“The Future of Prevention, Treatment and Recovery in the UK” – panel event with Professor Dame Carol Black, Professor Keith Humphreys and Mr Jon Royle, Wednesday 22 September 2021 at 11am

 

The Centre for Social Justice is delighted to be hosting this event bringing together some of the most influential, well informed and experienced people in the field to discuss the future of recovery in the UK. After a brief statement from each speaker the panel we will open to a discussion. This will be followed by questions from the audience.

This is an online event. To register your place, please copy and paste this link:

https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ynplZCq-S6-uRlR–wY3-w

Housing First transforming the lives of homeless people

 

Housing First is a partnership between local charity the Bridge Project, Bradford Council and housing providers. It is based on an international model, first developed in New York that is proving successful in helping rough sleepers with complex needs turn their lives around. Rather than the traditional approach, which is often to place rough sleepers in homeless hostels, Housing First provides the individual with their own home and tenancy, with intensive open-ended support. The aim is to give people back control of their own lives and having a stable home provides them with an environment to tackle their demons and adapt to independent living.

Chief Executive of the Bridge Project Jon Royle said: “The service has been operating in Bradford since August 2018 and so far, we have helped over 30 people with the most complex lives. Investing in this way saves the public purse money in the long run, because many of our beneficiaries have spent decades in and out of hospital, prison and homeless hostels without making substantial progress. It is a compassionate, humane response to help a small group of people who have had incredibly difficult and challenging lives fulfil their potential and gain a level of dignity that most of us take for granted”.

Michael is nearly 50 and spent 3 decades living on the streets, apart from brief stays in homeless shelters, which invariably didn’t work out because of his behaviour problems. He had a very difficult start in life which was mostly spent in care homes, where he experienced abuse that he still finds it difficult to talk about. As a client of Housing First he has managed to hold down his tenancy for 2 years and receive treatment for mental health issues and alcohol dependency. When he came into the scheme, he had pneumonia as a result of living on the streets and this has been successfully treated. Michael now attends a day centre where he has made new friends and interests and has just started volunteering as he has a strong desire to put something back into the community. “At first I had very little trust in anyone and was just waiting to die. Gradually I came to believe that my worker really cared and wanted to help. I actually cried with relief when I got my own home, you’ve no idea how it felt just being able to have my own front door between me and the world, I was frightened all of the time I was out there on the streets.”

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “Helping homeless people is an important priority for the council and we are delighted our Housing First pilot has proven to be so successful. This approach helps people with complex needs into a house and then offers them intensive wraparound support, rather than attempting to address their issues before providing housing. Housing First has proven to be highly effective in Los Angeles where it was developed so we are very pleased we have been able to make it part of our permanent approach here in Bradford.”

Housing First has been rigorously evaluated and is achieving impressive results. So far, almost all of the people referred to the scheme have managed to maintain their tenancies and stabilise their lives. The key to its success seems to be the flexible nature of the support which is gradually reduced over time as people move through the scheme. As John Robinson, the Service Manager says: “It is absolutely fantastic to see people realise their true potential and wake up with a smile on their faces. Our ethos is about giving people a hand up, rather than a handout – and don’t all of us need some help from time to time?”

Merger Announcement by the Trustees of Spacious Places and The Bridge Project

 

Innovative charities The Bridge Project and Spacious Places will merge with effect from 30th June 2021.

The merger is the culmination of a long association between the two organisations and many months of planning. Bridge and Spacious Places share the same values, and each believe that there are many pathways to recovery and everyone’s journey is unique.

Spacious Places will retain its programme ethos and fidelity to the 12 Step abstinence model. It will benefit from being part of a larger organisation that will provide a robust clinical and financial governance framework. Bridge has previous experience of taking over the management of community recovery organisations, helping them become more financially sustainable and manage risks effectively, without compromising their peer led recovery ethos.

Spacious Places will continue to accept referrals in the usual way and all elements of the service will transition seamlessly. This is an exciting time and the merger decision has been taken in the best interests of the people we support, whose needs we will continue to serve.

1,000 COVID Deaths in Bradford – a message from Bridge

 

It is with sadness that we pass the milestone of 1,000 COVID deaths in Bradford and our profound sympathies go out to all those who have lost family and loved ones.

Local communities have shown great resilience and our hearts are warmed by the many acts of kindness and examples of neighbour helping neighbour in a time of adversity. We have witnessed unprecedented levels of cooperation, mobilisation of resources and effort by our health, social care and voluntary sector organisations supported by an army of courageous individuals, who have stepped up to volunteer in the face of this national emergency.

It is important that we continue to make sacrifices and although the measures restrict our way of life, we must abide by them as our actions now, will determine how the disease spreads and how it will impact on our communities in the future. There is hope, in the form of a vaccine that has been deemed safe and effective by the best scientific and medical minds in the world and this is being rolled out as quickly as possible to save lives and protect the vulnerable. To be most effective, it is essential that as many people as possible are vaccinated and that is why when your turn comes, we strongly encourage you to take up the offer unless medically advised not to do so. We believe, that being vaccinated against COVID is perhaps the most important civic duty many of us will have to perform in our lifetime and it is the shared responsibility of all of us.

Volunteers will continue to pay a vital part in our recovery from COVID and more are needed now. If you would like to help your community through volunteering to befriend someone via the telephone who is lonely and isolated, please contact 01274 952200 to find out how.

Bridge Welcomes Important New Report From Public Health England On Dependence On Prescribed Medicines

 

This report reviewed the evidence associated with dependence on prescribed medicines including benzodiazepines and z-drugs, gabapentin and pregabalin, opioid pain medicines and antidepressants. Bridge is recognised as a pioneer in providing services to this group of patients, through our Addictions to Medicines Programme in Bradford that works in primary care helping individuals to withdraw from medication they have become dependent on.

Tracey Hogan, Bridge’s Director of Operations was a member of the PHE Expert Group that conducted the enquiry and produced the review, that found that over a quarter of adults use these drugs every year and one in eight people have been on them for over 12 months.

Jon Royle, Bridge’s Chief Executive commented: “We were pleased to support this review sharing the benefit of our ten years of experience in this specialist area. We already knew this was a problem that has been hidden away in primary care for many years, but the actual statistics that have come to light are staggering. We are calling on the government to provide proper services for people who often suffer in silence. I would also like to thank Kate, a client of Bridge who bravely shared her experience with the BBC to highlight the plight of sufferers and show through her own experience that with the right help and support people can recover.”

Tracey Hogan, overall winner in the Practitioner Category of BSCB Safeguarding Champion Awards

 

Bridge Project would like to congratulate Tracey Hogan, our Director of Operations, who is the overall winner in the Practitioner Category of Bradford Safeguarding Childrens Board (BSGB), Safe Guarding Champion Awards. Tracey is acknowledged as an exceptional leader within the safeguarding world. A key aspect in the approach taken by Tracey is the need to build, support and reflect upon partnership working. Tracey works at a strategic level to engender innovation in safeguarding and new ways of working.

 

The Lotus Project team, finalists in the Innovation Category of BSCB Safeguarding Champion Awards

 

The Lotus Project team, proud finalists in the Innovation Category of Bradford Safeguarding Childrens Board (BSCB), Safeguarding Champion Awards. The Lotus Project is recognised as a unique service working with individuals engaged in, or at risk of becoming involved in sex work. The team provided innovative, non-judgemental safeguarding focussed interventions for sex workers and their children across Bradford and Airedale.

 

Carol Rawson, finalist in the Voluntary/Community Sector Category of BSCB Safeguarding Champion Awards

 

Carol Rawson, from New Directions (Bridge Project), a proud finalist in the Voluntary/Community Sector Category of Bradford Safeguarding Childrens Board (BSCB), Safeguarding Champion Awards. Carol is acknowledged for her hard work and determination working on cases with child safeguarding and in particular hidden harm with parental substance misuse.

 



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