ESCAPE Family Support was set up in Blyth in 1995 by founder and current Chief Executive Janet Murphy and is a county-wide, community led response to drug and alcohol misuse in Northumberland.

Northumberland is home to to approximately 316,000 people and covers an area of just over 5,000 km², of which 96.7% is classed as rural. The seventh most sparsely populated local authority in the country with 63 people per km². 51% of the population live in 3% of urban land mainly in the South East, the rest live across a vast rural area. Regional unemployment is higher and wages are lower than the national average.

Whilst supporting the communities clustered in the south east of the county our aim is also to reach rural communities by developing local hubs of support for carers, families and friends.

At ESCAPE we are committed to:

  • Providing a range of high quality services to address the impact of substance misuse upon carers and families.
  • Key-workers undertaking comprehensive carer assessments, producing personalised care-plans tailored to individual/family need, always ensuring interventions are selected and prioritised by the client.
  • Focusing on a range of activities and services to achieve improved psychological, physical and mental wellbeing, including:
    • one-to-one support or counselling services
    • education, training and employment advice; nutrition and health education (including harm reduction)
    • Finance, budgeting and housing advice
    • Advocacy and support liaising with judicial, prison, probation and social services.
  • Working in partnership with others to offer the fullest possible range of holistic, complementary and diversionary services.
  • Building mutual support through drop-ins, social media support groups, befriending, volunteering opportunities, respite breaks and involvement in national, regional and local events.

ESCAPE Family Support considers itself privileged to be at the heart of the communities it serves and our volunteers provide the skills and energy to enable us to maintain the wide range of services we offer.

In 2010 ESCAPE attained the highly coveted Investors in People Gold Standard Award following a rigorous assessment process. This prestigious award is granted to just 2% of the country’s organisations and we are proud to have retained that award to the present day.

I’m especially proud of re-gaining the IIP gold standard, because it is a true reflection of the dedicated work of the entire organisation.

Chief Executive Janet Murphy (2016)