November 21, 2014

Making a difference.

charity web copy

New website launched for HAGA: action on alcohol – a charity based in Haringey that helps people to control their drinking.

I worked with Clear and Creative on this project – here’s an excerpt from the site, and you can see the whole thing at

What is treatment like?

Everyone’s journey at HAGA starts at the same point – the first meeting. We know that for many, this first contact is the most daunting, and we get it. But really, you’ve done the hard work already; making the decision to get in control of your drinking is the difficult part – coming to visit us is a breeze. 

So, let’s take it from the beginning. What happens when you arrive at HAGA . . .

“I was bracing myself for all these questions, the one I didn’t prepare for was ‘how do you take your tea?’”

You’ll sign in and the first thing you’ll see is our lounge area. You can make yourself a cup of tea, wander around, chill out on one of the sofas, have a chat. Just have a bit of time to get used to where you are. No-one will point and stare.

“You’re not judged at HAGA. You’re not just ‘someone with a drink problem’, you’re treated like a person.”

When it’s time for your assessment, you’ll be taken to a different room, for a confidential one-to-one with your alcohol specialist. Yes, we have to fill in some forms to take your personal details, but we try to make it as painless as possible and you’ll have your tea. With that out of the way (the forms, not the tea) we can start to discuss your relationship with alcohol. What you’d like to change. Where you would like to be. Then, together, we come up with a plan.

“You’re never forced into anything, they always give you time to think about everything.”

Your plan will be specific to you and your own situation. You might decide that you’d like to have one-to-one counselling, or attend group therapy sessions. Perhaps you want to go through a home detox programme, or would like some time to think about your options and would like further sessions with your key worker first. At the end of your appointment here, which may take up to an hour, you’ll have a clear idea of what comes next.

“My key worker became more like a friend.”

We use the term ‘key worker’ to mean the person that will be your contact point throughout your treatment. Your key worker is someone you can have frank discussions with about your treatment, your life, anything that you are unsure about, or what’s going well. They keep an eye on you, are a sounding board and a voice of reason when you need it. They listen when you need to talk and talk when you need to listen. They might not always say what you want to hear, but they’ll always be on your side.

“I remember . . . I was very unsure of myself and  I felt very nervous, but the HAGA team were there for me.”