Showing support in the community.

Nationwide utilities company, kinex, has kindly donated £500 to Sunderland wellbeing group, FUSHIA as part of their Community Support Scheme.

FUSHIA was born through the personal experience of caring for a chronic heroin addict and provides a unique personalised service to the carers and family members affected by a loved one’s substance misuse.

Karyn Jackson, general manager and founder of FUSHIA, has personal experience of the effect substance abuse can have on a family. The project provides art and craft sessions exclusively for elderly parents who are caring for grown up children, some of whom will have returned to the family home after a relationship breakdown brought about through their addiction.

FUSHIA General Manager, Karyn said: “In our experience the elderly are exceptionally vulnerable because they find it difficult to grasp the dynamics of addiction, feel shame and/or are overprotective and therefore more easily bullied and manipulated. We have evidence of elderly carers going hungry and others spending savings to pay a loved ones’ debts, resulting in depression, anxiety, isolation and poor health. FUSHIA’s aim is to prevent this.”

On receiving the £500 Community Support Scheme funding, Karyn said: “We’re beyond happy and thankful to receive this award contribution, it will give our carers much-needed respite from the daily struggles they face. It will go a long way in providing the resources for our craft classes which our carers love so much.”

COO of Verastar, Nicola Smith said: “We’re really pleased to be able to show our support for local initiatives and are proud that the money we’ve donated will help towards job seeking and employment opportunities.”

If you know of a community group or organisation that are providing invaluable services to improve the quality of life for local people who could benefit from potential funding, please email the Community Support Scheme at: