2018/19 sees Phoenix celebrate our 50th year

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30 May 2018

2018/19 sees Phoenix celebrate our 50th anniversary

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We know from our founder Griffith Edwards' diaries that in 1967 he went on a fact finding mission to the USA to look at emerging methods of drug and alchol treatment. On 17 April he visited US Naval Hospital in Oakland, California.

Here he visited a project which he described as 'the unlikely brainchild of Dr Mitchell S. Rosenthal'. Mitch was a young navy doctor engaged in his 2-year military service who later went on to found Phoenix House in America. 

Mitch had persuaded the navy to allow him to set up a 20-patient residential therapeutic community for treatment of substance abuse.

In his diaries Griff Edwards describes "The intensity of the patients' commitment to the programme was palpable, with otherwise lost and deprived young men talking about 'growing up'.

The emphasis was on achieving tangible change in behaviour….the impact seemed to be positive, often resulting in evident catharsis. "

He was so impressed by the Therapeutic Community approach that in 1968 Griff encouraged Dr Ian Christie to visit another Therapeutic Community, Daytop Lodge in New York. Inspired by his visit Ian Christie opened Pink Villa Huts in Hampshire that same year.

In 1969  Pink Villa Huts became the Phoenix unit (later becomes Alpha House). The same year Griff started to plan Featherstone Lodge. By late 1969  Griff opened Featherstone Lodge (the first Phoenix House) with support from Clement Attlee Foundation and Dame Stella Isaac.

Since then Phoenix have been pioneers in recovery from addiction in the UK. Phoenix created -

• the first prison based therapeutic community treatment service for addictions

• the first residential rehabilitation service to accommodate parents and their children

• the first supported accommodation services for people in recovery

• the first provision of specialist drug workers to the probation service

• the first specialist palliative care unit for drug users with AIDS

• the first specialist provision of an education, training and employment resource for drug users

• the first specialist family outreach service for drug using parents

• the first treatment method combining conservation of the environment and therapy

• the first comprehensive multiple needs assessment tool

So we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary and these many achievements during 2018/19

Look out for details of a number of exciting activities that will mark our 50th anniversary coming soon!

Phoenix Futures is a registered charity in England and Wales (No 284880) and in Scotland (No SCO39008); Company Limited by Guarantee Number 1626869; Registered Provider of Social Housing with Homes England (H3795).