Forward Trust Patron HRH The Princess of Wales meets families impacted by addiction at HMP High Down event

Image: The Forward Trust

The Forward Trust was delighted to welcome its Royal Patron, HRH The Princess of Wales, to HMP High Down in Surrey on Tuesday 12th September.

Her Royal Highness met families impacted by addiction to learn about how we are supporting those in the criminal justice system to manage and recover from their addictions.

Her Royal Highness shadowed the experience of a family during a normal visit, starting with the security procedures visitors are required to go through. The Princess heard about the impact that this has on families and the work that HMP High Down has put into making the experience a more positive one for children in particular. Her Royal Highness then sat down with serving prisoners working with Forward whose journey into prison started with an addiction, to hear about the current programmes provided by both the charity and the prison, and support they are receiving for their addiction.

Forward delivers a range of services at HMP High Down, tailored to meet the needs of the men who reside there. These include The Bridge, an intensive abstinence-based programme, Stepping Stones, a low- to medium-intensity intervention for those whose alcohol or drug consumption is at harmful or dependent levels, and Relationships Matter, a series of workshops designed to improve interpersonal relationships and restore healthy communication.

Finally, The Princess visited The Clink, an on-site restaurant which trains prisoners in hospitality, where she met with former prisoners and Forward Trust alumni. Her Royal Highness spoke to those who have worked with and volunteered for the charity in prison and the community and learned how they have been supported to recover from and manage their addictions. Guests in attendance were celebrating recovery by taking part in the first of a series of ‘Let’s Talk About Addiction’ events, in preparation for Addiction Awareness Week, which this year takes place from 28th October to 4th November.

The theme of this year’s Addiction Awareness Week is “Everyone Knows Someone”, which aims to highlight the vast array of people across society who are affected by addiction. During the week families, friends and individuals will be encouraged to join a national conversation, lifting the barriers that prevent sharing the widespread experiences of addiction in society.

Speaking after the event, Mike Trace, CEO of The Forward Trust, said: “The visit today was an emotional testimony of how recovery from addiction not only turns individual lives around but it ripples across families, children and communities. Everyone knows someone who has been impacted by addiction, and we hope that greater awareness means people can start to talk about it more. Forward Trust are privileged that our Patron HRH The Princess of Wales takes the time to listen to the human stories behind addiction. By doing so, more people will feel able to reach out for the support that’s available to help turn their lives around.”

You can support Addiction Awareness Week (#AAW2023) by following The Forward Trust and Taking Action on Addiction social media channels.

To find out more about Forward’s work, email

Watch the short video of the Princess of Wales visiting HMP High Down, Surrey
Narrated by Mike Trace, CEO of The Forward Trust
Video by the Household of The Prince and Princess of Wales

This blog was originally published by The Forward Trust. You can read the original post here.

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This content was created by The Forward Trust

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