Charter Residential at Primrose Hill

With a history of relapse and poor management I sometimes wonder at my wisdom of taking on Primrose Hill as we had such a climate of prejudice to overcome.

Fortunately, under the careful and attentive management of Clare Sole, we have been consistently busy there since opening in 2010. I believe we are now gaining ourselves a reputation by earning it as a boundaried, accountable safe housing service for those needing extra support in their recovery journeys.

We have 10 beds and admit males and females from 18-65 years at different stages of their recovery, as long as they are abstinent and actively engaged in a 12 step programme or in treatment. It’s a lovely mid terrace Victorian house, has a support worker in residence and provides a temporary home from home.

We provide drug and alcohol testing, weekly planning and support, cooking support, an introduction to fellowship, community living with therapeutic duties, curfews and peer responsibilities.

Alongside treatment, or as extra support through transitions geographically, work-wise or relationship-wise, Charter Residential provides an extraordinary service that is affordable, effective and grounding.

We work with you to get well in the context of your life.

Specialist Eating Disorder Services Needed

Eating disorders are about the relationship between food and emotions, where a person seeks a sense of control over their emotions, over how they appear and over the impact their world has on them. It is common for an eating disorder to develop in a person’s early teens and so it would seem appropriate for there to be services specifically targeted for this age group. CAHMS do a great job, and I have met many people who have benefited from time with this service, but eating disorders – and addictions in general – require specialist knowledge and intervention. This is not about simply getting someone to eat, it’s about attending to the disturbance of self and your typical eating disorder will be extremely reluctant to put their eating disorder down. I think Helen Missen raises a very important issue in this report and I for one would be a willing signature on her petition.

The Mindful Kitchen

One evening a week sees a pair of young addicts shopping at Waitrose and then standing over a hot stove at Charter for two hours as they seek to produce a delicious and simple meal.

Welcome to The Mindful Kitchen, brainwave of trained chef, Noha Moukarzel, and trialed at Charter, this weekly workshop has been developed to help teach addicts in recovery how to cook healthy, achievable meals for themselves as part of a daily routine.

A fundamental part of self-care and self-love is nutrition. Many of us who do not suffer from addiction are guilty of neglecting this vital dimension of our daily needs. And those who suffer from a condition of self-loathing and unmanageability are vulnerable to these same self-defeating patterns to the point of self-harm.

Whether you suffer from an eating disorder or from disordered eating due to low self-esteem, lack of motivation and care, The Mindful Kitchen is a breath of fresh air teaching practical skills and inspiring possibility.