at setting up a specific ‘families’ arm of the Concordat Graduates.
Further updates on the national and regional strategy will be with you all in the coming days and weeks.
With my very best wishes,