Service of remembrance for families that have lost loved ones due to substance use


A service of remembrance is being held in Cornwall in memory of people who have died due to substance use.

Last year there were 38 drug-related deaths in Cornwall. This figure would be considerably higher when taking into account deaths linked to alcohol and the misuse of prescription drugs.

The Acorn Service is organised by Cornwall Council’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team and the charity With You, formerly Addaction. It will be held at the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth on Saturday October 29 and will start at 2pm.

The service of remembrance will be led by a humanist celebrant and will include readings, music and personal reflections from service users, drug treatment workers and individuals who have a lost family members.

Acorn Service of Remembrance

The Acorn Service is held annually and each year more leaves are added to the tree of remembrance – where people write messages on card shaped as oak leaves in memory of family members or friends no longer with us.

Anyone who has been touched by a substance use death is invited to attend. There is no need to book.

Sid Willett, Drug Related Death Prevention Co-ordinator at Cornwall Council, said: “I would urge anyone who has lost a loved one or friend due to substance use to come along. We know that people who are grieving in this way often go through a very complex and difficult journey. We hope that this event can help people who have been through a really difficult time.

“As well as remembrance, the Acorn Service seeks to use the legacy of those who have died to bring about change to help prevent future deaths. Working with families who have lost loved ones and learning from their experiences is a key part of this work.”

Councillor Carol Mould, portfolio holder for Neighbourhoods at Cornwall Council, said: “I’d like to thank everyone involved in this project which provides such valuable support to many people in Cornwall.

“We know that drugs can have a devastating impact on people’s lives and their loved ones. It is really important that we provide support to family members and friends who are grieving in this way.”

Councillor Andy Virr, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Cornwall Council, said: “Drug and alcohol addiction is devastating for individuals affected and their families. Tragically premature death is the final result of such addiction. The Service of Remembrance rightly reflects the value of these lives lost and the impact on wider society.”

Press release issued on October 18, 2022

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