Delivering safe spaces and safe workplaces – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

December 12th, 2019 by

Safer Cornwall, supported by Safer Futures, promoted the International 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, by delivering a local workplace focused initiative; encouraging employers and local businesses to provide a safe space in the community for anyone experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence, in addition to creating a supportive and safe work place for staff.

The initiative was launched on 25th November in Truro Cathedral by Kate Kennally, Jim Pearce (CIOS Police Commander and Safer Cornwall Chair) and Lyn Gooding (CEO, First Light).

Safer Cornwall hosted walkabouts across all of the 10 Safer Towns and asked businesses to pledge their support, by advertising themselves as safe spaces to the public; using posters and merchandise with contact information for Safer Futures and also downloading our new Cornwall Council model DASV Employment Policy Template to provide information, safety and support to their staff.

Overall, the campaign engaged with 188 businesses during the Safer town walkabouts who all signed the pledge to protect customers and staff by providing a Safe Space. Of these businesses 123 have requested further training to develop their skills and knowledge of domestic abuse. The campaign was featured on Heart FM and Liskeard Radio and has had substantial public engagement through the team’s social media coverage which has reached over 41,000 people and the campaign videos have had over 11,000 views.

The campaign has had great support across all partnership agencies and the wider public, and will serve as a great foundation for all future campaigns, including Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week Monday 3rd February 2020 to Sunday 9th February 2020; watch this space.

 

 

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Special Recognition for Coastline Housing and the DAAT

December 9th, 2019 by

Coastline Housing and Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) staff attended the Markel 3rd Sector Awards on Friday 6th December in relation to their work with Naloxone.

Coastline Housing have been working on the Naloxone initiative with Cornwall and Isles of Scilly DAAT since 2015. Provision of Naloxone is an evidence-based intervention that can save lives by blocking or reversing the effects of a Heroin or opioid overdose, and Coastline Housing have been working with the DAAT to incorporate it into their services.

Coastline Housing were nominated for the Collaboration (Integration) Award which recognises ways of working in partnership with other organisations or services, achieving outcomes that would otherwise not have been achieved, and they were finalists in 4 categories:

  • Lynsey Johns, a Leadership Award for her outstanding leadership across supported accommodation, which has positively affected the quality of care;
  • Derek Law, for Making a Difference, where  significant changes have been made that have positively impacted on outcomes for people using their services;
  • Lynsey Johns, Amanda Addo,  Lee Newnham and Zena Mower Bryant  an Innovative Quality Outcomes Award, recognising their work and that of their teams around Trauma Informed Care (TIC) and the creation of psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) where people using their services feel physically and psychologically safe;
  • Jo Cowling and the DAAT for the collaborative work around Naloxone.

The judges also gave special recognition to the work of Coastline colleagues who have impressively trained over 400 people and saved 26 lives using Naloxone to reverse the effects of opiate overdoses.  This very significant work keeps people alive until they can access further treatment and social support enabling them to move forwards positively in their lives.

Marion Barton of the DAAT: “It is such a privilege to be part of this vital work, to work alongside such outstanding and dedicated colleagues and to enjoy this special occasion where their work is nationally recognised. Thank you to Allister Young, Louise Beard and all managers and staff at Coastline, Addaction colleagues and also my manager, Kim Hager for supporting the continuation of such amazing work with Naloxone.”

 

 

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Good News Story

December 6th, 2019 by

CJ was an alcohol client with Addaction 6 years ago. In November CJ and her family invited staff at Addaction to the cap and gowning awards at Truro Cathedral.

CJ studied hard for over 3 years to complete a Counselling Foundation Degree topped up to a BSc Hons Applied Social Science with Plymouth University.

CJ was a participant in a women’s group that was initially started in Falmouth and she went on to become the first female to facilitate this group.  CJ made a commitment to remain abstinent, become a volunteer and support women in recovery. She also worked part time mainly as an evening support worker at Chy and in various caring roles.

Staff at Addaction were very proud to watch her walk down the Cathedral with scroll in hand and a beautiful smile.

CJ has just completed an application to Addaction for a job. What an amazing woman.

 

 

 

 

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Festive Alcohol Messaging

December 5th, 2019 by

All this Autumn, Cornwall Public Health, Healthy Cornwall and Cornwall DAAT have been promoting the use of the ‘Drinks Meter’ app through our ‘One Too Many?’ campaign.

This will be promoted again within the 2019 ’What Will Your Drink Cost?’ festive messaging campaign, linking in with the Devon and Cornwall Police drink driving campaign.

In the first part of the campaign we have invited members of the public, especially people who feel that they are ‘normal’ drinkers, to make use of the self-monitoring ‘Drinks Meter’ app. This has been highlighted on our social media feeds, as well as on BBC Radio Cornwall.

As Christmas approaches we are going to use the “What will your drink cost?” campaign to post a series of short videos on social media.

These will focus on trusted groups of people who are involved in the safety and wellbeing of drinkers, such as Paramedics, A&E Nurses and Doctors, Police, and Fire fighters.

These people will bust common drinking myths, such as wrongly feeling that you are safe to drive early the next morning after a late drinking session, that walking home in the dark while drunk is safe, that coffee reduces the harmful impact of alcohol, that painkillers are a good idea when you’ve had lots of alcohol, and that being sick enables you to safely carry on drinking.

These video clips will be posted through December and into the New Year, and will also promote the Drinks Meter. This app which will help people to set themselves limits during the festive season, and to make sure they maintain or return to a sensible pattern in January.

 

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Bringing Alcohol Awareness to the Airwaves – 11th – 17th November 2019

November 26th, 2019 by

Jez Bayes, the Alcohol Strategy Lead for Safer Cornwall, brought Alcohol Awareness Week 2019 to the airwaves; visiting BBC Radio Cornwall and asking the listeners to think about their own relationship with alcohol.

As many as 1 in 3 people in the South West don’t realise that they drink too much, which can lead to other effects that people would not normally associate with alcohol; such as not sleeping well, feeling tired in the mornings, feeling stressed. Jez drew focus to the ‘one every night’ habit; often considered to be a culturally acceptable level of drinking.

Residents of Cornwall were invited to download the ‘Drink’s Meter’ smartphone app to help them become aware and monitor their own level of drinking. The app is available on the Google Play store or Apple App store and allows people to track exactly what and how much they have drunk throughout the week, calculating how many ‘drink’ calories have been consumed and how many ‘food’ calories that equates to. Users can also track how much money they have spent on alcohol.

The app goes on to advise users on how to develop healthier drinking by recommending, for example, having more days across the week without having alcohol.

Safer Cornwall promoted Alcohol Awareness week 2019 across social media; 56 people clicked on the featured link (https://www.healthycornwall.org.uk/onetoomany) to download the Drinks Meter app over the 7 days and we will continue to promote and share the link in the weeks leading up to the pending festivities.

 

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New commissioned street outreach response team

October 30th, 2019 by

Rough sleepers across Cornwall will receive outreach support thanks to Addaction and Cornwall Housing funded via Cornwall Council.

Addaction Cornwall, who currently provide drug and alcohol support in the area, has been awarded the Rough Sleepers Outreach Contract by Cornwall Housing.

As part of the project, Addaction outreach workers will be employed to engage and support some of Cornwall’s most vulnerable people currently living on the street. The project will run in partnership with the charity Homeless Link’s StreetLink service.

If a member of the public is concerned about someone sleeping rough they can send an alert to StreetLink through the mobile app, www.streetlink.org.uk, or by calling 0300 500 0914. The referral will be sent to Addaction Cornwall and an outreach worker will go to the location where the rough sleeper was seen at to engage and support them.

Outreach workers will develop personalised care plans for rough sleepers, supporting them into housing and treatment services. They will also carry the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone to extend harm reduction efforts.

Lynda Edward is the Multiple Complex Needs Manager at Addaction Cornwall and will be managing the service. Lynda said:

“We know that many people who are forced to sleep on the streets have multiple complex needs such as drug and alcohol and mental health issues. Often these people can struggle to engage with services so, rather than waiting for them to come to us, this project is about proactively engaging and supporting this group. outreach workers will provide a package of care focused on helping people get the personalised support they need. This could be accompanying them to a housing appointment, helping them access drug treatment or helping them with financial issues. All support will be centred around the needs of the individual.

“No one should have to sleep rough in Cornwall or anywhere else. We believe this dedicated service can help many people start to rebuild their lives.”

Nick Cross, Cornwall Housing Managing Director adds “We recognise the passion the Addaction team have to help people make changes and improve their lives. We look forward to bringing together the newly commissioned street outreach response team with our wider services to prevent and relieve homelessness in Cornwall.

“Over the last few years Cornwall Housing has worked to reduce the number of rough sleepers across the county. I have no doubt that with Addaction’s support we will be able to support the most vulnerable so no one needs to sleep rough in Cornwall.”

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Time Credits: a success story but what does the future hold?

October 16th, 2019 by

Impact and successes

Time Credits, commissioned by Cornwall Council has been delivered by Tempo since 2017.  The project helps to support vulnerable individuals with multiple needs to better engage with and contribute to their communities by earning credits through volunteering and spending them at the various spend opportunities that have been created across the county.

The first client group was made up of people with complex and multiple needs, including drug and alcohol problems or those experiencing issues with homelessness.  The idea being that if we could make it work for our most vulnerable individuals we could make it work for anyone.   The project started in Penzance so spend partners could be successfully recruited before rolling out to other areas.  Time Credits now work with those who have experienced Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence and also with young people and has expanded across Cornwall.

This is the Cornwall Time credit that was co-produced with service users and agencies in Cornwall.  Individuals are awarded a time credit for each hour of volunteering.

 

This has been a very successful project, exceeding all targets.  There are now over 40 spend partners, including  Cornwall College, Merlin and WCT cinemas, Better Leisure; Hall for Cornwall and Flambards.  There are also 50 Earn partners/Community groups involved including Addaction, Harbour Housing, Newstart and other supported housing providers; DASV services and refuges; Young people services including the YOS and accommodation foyers.  There are 644 signed up members, which is almost 3 times more than the target of 235 people.

The Tempo National Impact on success states that:

  • 80% report improved quality of life
  • 63% feel more able to contributed to the community and other people
  • 59% share their skills with others
  • 57% feel less isolated and lonely
  • 55% develop new friends and acquaintances
  • 54% feel more positive about their future

 

One of our Earn Partners said the following:

“Supporting the residents to engage in voluntary work and being able to acknowledge and reward them is a massive boost to their confidence, self-esteem & well-being.”

Rachel Battleday, Cosgarne Hall

“Time Credits makes me more engaged and involved with STAK outings and has allowed me to try things and visit places I wouldn’t have been able to on my pension. It’s such a wonderful idea.”

St Austell Community Kitchen User

 

Moving forwards

The contract and funding for this very successful project is due to come to an end in March 2020.  It has achieved all targets; signed up almost 3 times the number of vulnerable individuals than expected.  It is now time for us to decide whether or not this project continues.

In November, a visioning day, is being planned in order to consider the options and agree the best way to progress.

 

 

 

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Multi-agency working to combat drug litter

October 16th, 2019 by

Community Safety Drug Litter ½ Year Report 2019/20

Outreach workers from Addaction and the Local Police Teams attend sites of reported drug litter to provide assertive outreach to those affected.

Members of the public are asked to report drug litter to Cornwall Council and once received this information is cascaded to Addaction and the local Police so they can attend the affected area and offer support and advice to anyone who may need it.

Over the last 6 months there have been 72 reports of drug litter to Cornwall Council and the most prevalent areas are Newquay (15), Penzance (15), St Austell (9) and Camborne (7).

Graph shows litter request for April to September 2018 compared to the same time period in 2019.

There has been a reduction in the number of drug litter requests in Penzance and St Austell. The reason for this reduction is unknown although one possible explanation is the extra time and resources dedicated to assertive outreach in these areas.

Below is a breakdown of the drug litter requests for the last 6 months for further information.

 

 

 

 

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SW Peninsula Drug Related Death Conference

October 10th, 2019 by

On Friday 6th September the SW Peninsula Drug Related Death Conference was held at The China Fleet Club, Saltash, this being the 9th time this conference has been held.

This year proved to be the largest attendance of all the conferences held with over 170 delegates.

A full days program saw 9 plenary sessions being delivered by a total of 13 speakers. The subject matter was eclectic, informative and adduced from investigating the many drug related deaths that have happened over the last year. The learning and best practice coming from these investigations was expanded upon by experts in their field to the benefit of all delegates.

The tangible positive feel of this conference was evident in the refreshment breaks where many and varied practitioners exchanged thoughts, ideas and future networking opportunities. Below are some of the many positive feedback comments from across The Peninsula;

‘I hadn’t been particularly looking forward to it simply because the subject matter is never one that fills your heart with joy, but I really enjoyed the day.  However, it was only when I got home and was talking about all the various nuggets of information that had particularly caught my attention that I realised it was something from each of the speakers, and I realised how well it all fitted together and how much I’d picked up from them all’.

‘Many thanks for organising such an informative and social type event’.

‘I would definitely attend again as the information sharing is a great way of learning and getting to meet lots of different practitioners as well’

‘A fantastic day that really made me think, and think differently about how to change the system’.

‘Thank you for inviting so many mental health staff’

The conference will return in 2020 buoyed up by the optimism that delegates shared and their commitment to reduce drug related deaths despite the many pressures that there currently are on all agencies involved in this important work

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Homeless charity Harbour Housing is celebrating a decade of its Naloxone scheme which works to combat opioid overdoses

October 10th, 2019 by

Naloxone is a Competitive Opioid Antagonist which simply put means that it is a drug that can temporarily reverse the effects of an overdose through knocking the opioids off the receptors. It has been described by staff at Harbour as a ‘miracle drug’ as it can bring people back from the brink of death, and has been used to successfully prevent 46 cases of overdose at Harbour since it was introduced in 2009.

The drug is administered via syringe directly into the muscle and is incredibly fast acting, in most cases reviving the patient in mere minutes.

Jade Barron, a tenancy sustainment officer at Harbour, has intervened in several overdose situations and said:

“It’s incredible how quickly the Naloxone takes effect, people can be revived immediately and the great thing about it is that there are no negative side-effects so it’s completely safe to use. “Sometimes it acts as a wakeup call. I’ve had a resident be brought back with Naloxone and the next week decide to fully commit to recovery.”

Public Health England estimates that every unexpected death costs around £1.4 million, so with each Naloxone kit costing less than £20 it is clear that easier access to this life-saving drug could help to save thousands of lives, as well as taxpayer money.

Harbour was approached by Marion Barton, social inclusion lead for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), in 2009 and asked to pilot the scheme. At the time Harbour was tolerant to alcohol use on site but not the use of drugs, and despite this had sadly lost residents to overdose. It was for this reason, says Chris Abbott Harbour’s head of housing, that management decided to go ahead with the project.

 

 

Naloxone was more heavily regulated back in 2009 and could only be prescribed directly to a drug user, which was not an effective way to ensure their safety as they would be unable to use it on themselves in an overdose situation. Harbour has been instrumental in developing national Naloxone policy, helping to influence the change in 2015 that allowed the drug to be prescribed to a responsible person and kept in communal areas of supported accommodation facilities.

Over the ten years Naloxone has become an integral part of Harbour’s harm reduction procedure, with kits easily available across all of its properties in boxes attached directly to the walls as well as in first-aid kits and kept in vehicles.

After the development of the Naloxone scheme, Harbour was assisted by drug and housing policy expert Kevin Flemen to adjust its own policy to become tolerant to use of drugs within the law. Through having this high tolerance to both drug and alcohol use Harbour has been able to accept referrals from those who would otherwise have nowhere else to go. People struggling with addiction need the right support to be able to manage their substance use, and Harbour says

that their tolerant ‘eyes wide open’ approach allows for honesty and trust between staff and residents which has a really positive impact on recovery.

Drug use is much more dangerous when it is kept hidden, and recent figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed that drug related deaths reached an all-time high of 4,359 across England and Wales last year. Naloxone has become much more widespread in recent years, and thanks to the hard work of the DAAT it is now available in all supported accommodations across Cornwall.

All staff, residents and volunteers at Harbour are trained in the administration of Naloxone, and in recent years Harbour has also trained members of staff from other supported accommodations. The increase in availability of this life- saving drug is hoped to reduce the harm to people struggling with addiction and stop the rise of preventable deaths.

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: