News and events News Janis Feely - Founder's legacy lives on Vision My story of how The Living Room began seventeen years ago: After working for six years in two residential rehabilitation treatment centres and managing one of them for four years, I became aware of three things: Many clients would leave after finishing their treatment and relapse, as at that time there weren't any community based day-care treatment programs to help them back into their community which they could attend five days a week. When I looked at the clients who came to rehab, I felt many of them could recover if there was a non-residential five days a week community day care treatment centre. Therefore many of them would not need to leave their families, but could recover within the family unit. One of my major concerns was the children being separated from their parents, and as many clients would be sent many miles away from their homes arranging for the children to be brought to see their parents, especially when they were in care, proved very difficult. This in itself created many emotional problems for both clients and children. Many clients left treatment early as they could not cope with the separation from their families, and went on to relapse again and the revolving door would start all over once again. This I found very distressing as a recovered addict myself. I had my own personal experience of this. When I had the vision to set up the charity, I felt the need was to have a five days per week non-residential community based treatment centre that also had a very important crèche, allowing children to be looked after in a safe environment whilst their parents were receiving treatment. Thus The Living Room was born from my own experience, and what works for our clients. The reason we have a 60-70% success rate is that all my staff who work with our clients in group therapy are not only highly qualified counsellors, but are also in long term recovery themselves. On the 22nd of November 2016 I was thirty years in recovery from various addictions, I hope my experiences and those of our counselling team have helped, reassured, supported and given HOPE to all our clients. Achievements A proud achievement for The Living Room was in my final year as Chief Executive: The Hertfordshire Excellence in Public health Award 2015. Presented by Teresa Heritage Cabinet Member for Public Health HCC. Throughout my time leading The Living Room, 46 children in have been returned from care to their parents, and many more removed from the at-risk register. This has had an amazing impact on children, parents, families and also on Social Services and all other statutory agencies, schools and any other agencies working with either parents or children. To see families being reunited, the healing, love and recovery that has been achieved by coming through the doors of The Living Room is the most rewarding experience of the past years. My sincere gratitude to you all. As for all our clients past and present the biggest gift of all, is to see so many broken people come through the doors of The Living Room who are full of fear, bewilderment and despair and also desperate for love and help.