Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth MP  visited the Holding Families programme in Bury where children and parents dealing with substance misuse are all supported as a family. The programme is run by Early Break, a young people’s drug and alcohol service.


Jonathan grew up in Radcliffe and was proud to see such important work happening in his home town. MPs this week launched a political manifesto in support of the children of people with alcohol problems after finding there aren’t enough support systems and strategies in place for the 2.5 million children in this situation in the UK.


Jonathan Ashworth MP said: “Today I was delighted to visit the Holding Families programme in Bury, which focuses on the hidden harm of parental substance misuse and the impact that it has on children.”


“I’ve  recently spoken out about my own personal experiences of my own late father’s problems with alcohol. As shadow Health Secretary supporting children of alcoholics is a personal priority and I’m working closely with MPs to persuade the government to publish a strategy. Let’s send a message to the two million plus children of alcoholics that they need not suffer in silence.” 

Rhyse Cathcart, Early Break said: Jonathan’s  story represents the hidden harms that many of the children we work with face on a daily basis. Our Holding Families programme is now in its tenth year of delivery and has won a number of awards nationally. The programme helps parents to look at the impact their drug and alcohol use has on their children and family members. We know that our service changes the lives of the children and parents we work with but we are just scratching the surface. There is so much more that we would like to do but as a charitable organisation we are limited by funding constraints.  The new manifesto is a fantastic starting point and we are happy offer our support to make this a part of a wider national  government strategy.”

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