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The 2016 Gary Seaman Award Winner

5 Jan 2017

Jo Parker receiving her award from the BBC Radio 4 presenter Eddie Mair.

Congratulations to Jo Parker, from Brighton Young Oasis, who has won the 2016 Gary Seaman Award. This award, in honour of Gary Seaman, is a chance for an outstanding practitioner to be recognised, celebrated and awarded for making life better for families affected by drugs and alcohol through the professional support they have provided.

Jo was presented with the award at Adfam’s Carol Concert at the start of December. Young Oasis is part of the Brighton Oasis Project, a substance misuse service for women and families in the heart of Brighton. Jo started to work with children aged 5-18 affected by drug or alcohol use in the family over a decade ago, initially as a volunteer. Now, she oversees all services for children and young people, and an organisation that started with just one part time member of staff has now grown considerably to a team of 6 staff and several volunteers in dedicated child focused premises. The therapy service sees around 80 children a year for one-to-one therapy.

A colleague who nominated Jo said “Jo is absolutely committed to each child/young person she sees, and will advocate for their needs with other professionals if that is required.”

Alongside the normal range of therapeutic provision, she has developed a series of arts based activities which happen during school holidays which can be difficult times for families affected by substance misuse. In February 2016, Jo sought funding and planned a residential weekend for children and young people which was an amazing opportunity for the children to have fun and be cared for.

A nominator said “The work Jo does with children and young people is emotionally demanding yet she does it with the utmost professionalism and supports and leads a team to also work to the same high standards.”

Jo – from all of us at Adfam – congratulations! Your hard work, passion and commitment makes all the difference.