A FAMILY and community-informed approach to people who are struggling with substance addiction is key to the work carried out at Jobstown Assisting Drug Dependency (JADD).
Founded by Chrissie and the late Tommy Gilson in 1996, JADD has become part and parcel of the Jobstown community – and is appealing for donations from the community this Christmas.
The service first began operating out of the Gilsons’ house in Bawnlea, Jobstown, in response to the worsening issues with heroin addiction in the community.
For the current manager of JADD, Tommy Gilson Jnr, who has been in the role since August, seeing his parents’ work in the community became an influential learning experience for him.
“I was about 16 when JADD first started in our house,” he told The Echo.
“I was in my teenage years, so I didn’t understand the significance of JADD’s work at the time.
“I later realised that it was vital in the community because there were no other services like it in the area.
“We weren’t directly affected by substance use in our house, but we had neighbours and friends who were affected.
“Later on, I came to realise that it was an essential service in the community.
“In my early 20s, I started to understand it a bit more, because I would see people I went to school with, and they’d comment on how much my parents had helped them.”