Who we are

Family Matters – who we are

In 2000 Plymouth PCG (predecessor to the PCT) was looking for innovative ways to expand community based services and approached Charlie Lowe with a view to setting up an early response and local family therapy service to run alongside the small and hard to access specialist provision within CAMHS. They knew Charlie’s GP surgery had an interest as he along with the Counsellor and Health Visitor, had undertaken FT training.

A needs assessment survey was undertaken of all potential referrers in the city from health, social care and schools all of whom were enthusiastic to develop a new service that would offer an early response to families with relationship difficulties. A core of therapists began meeting and sadly the social workers had to pull out due to Local Government reorganisation. The first clinics opened their doors in April 2001 with the generous funding of Plymouth Primary Care Group and later Children’s Commissioning at Plymouth PCT. Two then three clinics per week were held in GP surgeries across the city and later these were moved to Children’s Centres.

In July 2005 the formerly collaborative group became registered with the Charity Commission, creating a Memorandum of Articles, a Board of Trustees and the opportunity to access other sources of funding to aid developments. A partnership with Broadreach House in 2006 led to a new service called Time4Change which was originally located with the newly opened Ocean Quay day service for people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. This specialist work is very unusual and although the initial funding expired in 2009, we were able to secure 3 years of Big Lottery funding in 2010 to keep this important work alive.

New premises were found in 2010 by renting the ground floor of the old bank building of Stoke Village representing an important step in our growth as a reputable and established voluntary sector provider of family therapy services.

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Involvement in training continues, with various staff teaching on local family therapy courses and providing bespoke training for interested organisations, including the Plymouth City Council Youth Service, Careers South West and the Peninsula Medical School. Monthly supervision is provided for the workers at Plymouth Family Intervention Programme (FIP) and several research projects have been undertaken within Family Matters.

Two objects were agreed with the Charity Commission following our successful application in 2006 and are reproduced below.

The focus of our activities is towards attaining these objects.

i) The relief of persons suffering from the ill effects of family breakdown and relationship difficulties, particularly children and couples, by the provision of psychological support and the advancement of education in healthy family and human relationships.

ii) The promotion and undertaking of research into aspects of relationships that may help further the first object, or contribute directly towards understanding of human relationships, and the dissemination of the useful results of such research.

Full details can be obtained from the Charity Commission’s website: www.charitycommission.gov.uk
Charity Number: 1110479

Emeritus Professor Jim Orford

Jim Orford trained in clinical psychology and obtained his PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry in London before moving to a joint University/Health Service post in Exeter and subsequently to the University of Birmingham where he is now Emeritus Professor of Clinical and Community Psychology in the School of Psychology. He has researched and written extensively about alcohol, drug and gambling problems and particularly about their impact on the family.

His recent published works include: An Unsafe Bet? The Dangerous Rise of Gambling and the Debate We Should Be Having (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011); Addiction Dilemmas: Family Experiences in Literature and Research and their Lessons for Practice (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012); and Power, Powerlessness and Addiction (Cambridge University Press, 2013) He and his colleagues in the Alcohol, Drugs and the Family Research Group have pioneered Social Behaviour and Network Therapy designed to include family members in the addiction treatment process and the 5-Step Method to help affected family members in their own right.

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Liz Brimacombe (Chair)
Fiona Rice-McAllister
Helen McLindon
Daniel Pooley
Sarah Trevains
Keith Hodgins

Former Trustees

Steve Pound
Haidee Dampney
Lynsey Williams
Liz Robbins
Diane Sharpe
Nigel Smith
Bob Underwood
Debby Parlett
Andrea Smyth
Fiona Miller Chief Executive UKCP Registered Family Psychotherapist and AFT Approved Supervisor
Nicky Griffiths Office Manager
Mark Brimble Referral Co-ordinator
Anna Dias Therapist UKCP Registered Family Psychotherapist
Alison Stewart Therapist UKCP Registered Family Psychotherapist
Mark Hayward Therapist UKCP Registered Family Psychotherapist
Gemma Carlin Therapist UKCP Registered Family Psychotherapist
Josie Gerhold Therapist Systemic Practitioner

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