Local news – May 2015

VetVeterans’ service advances to South West

A new treatment service for military veterans with drug and alcohol problems is being expanded into the south west of England.

Right Turn, launched by Addaction and funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, is already available to veterans throughout Scotland and the north of England. It aims to offer ex-service men and women support during their transition back to civilian life.

The programme also hopes to influence policy makers and improve services by providing a detailed evaluation both of the project and the scale of the problem.

Meanwhile, initiatives to help ex-service personnel continue at Liverpool’s Tom Harrison House (DDN, December 2014, page 6) where a new national conference learned from US colleagues about developing veteran-specific addiction treatment.

‘We have a lot to learn about how we support our veterans who are experiencing active addiction or alcoholism,’ said head of service, Jacquie Johnston-Lynch.


BDPBDP and students embrace technology challenge

A team of students from the University of Bristol, working with the addiction charity Bristol Drugs Project (BDP), have won the 2015 Tata Consulting Services (TCS) Tech Challenge.

In its second year, the TCS Tech Challenge is designed to inspire young people to get creative with technology.

The team from Bristol University collaborated with BDP to create an IT solution that targeted and engaged recreational drug users. Researching the project by working with the university’s student counselling service and attending BDP group sessions with service users, the team developed a prototype app that combined a questionnaire, examples of users’ stories and personal diaries.

Each member of the winning team has been awarded a paid one-month internship at TCS, while BDP has received a £1,000 donation.


Restoration enterprise heads for new heights

A social enterprise in London has celebrated more than a year of successful business with an event to thank its supporters and recognise the conclusion of a successful pilot phase.

Restoration Station, a project of the Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT), is now providing work experience restoring vintage furniture for six people in recovery, as well as making original pieces from reclaimed and recycled materials.

The project is popular with both shoppers and other local businesses looking for bespoke creations, and gives individuals in recovery the opportunity to build their confidence and develop new skills.

‘It’s a fantastic project,’ said Della Tinsley of the East London Design Show. ‘I think that the power to have a skill and make something is incredibly restorative… something that really has an ability to change lives.’


Free training for family members

Adfam is offering free training to friends, family members and carers of individuals with substance misuse problems.

After a pilot in the London Borough of Greenwich, Adfam has now extended the training to services in Kent that support people affected by others’ substance use.

The one-day training programme aims to empower individuals to become Family Recovery Champions, who would in turn be able to offer support and advice to others using the service.

For more information or to book training contact Bex Peters, r.peters@adfam.org.uk


Bike rideSponsored bike ride honours Barry’s memory

Staff from Addaction Cornwall have taken part in a sponsored bike ride to raise money in memory of a volunteer at the service.

Barry Marsh died in November last year of cancer after dedicating many hours of his time to offering other people support and sharing his own story.

The team of staff organised and completed an 11-mile cycle route, and the money raised has been donated to Cornwall Hospice Care, which supported Barry towards the end of his life.


SDhadleyService user champion wins management award

Sunny Dhadley, service user involvement officer at the Wolverhampton Service User Involvement Team (SUIT), has been awarded an Award for Excellence from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The award recognises his management and leadership skills, and was presented to SUIT at the recent CMI Midlands annual conference and awards event at Birmingham’s ICC.

‘I’m delighted to have been given this award by CMI in recognition of my management and leadership abilities,’ said Dhadley. ‘At one point in my life I didn’t think that anything was achievable. This award has shown me – and others – that everything is.’