At adders.org we are regularly asked about the ADD/ADHD National Alliance, a body originally set up to co-ordinate and rationalise the work of support groups in the UK. Over three years ago, the national charity, Contact A Family, were approached to help in bringing the idea into reality. We therefore decided to put the most frequently asked questions to Jim Hedgeland, the Alliance co-ordinator at Contact A Family's office in London. We duly emailed Jim and his answers to the questions were as follows:
1. Where is the regular newsletter ?
The first edition of the Alliance newsletter ADDvance is due to be published within the next 2 weeks. Members of the Alliance have been advised of this for some time.
2. Where is the database of services and groups ?
The Alliance database has been steadily growing. The purpose of the database is to enable the Alliance to gather the relevant appropriate information and then to make the information available on a future web site and by publishing an Alliance Directory of Members and Resources. However, we will consult with our members first about the actual data and format.
3. Who paid for your trip to CHADD ?
The ADHD National Alliance project is funded by the DoH and Contact a Family.
4. Why have you made no reports available for any of your trips bearing in
mind you visited nearly every conference in the UK last year plus CHADD ?
The development of a national alliance takes time and we only entered our membership within the last 5-6 months. Attending conferences, meeting appropriate individuals and groups is important in terms of learning about them and introducing them to the Alliance. The Alliance will become an independent member organisation, but we still have some way to go before it becomes an entity in its own right with a voice. The Alliance will be representative of its members and it would be unwise to over-comment at this time. You may recall the reaction to the letter to Panorama calling for a balanced response to ADHD and the pros and cons of the use of stimulant medication. Future reports will be mainly published in the quarterly newsletter - ADDvance.
5. Have The Overload Network now joined the Alliance ?
Overload are not and never have been a member of the Alliance
6. Where is the website ?
The Alliance website is in the development stage. Please note that we have highlighted a number of important organisations (including your own) on the CaF website under ADHD
7. Why have your members not heard anything regarding the European committee
which you have apparently been invited to take part in, which we believe is
to launch in Denmark shortly ?
Details of the 'Knowing me Knowing you' European ESF project will be published in the first edition of our newsletter.
You can see from the questions above that many rumours have been circulating about the Alliance, which have been fuelled by an apparent lack of communication. Whilst we make no secret that we at adders.org have not been happy with the way the Alliance has been set up and run, it now appears that communication is improving and the above answers will hopefully allay some fears and misconceptions. We look forward to the Newsletter and hope to be able to publish certain extracts, as we strongly believe that good communication is the key to success.
The Alliance, through Contact A family, have received a substantial grant from the Department of Health to do this work and in our view it would be a crime to let that go to waste. We'll keep you posted.