On the occasion of the SMART UK Annual Conference 28th September 2005, Her Majesty was interested to learn that the members of your organisation are Substance Misuse Workers from HM Prison Services, NHS Agencies, Mental Health Agencies, Community Alcohol and Drug Teams and other charities across the United Kingdom and sends her best wishes to all those present for another successful and enjoyable gathering.
Sending the greatest admiration for the real difference you are making every day.
In this sometimes selfish and uncaring world, SMART members are like gold dust, rare and priceless. Please keep up your invaluable work, society needs you more than ever.
World Boxing Champion
To all workers, who try to help others with their time, advice, efforts, encouragment or sometimes just a hug.
Our society needs all of you so very desperately. Jesus once said “whatever you do to the least of these, its like you have done unto me”. I want to encourage you with this last sentence because God knows and sees everything, nothing goes unnoticed.
May God bless you all for your efforts.
World Champion Golfer
As human beings, we sometimes need other human beings to help us – you are those other human beings – your job is not easy – you have my admiration.
Scriptwriter and Author
Remember the plusses and focus on the Successes
Dame Judi Dench
There have been times where all of us have felt that what we do is not going so well and that we forget why it is that we do what we do.
In sport this is part of the discipline of learning to cope with the downs as well as the ups – and we all know that the ups take care of themselves. However, failure in sport is no more than that and there is a realisation that as long as one has done one’s best at least one’s own self-esteem can remain intact. No one else gets hurt!
For all of you involved in one way or other at SMART there is more at stake and that feeling of vocation that inspired you to do what you do and that will to help that keeps you going must both stay intact for the real benefit of others.
It’s worth it and those of us who probably have little comprehension of just how tough it is and just what is involved would like to wish you well.
Former England Cricket Captain
All the best.
Keep up the good work!
I don’t know how you do it. You are the Salt of the Earth and the bedrock of society.
I have just finished writing a letter to a young schoolboy from Tyrone in Northern Ireland about my experiences of primary school in Govan, Glasgow and I told them about this incredible teacher I had, Elizabeth Thomson (nee Dickson) who, more than anyone in my early years, formed the character that I am today. Govan in those days was one of the toughest areas of Glasgow and its main industry was shipbuilding, so although I never felt we were poor, simply put I didn’t know anything else. As far as I was concerned I had everything, particularly football.
When Elizabeth came to our primary school she was like a whirlwind. She attacked every weakness in that school as if it was her personal challenge in life. When a snotty little kid was obviously suffering from lack of nutrition she made sure they got more at lunch time and at our morning break got them extra orange juice and milk. If there was a troublesome lad she went straight up those dark tenement stairways to have it out with the parents and if there was a talented kid again she would be right up to see those parents to make them aware that their child had potential and to make sure they gave them every chance educationally.
The parents of our school couldn’t believe the drive and enthusiasm she had and before long she was idolised, but more than that she cared for every one of us and yes she could be a tartar and nobody got off with anything. The classroom was a model of discipline and cleanliness.
I used to wonder why a woman like her could devote herself to a mass of kids from an area like Govan and actually enjoy her work. So when I started as a coach and without really being aware of Elizabeth Thomson’s impact on me, I have always been exactly the same with my own job. Of course it is not all down to Elizabeth’s influences in what I am today, but she is a certain standard bearer for anyone who cares and has to take responsibility for improving people’s lives. That really is what it is down to – some people have responsibility thrust upon them, some seek it because they want to contribute to less fortunate or misguided people’s lives.
The challenge of creating a better understanding and meaning of life is so great that it is all worth it when you see the rewards of success. Even it if is one person you have helped, or saved from a poorer life then it is the greatest satisfaction you can imagine. Remember you are a select band of people who are prepared to take on jobs that everyone you deal with will be asking the same question I asked of Elizabeth Thomson – ‘Why do you do it?”. Because there are the large majority of people who would not have the courage, patience or caring nature to even think about it.
I wish everyone at SMART continued success in the enormous task you have and I congratulate you on all your work.
Former Manchester United Manager
As an ex-psychiatric nurse who worked with those who misused substances I would have been quite irritated by a jolly letter from a celebrity telling me I was great and to keep going. However, as I had a ‘normal’ job for 15 years before becoming a so-called celebrity I know how hard it is and I feel for you. Hope life isn’t too crap.
I admire what you do. We all hope to do something of value in the world – and you are doing just that, every day. Don’t be discouraged. Remember the smallest gain eclipses all the failures. Live in hope! Good wishes.
People who do the worst jobs on Earth do them for the same reason that people climb mountains: “because they’re there”. But there’s a difference. The mountains don’t need us, whereas people in desperate situations need us terribly. Which is why you are there. So thank you and please never give up.
I have faced challenges in my sporting career, but they pale into insignificance compared to the kind of challenes you face daily. You have my admiration. With warmest regards.
Triple Jump World Champion
What you’re doing is extremely important and fantastic – keep up the good work.
I just wanted to say – THANK YOU!
In the world of sport the emphasis is on winning but not so in your world. In the words of Pierre De Coubertin, the Founder of the modern Olympic Games, “the most important thing in life is not the triump but the struggle”. I read this to mean that victory is not as meaningful as what you become and the people you touch along the way. Keep up the good work.
When men on Earth have done their best, Angels in Heaven can’t do better.
May God bless you all fo the work you have done and are doing.
Keep the faith
To all of you, I think you’re doing a wonderful job, really worthwhile and important. Keep up the great hard work. Best wishes.
Here is one of my favourite sayings I think you might enjoy:
“Where is a man’s wealth? His wealth is in his knowledge. If his wealth was in the bank, and not his knowledge, then he doesn’t possess it because it’s in the bank.”
World Boxing Champion
I have lost friends to substance misuse. Every day I am aware that another day has passed without their beautiful lives. In some cases you are able to turn people around. In others you agt least prolong lives to allow more good days for good people. Even when you lose someone, you will have achieved that. It is a real accomplishment and I respect you for it.
All the best.
Your courage and resolve in the face of unimaginable challenges deserve respect and admiration. You certainly have mine. May you find the strength to continue your important work.
I wish every single one of you all the very best. You work in the real world and have my utmost respect.
The work you do is of the utmost important, and I commend you for your brave and determined attitude. Good luck and many successes.
This message was received about a fortnight after Ronnie so sadly and suddenly passed away. Our deepest sympathies and condolences were sent from us all at the SMART UK Office and from the members to his family.
All the best.
It takes special people to work at the sharp end of one of society’s most tragic and pernicious of problems. Please don’t be discouraged. Our communities need you.
Thank God for individuals like you who take the time to care for others.
I really commend and praise your good works. In my eyes you are all heroes and champions, as it takes a very remarkable group of people to achieve all that you have achieved. Our society faces so many challenges but with your oustanding and admirable efforts it seems like we are starting to make light of the challenges and it’s only through foundations and amazing people like yourselves that we can set out to do this. Finally I encourage you to keep up the good efforts and keep strong. Your work will never go in vain.
I was impressed to learn about the wide range of agencies and settings in which SMART members offer care to drug misusers. The provision of a wide range of therapeutic interventions – along with provision of care that improves the experience of being in treatment – is very important in supporting improved self-esteem and recovery from problems of dependence.
I was very encouraged by the dedication of your members. Their determination to improve the lives of drug users, demonstrated by their commitment to the organisations they serve, its greatly appreciated.
I wish you all the very best for your Conference 2005.
With very best wishes for all the work you do to help those in need of the physical and emotional benefits of acupuncture.