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Frank Laine MBE – Founder & Chairman of the Silkworth Charity Group

Frank Laine made the Queen’s 2020 New Years’ Honours list and is to receive an MBE for services to the community through The Shelter Trust and The Silkworth Charity Group.

 

Frank has devoted the last thirty years to silently developing and supporting the many hundred/thousands of people within the Island of Jersey that suffer and have suffered the effects of homelessness and chemical dependency/addiction, both social issues of which are very much entwined in each other.

It was in 1989 that he got involved and began a journey committed to making a difference in Jersey’s homeless issues, which was at that time, not something that was at the top of the political agenda. This came about as he left his successful career in the construction industry and would often see grown men that he had once employed feeling the effects of homelessness and chemical dependency/addiction. These were people who had contributed to the system and worked hard all their days, effectively finding themselves in situations where their dependency on alcohol issues was landing them in seriously deprived situations which usually led to homelessness or extremely poor living conditions. It was at this point, with his own personal and family knowledge of the illness of chemical dependency that he knew that there was hope and opportunity for these people to get out of the poor position that they found themselves in. It was at this time that Frank instigated and put together with legal representation The Shelter Trust where he remained as a trustee for 12 years.

 

Seeing that there was a need for some form of treatment support, Frank, with legal representation, formed a constitution which was to be known as ‘The Families in Recovery Trust’ which was incorporated through the Royal Court of Jersey in 1994. This was a service that provided financial and therapeutic support to families and individuals who were feeling the negative effects of chemical dependency/addiction. This all started with Frank’s own personal investment from a small office in town where people would come to gain support whereby the charity would provide the required funding for counselling services on or off the island to individuals within Jersey that needed that support.

 

As knowledge of this organisation grew, so did the need for a dedicated resource here in Jersey to provide Residential Treatment for those who suffered from the illness of chemical dependency/addiction. It was important that money would not be a barrier to these people getting help, as the perception of ‘Rehab’ for many was that it was only accessible for those with the financial ability to fund treatment. Under the structure, ‘The Families in Recovery Trust’ Frank used his many years of experience working in this sector to develop the Channel Islands’ only Residential Treatment Centre that would provide treatment for anyone, no matter what their social standing.

 

Silkworth Lodge was opened in 2002 and has touched the lives of thousands of islanders through its residential treatment services. During this period, the organisation, under Franks Chairmanship, has developed and expanded its services to reach a wider audience and ultimately provide the full circle of care required for any individual, together with their families, children and significant others. This includes:

  • A dedicated Primary and Secondary Care Programme which is run from properties that are owned with no mortgage by the charity.
  • A dedicated Family Programme accessible to all islanders.
  • A specific Recovery Day Programme not only supports an individual recovery but also helps those who are struggling in recovery.
  • A unique Children’s Programme for 7 to 12-year-olds which is one of the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.

 

The charitable workings of Families in Recovery Trust (Silkworth Lodge) are a unique offering worldwide and something that jurisdictions do not have the luxury of these days. It has been pure foresight, passion, wisdom and determination that has grown the organisations to the centre of excellence that it is today.

As the founding and current active Chairman of The Families in Recovery Trust, Frank has built a charitable organisation that has touched thousands of Islanders’ lives, where nobody has even been denied access to treatment on the basis of having no money. This charitable organisation has evolved significantly over the last 25 years to a point today where it is a key part of the Islands Alcohol Pathway and Drug Strategy as well as being a leader in the innovative direction of Education and community-based support around chemical dependency/addiction for the alcoholic/addict themselves as well as children and families. With secured funding arrangements and partnerships working with the States of Jersey as well as mortgage-free properties, The Families in Recovery Trust delivers Nationally recognised services that are the envy of many professional rehabilitation facilities and a credit to the Island of Jersey.

 

For 30 years Frank has devoted relentlessly thousands of hours and personal resources to initiating charitable structures that have ultimately benefitted thousands of the Islands community. Frank’s personal links and involvement have all been done under public labour.

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