QAAD seeks to address gambling and the use and misuse of legal, illegal and prescribed substances within a framework of Quaker values. In our work within the Religious Society of Friends, we explore the spiritual dimensions of substance use, misuse and dependency, with a view to strengthening resilience to potential or established problems. Our approach can be summed up in the acronym AIR: Awareness, Information, Responsibility.
QAAD works within the Quaker testimony of abstinence and moderation, endeavouring to include all the perspectives of contemporary Quakers. We do not promote any particular treatment method for problem use and recovery, taking instead an inclusive approach to the range of interventions available. We welcome the warm relationships we have with Quakers and Attenders who are members of the 12-Step Fellowships, as well as those who have found other paths.
QAAD is asked quite often if we might consider widening our scope to include a wider range of addictions than substance misuse and gambling. Whilst we are aware of the serious impact of other addictions, and have concern for those harmed by them, QAAD’s Director is our sole member of staff and we are funded entirely by the kind donations and legacies we receive from individual Friends and Meetings. To sustain the quality of our work, it is essential for us to remain focused on our core purpose, defined in our registration with the Charity Commission: ‘seeking to advance public education about all aspects of the use and misuse of alcohol, other drugs, and gambling’. We hope that QAADRANT, our resources and gatherings can provide helpful information about the nature and impact of addiction, whatever form(s) that it takes.
QAAD is Quaker Recognised Body, a registered charity (No 1059310), and a company limited by guarantee (No 3265669). It is managed by a Committee of Trustees, who are appointed and conduct their business in accordance with Quaker Practice as observed by the Religious Society of Friends – Quakers. Trustees come from a wide variety of backgrounds that include education, medicine, criminal justice, counselling and dependency treatment; some have a general concern with the subject as Quakers, while others have personal experience of substance misuse themselves or through close others.
Our current trustees are: Ron Barden (Northamptonshire AM); David Barry (Sussex East AM); Eva Deregowska (North Scotland AM); Tim James (Hampshire and the Islands AM); Jon Lyon (Mid-Somerset AM); and Christine Pryer (Kingston and Wandsworth AM); Peter Varney (Norfolk & Waveney AM).
Our current Director is: Alison Mather (Bristol AM).
History & development
The Charity was formed in 1870 as the Friends Temperance Union and expressed the witness of many Quakers for total abstinence. Moral Welfare was added to the title in the 1960s and the name was changed again, to Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs, in the 1990s. QAAD’s focus also continues the long-standing Quaker concern with the problems and addictive behaviours that can arise from gambling.
Director’s Annual Reports
For our Annual General Meeting (AGM) each year, our Director prepares a report summarising the work and progress made over the previous 12 months. These are available to read online or, if you would like a printed copy, can be requested from our Director, Alison Mather.