Local news from the substance misuse field

Addiction charity wins excellence awards

Phoenix Futures has been awarded two UK excellence awards for leadership and customer satisfaction by the British Quality Foundation (BQF).

BQF awardsThe awards recognise organisations that have demonstrated excellence in all areas of operation. To become a finalist, Phoenix had to be recommended by assessors who visited their services earlier this year, and former resident Lawrence Smith shared his personal story with the BQF panel as part of their entry.

Phoenix staff received their awards from businesswoman and star of The Apprentice Baroness Karren Brady CBE at a recent black-tie event.

‘The most incredible part of winning these two awards for leadership and customer satisfaction is that every single staff member and volunteer can feel proud that they helped contribute to Phoenix’s success,’ said chief executive Karen Biggs.


RoRLaunch event celebrates new recovery service

Reach Out Recovery (ROR), a drug and alcohol recovery service in Birmingham, has recently celebrated the opening of its new service.

The facility, which opened in March, offers an holistic approach and supports people within their own communities by offering life skills such as finding a job and rebuilding past relationships.

CRI’s executive director Mark Moody and director Nic Adamson opened the launch event, which was attended by staff, service users and representatives from local services and communities.

The event included presentations and workshops, highlighting the support being offered and sharing success stories from the service.


Forward LeedsDrug and alcohol advice offered to students

Staff from Forward Leeds have been educating university students about drugs and alcohol misuse at freshers’ events across the city.

Students had the chance to take part in activities such as ‘beer goggle darts’, while being given advice on understanding the effects of different drugs and alcohol and how to remain safe.

‘We’d like to get students thinking about the risk factors around drinking and drug taking. We want them to stay safe,’ said Jane Doyle, early intervention and prevention lead practitioner.


Programme for ex-servicemen receives funding

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded a grant to Edinburgh-based charity Venture Trust to fund the Positive Futures project, which will support ex-servicemen and women across Scotland who are struggling to adapt to civilian life.

The programme will offer participants support in three stages – advice on employ­ment, personal development and referral to services where needed; a personal develop­ment programme and one-to-one and group support sessions; and ongoing support focused on internships, employment and peer mentoring to help individuals move forward with their lives.


Tea roomsRecovery house offers better access to support

A new recovery house has been opened in Staffordshire for those who have completed rehabilitation and want to return to their home area.

The centre will help people access support, short-term accommodation, and education and skills training, as well as engaging families in the recovery process. Langan’s tea rooms, a social enterprise, will also offer volunteering and employment opportunities.

The house was opened by Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith and representatives from Burton Addiction Centre, Cannock Chase District Council and Staffordshire County Council.


News beginningsPeer mentors gain full-time employment  

Two ex service users have begun new careers as support workers after graduating from a peer-mentoring scheme in Doncaster.

Daniel Bowden and Joe Sheerin were both supported by Doncaster’s Drug and Alcohol Services during their recovery, and became volunteer peer mentors to help others on similar journeys. Both men went through a rigorous interview process for their new roles – Daniel at the Alcohol and Drug Service (ADS), and Joe at New Beginnings drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

‘By sharing their own experiences, peer mentors deliver vital support to people beginning their recovery journeys,’ said volunteer and mentor coordinator Lydia Rice. ‘They offer empathy and encouragement, and play a valuable role in motivating others.’