Who are we?
SMART began in 1994 in the United States. It has grown into a worldwide network of self-help meetings, both face-to-face and online, where participants can get help from others in recovery.
The most important people to our organisation are those who are trying to change their addictive behaviour using our meetings on on-line resources. We may in future offer support to family members in the UK, which is already available via the US on-line community.
Because of the way SMART Recovery meetings work, there is a need for a 'Facilitator' to keep things on-track. Since the meetings are our core activity, these meeting Facilitators are key. Our Facilitators are people who are in recovery themselves and are 'giving back' to help others who have the kinds of problems they have themselves overcome. They give their time freely as volunteers, undergo thorough training and follow our Facilitators code of conduct. We keep in touch with and consult with facilitators through this website, on-line peer support meetings and through newsletters. A great deal of our work is making sure facilitators have good materials, information and training to help them run good meetings.
This is simply a group of existing and experienced facilitators who are able and willing to do more than run their meeting. We hope to build this up into a team of volunteer 'Regional Co-ordinators' and other roles to help the organisation move forwards.
We have a small paid central office team to help keep SMART Recovery running and moving forwards. At present, this is Richard Phillips who is the Director, Carol Hammond who is Office Manager and Jardine Simpson who is funded by the Lothians region of Scotland to help SMART Recovery roll-out across that area.
SMART Recovery UK is not and will not become a treatment service provider and will not accept a contract within which SRUK recruits staff to actually facilitate meetings. This is an important principle that will protect the movement from losing its core strength in mutual aid. We would like to expand the paid staff team a little, but keep the focus of the movement as a whole on the traditions and strengths of volunteering.
Like all UK charities, we have a board of trustees - volunteers who oversee the running and direction of the charity and make sure it stays within the law and has a strong future; please see the list of our Board of Trustees.
Partners and Champions
SMART Recovery UK has a Partnership scheme with professional care and treatment services. This involves us training some of their staff as 'SMART Recovery Champions' so that they can kick start meetings within their services, introduce service users to SMART and encourage some to become facilitators and start their own peer led meetings in the community. Our relationship with partners is to offer training and license our programme and materials.
International picture and legal Structure
SMART operates as a non-profit organisation in many countries including the United States, the UK, Canada and Australia. SMART Recovery UK is a registered charity which works closely with the not for profit organisation in the USA which 'owns' SMART Recovery. Legally speaking, the UK charity has an exclusive license (or legal permission) from the US to develop and promote SMART Recovery in this country. We work very closely with the US team and have cross representation between the boards.
Like most charities, we are also registered as a company limited by guarantee. This legal structure means we operate for the benefit of society and do not have shareholders, but the Board of Trustees and volunteers have some legal protection if something goes badly wrong. For example they are not personally liable for debts if we went bust.
The SMART Recovery movement has the support of a renowned International Board of Advisors which includes many of the most influential and important researchers and psychologists in the field of addictions.