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Introducing our new Family Support Workers in Allerdale and Copeland

CADAS is very excited to be announcing the pilot of a brand new service for families affected by substance use in the west of the county. West Cumbria Family Support, a two-year pilot project, is believed to be the first of its kind in Cumbria. We are hoping that this project can then be rolled out to the rest of the county. The Family Support Co-ordinator for this project is Angie Milfull and she will be supported by Sophie Ireland, Family Support Worker. Sophie is also our Health Promotion Worker in West Cumbria, so will split her time between her two roles. Our Digital Marketing volunteer, Dave, went to find out more about Angie and Sophie…



Q: Welcome to the CADAS team, Angie. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

A: Yes. I’m Angie and I live and work in West Cumbria. When I’m not working, I’m kept very busy with my 18 month old baby, who is into everything! I’m finding my feet in my new role at CADAS, I think this is my fifth week.


Q: Why did you want to become the Family Support Co-ordinator for Allerdale and Copeland?

A: Having grown up in West Cumbria and worked here supporting children and families for over 15 years, I wanted a new role where I could help positively influence families. I have experience working with Children’s Centres; as a lead youth worker; working for Barnardo’s with children and families; and now with CADAS.


Q: Can you tell me a bit about the new project you’re involved in?

A: Yes, I’m really excited to be part of the West Cumbria Family Support project. This is about working with whole families who are affected by alcohol and drug use, to ensure that they are all supported. A lot of the time, different family members already work with CADAS through our different functions. For example, someone who is using alcohol or drugs might be seen one-to-one by a Recovery Coach, their partner might use our Friends and Family Services and the children might use our Young Peoples’ Services. It isn’t very often that they’ve all been seen together, so this is about ensuring that the whole family receives support for as long as they need it. At the moment, we can work with families for six months if they need us to.

We hope that by working with the whole family together, that everyone understands the plan for the family – they use the same language, know how they can access support and are ‘on the same page’. By working with one Family Worker, who will co-ordinate all of the support the family needs, it is hoped that nothing will be missed and the whole family can become stronger.


Q: So how can people access the service if they would like help?

A: Anybody who is concerned about their alcohol or drug use, or is affected by somebody else’s can contact our free helpline, which is open Monday to Friday from 11am until 6pm. Call 0800 2 54 56 58 or email


Referrals to the service can also come from Children’s Services, A&E, a youth worker, schools, GP surgeries, the police or any other professionals who work with children and families.


Q: Brilliant, that’s great, Angie. We look forward to seeing the project be a great success in helping as many families as possible in Allerdale and Copeland.



Q: Hi Sophie, I hear you’ve taken a second role with CADAS. Can you tell us what you do?

A: Yes, my first role is as a Health Promotion Worker in Allerdale. This involves me working on projects such as awareness raising, reducing alcohol and smoking in the community, and brief intervention work, working alongside and with other partners for a collaborative approach as well as promoting other positive health activities such as exercise, and healthy eating and increasing our presence in the west and our services at CADAS. I’m also really excited to have just started a virtual stop-smoking and peer support group which is runs as a pilot up until the end of August, as this is a new area for us. I’ve also just started working with Angie on the West Cumbria Family Support project for Allerdale and Copeland as a Family Support Worker.


Q: What will you be doing in your new role?

A: I am hoping to bring the knowledge and skills I have developed in my role as Health Promotion Worker to the family support role too. I want families to know we are here to support and to help them become resilient and strong and to help them to do things together to boost physical and mental health, which is why I think my two roles will link together well.


As the Family Support Worker, I will be working with whole families that have been referred to the service with someone in the family using substances or alcohol in a harmful way. When this happens, the whole family as well as the person using the substances need help – it is a stressful time for everyone, so we want to work with partners, parents, children, husbands and wives to make sure that everyone receives the support they need. I hope by this approach it will encourage and enable others to support the person receiving help for their alcohol or drug use.

Q: How did you come to be involved with CADAS?

A: I started out at CADAS as a volunteer with the hopes of becoming a recovery coach for the organisation while studying and being a part of the Aspiring Leaders Programme a three year programme with the Brathay Trust and the University of Cumbria, which led me to gain my BA (Hons) degree in Social Enterprise Leadership. Whilst I was studying this course, I was able to complete my student placement with CADAS. After I graduated, I was fortunate enough to be offered the role of Health Promotion Worker, which I was delighted about, as it is in the sector which I am passionate about and enables me to work at helping to improve the health and livelihoods of the people in the community which I was raised and am from, it has also helped to create a much brighter future for my son and me.


Some things you might not know about me…

I was chess champion in primary school,


I’m quite a dare-devil and love to take risks and be challenged especially when it comes to thrill- seeking activities.


In my spare time have a passion for studying medicinal properties of plants and oils for a natural way to boost health, and for home and beauty products for example making natural facemasks and air fresheners. Over the last year as a result of the lockdowns this had enabled me to learn and enjoy time out foraging and nature walks with my son and little dog Rooney also known as ‘little man’.

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