Four local charities in Wales that provide services to the most vulnerable in society have merged to create one organisation, which strives to support those with mental health illnesses and vulnerable groups, especially those suffering with substance addiction and abuse. 

On the 1st of April 2021, Adferiad Recovery, CAIS, Hafal and the Welsh Centre for Action of Dependency and Addiction (WCADA) joined forces to create ‘Adferiad Recovery.’ This newly merged charity will allow all four of the original independent charities to work more closely and to share skills, knowledge and passion for the cause. 

Michael Sheen Champions New Welsh Charity Supporting Mental Illness and Addiction
       Photo Source: WCADA

Alun Thomas, former Chief Executive of Hafal charity, has now been appointed Chief Executive of the new charity Adferiad Recovery. He commented, “Our clients have told us that a person with complex needs deserves to be treated as a whole person, not a collection of diagnoses requiring multiple referrals to different organisations. This merger is our response to them”

Adferiad Recovery works tirelessly to ensure that the most vulnerable people in South Wales receive the support and treatment they need and deserve all the while being treated with respect and understanding. 

In May 2021, globally renowned Welsh actor, Michael Sheen became the new patron of Adferiad Recovery. He will champion the cause and highlight the important work that the organisation has been doing all over Wales. This will hopefully bring awareness to the charity and allow the people who desperately need access to the services to do so.

Michael Sheen has commented on his new position as patron and said, The times we are in are challenging in so many ways and all of us are having to adapt in order to move forward. I’m so happy to be Patron of the newly formed Adferiad Recovery as they bring together multiple sources of support and experience to meet the challenges that lie ahead. Well done to all involved and special thanks to the team at Allen & Overy LLP whose pro-bono support has been invaluable”. 

In the past, Michael Sheen has commented on the glamorisation of drugs and alcohol use, especially in Hollywood. He aims to debunk the myth that these substances are necessary in order to be creative and is calling on people to change their attitudes about people who work in addiction support and those who help those in need. 

The Welsh actor has lived in Los Angeles for 11 years and has emphasised the drastically opposing attitudes that the UK has compared to the US on addiction recovery. Los Angeles has many addiction recovery organisations and there is far less stigma attached to getting help with much more availability and accessibility than in the UK. 

Michael Sheen Champions New Welsh Charity Supporting Mental Illness and Addiction
Photo source: Adferiad Recovery’s Facebook page

“It shows how large scale a problem addiction is in our culture, but also goes to show just what can be done to address that problem.” – Michael Sheen.

On 15 June 2021, the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford announced the Welsh Government’s priorities for the next 5 years which include increasing investment in mental health services and paying care workers a sufficient living wage. Chief executive of the charity, Alun Thomas says “Our members welcome the increased investment in mental health services – something we have long campaigned for – and the recognition of the vital service care workers provide”.

He also emphasises the importance of distributing the funding to mostly those with the highest needs who will benefit from it the most. The charity also welcomes the roll out of the ‘Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services” (CAMHS) in schools, stating that “although in practice this should mean that CAMHS work closely with schools to ensure that while pupils looking for help all get a positive referral, only those with highest needs get support from CAMHS”.

The newly merged charity – Adferiad Recovery – is a much needed organisation providing the most vulnerable with the services they need. The work they complete will only be highlighted and championed with Michael Sheen being appointed as patron. This is brilliant news for Wales!

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Lara is a Social Sciences student at UCL with interests in gender studies, childhood & education and social activism. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism following her studies.

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