Fears as addicts’ centre seeks High Street move

Echo: Fears as addicts’ centre seeks High Street move Fears as addicts’ centre seeks High Street move

A COUNSELLING centre for alcoholics and drug addicts could open in Billericay High Street.

Synergy, a therapy and addiction service, wants to expand after outgrowing its base in nearby Chapel Street.

It has submitted plans to take over the first floor of Union House, but concerns have been raised about the move, leading to antisocial behaviour.

Synergy helps people overcome their addiction to gambling, drugs, sex, alcohol, cigarettes, food and shopping.

The organisation also offers support and treatment for people experiencing stress, depression, panic attacks, relationship problems, anger issues, anxiety and bereavement.

The new counselling, training and support centre will serve people across Billericay, Basildon and Wickford.

Dot Barrow, manager of Synergy, said: “We have outgrown Chapel Street, we have too many clients and too many staff and not enough space. Moving into Union House will allow us to expand howwe want to.

“The stigma attached to addiction and counselling isn’t as great as it used to be, so people are happier to come forward for help.”

Synergy also saw another facility open in Brentwood High Street last month.

The Bluebell Family Centre offers family and relationship counselling and therapy and addiction treatment for children and teenagers.

Phil Turner, deputy leader of Basildon Council and ward councillor for Billericay, is concerned about the High Street location of the new base.

He said: “It is commendable Synergy is doing this for the community, but residents will be concerned and need to know who this centre is going to attract.

“From what I know of Synergy, I am sure all of their concerns will be dealt with, but the trustees need to give us more information.

“They are doing good work, but what we don’t want in Billericay is to pay the price for it in terms of antisocial behaviour.”

Planning officers at Basildon Council are to decide on the plans by the end of next month.

Comments (4)

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12:05pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Howard Cháse says...

Would they prefer a Bail Hostel relocated from Felmores instead? I'm sure it could be organised
Would they prefer a Bail Hostel relocated from Felmores instead? I'm sure it could be organised Howard Cháse
  • Score: 4

3:03pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Barry Bas says...

An alcoholics centre to open and all those beers stolen from that business in Billericay last week. I wonder if there is a connection?
An alcoholics centre to open and all those beers stolen from that business in Billericay last week. I wonder if there is a connection? Barry Bas
  • Score: -3

9:10am Thu 9 Jan 14

Kevin J says...

This seems to happen every time a new facility aimed at reducing the effects of addiction on a community opens up. What is it with people? These facilities are there to promote recovery and enable individuals to rehabilitate and reintegtrate into the community thus reducing the risk and the cost of addiction on the very community that is complaining about the risk and cost on it? Crime statistics, health costs, costs on local business etc would be reduced by such a facility poviding it is supported by local residents and not stigmatised against. Addiction is on every street corner and I'm afraid it is not going to go away so my take is become part of the solution or remain part of the problem. If you accept and support those seeking recovery they become assets to your community and the deficit closes. Besides, on the whole the way these oganisations decide where to open is that all relevant information is collated on the area and the area that returns the highest statistics relating to addiction,, ie. crime, healthcare, deprivation, etc is focused on to provide a relevant solution to the problematic bahaviour in that area. To make a stand against it is not only defeating the object and allowing such behaviour to continue and possibly deteriorate but is also promoting the barriers between individuals within that community. To support promotes unity within the community and inspires individuals to make positive change as they feel that they are being supported and not demonised..
This seems to happen every time a new facility aimed at reducing the effects of addiction on a community opens up. What is it with people? These facilities are there to promote recovery and enable individuals to rehabilitate and reintegtrate into the community thus reducing the risk and the cost of addiction on the very community that is complaining about the risk and cost on it? Crime statistics, health costs, costs on local business etc would be reduced by such a facility poviding it is supported by local residents and not stigmatised against. Addiction is on every street corner and I'm afraid it is not going to go away so my take is become part of the solution or remain part of the problem. If you accept and support those seeking recovery they become assets to your community and the deficit closes. Besides, on the whole the way these oganisations decide where to open is that all relevant information is collated on the area and the area that returns the highest statistics relating to addiction,, ie. crime, healthcare, deprivation, etc is focused on to provide a relevant solution to the problematic bahaviour in that area. To make a stand against it is not only defeating the object and allowing such behaviour to continue and possibly deteriorate but is also promoting the barriers between individuals within that community. To support promotes unity within the community and inspires individuals to make positive change as they feel that they are being supported and not demonised.. Kevin J
  • Score: 3

11:54am Thu 9 Jan 14

LastLaugh2 says...

Theres alcoholics at almost every pub bar in the land, even down the Con club the Legion, the Rotary club only difference here is they dont sell booze..
Theres alcoholics at almost every pub bar in the land, even down the Con club the Legion, the Rotary club only difference here is they dont sell booze.. LastLaugh2
  • Score: 1

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