Chiltern and Thames Intergroup
Alcohol Awareness Day for Professionals
AA Awareness Day on October 24, 2019 at the Fitzwilliam Centre, Beaconsfield, Bucks.
Chiltern and Thames Intergroup held a well-attended annual AA Awareness Day for professionals which 5 East Sussex members attended as guest observers. It was a full agenda of AA and non AA speakers.
These included Professor of hepatology at Imperial College Mark Thursz who spoke in detail about the effects and outcomes of alcohol misuse on liver disease and health more generally. This included his very good perception of the role of AA in recovery.
Lin Ferguson Director of Child Social Care for Windsor and Maidenhead spoke at length about their growing cooperation between AA and her organisation which is seen as breaking new ground. Her organisation provides care to age 25yrs for Safeguarding, Domestic Abuse, Gangs and County Lines, Child sexual exploitation, Placement and Care.
Michael Spurr recently Chief Executive of Probation and Prisons and currently a Professor at LSE and Board Member of International Corrections and Prisons Association covered effects and outcomes of alcoholism and drug addiction amongst those serving sentences and on rehabilitation and re offending. There are 83000 prisoners and 190000 under active supervision. He has considerable experience and knowledge from working with AA in the prison service and clearly sees the role in recovery and its huge potential positive impact.
Maxine McVey Deputy Director of Nursing for the Frimley Hospital Trust which covers hospitals in Frimley, Chertsey, Windsor, Slough, Aldershot, Farnham. She spoke about the impact of addiction on patients and her very large staff. She wanted to more actively engage with AA and had started a number of joint educational initiatives with Chiltern and Thames.
There were 4 AA members who shared the experience, strength and hope which had a moving effect on the other speakers and the audience.
It was a well organised and very informative day and my thanks to Chiltern and Thames for an excellent day and for the example for us to potentially follow.