Oliver Dowden MP, Deputy Prime Minister, paid a significant visit to our Watford Hub today (Friday 12th May) to gain an insight into the vital work we do to support people on their path to recovery from addiction.  

During his visit, Dowden was given a tour of The Living Room’s Watford Hub by staff and counsellors. He said: “It was a pleasure to be invited to The Living Room in Watford this morning and to see first hand the pioneering addiction rehabilitation service that they provide.

“I know that many people from Bushey, Radlett and Borehamwood continue to benefit from such an effective service which is right here on our doorstep. 

Dowden also got an opportunity to speak with some clients, giving him an insight into peoples’ recovery journeys and the nature of the treatment they receive. He said: “It was also a privilege to meet with those who have directly benefited from the therapy. It is clear from their stories that The Living Room plays a vital part in our community and truly saves lives.”

The Living Room expressed its gratitude for the Deputy Prime Minister’s visit, highlighting the importance of government engagement in tackling addiction and reducing its impact on families and individuals.  

“It’s not often a charity of our size gets the chance to have its voice heard at the very heart of government,” said The Living Room’s External Relations Director, Mark Wiseman. “Hopefully Oliver will take with him the notion that small charities like ours can have a big, positive impact on the local communities in which they are embedded, when working closely with local government and other organisations involved in people’s health and wellbeing.” 

The Living Room got an opportunity to discuss with Dowden how their model fits in with the findings made by Professor Dame Carol Black in her independent review, which showed that drug deaths are at an all-time high and addiction fuels many costly social problems, including homelessness and rising demands on children’s social care.  

Her findings rightly stated that every £1 spent on treatment saves £4 elsewhere and her critical work called for the government to significantly invest into community-based recovery and treatment services like The Living Room.   

Pictured left to right.

Akhilesh Nair – Trustee of The Living Room

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden

Mark Wiseman – External Relations Director

Rob Beaman – Counsellor at Watford

Lucy Roe – St Albans and Watford Hub Manager