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New Vision Bradford celebrates a year of achievements

New Vision Bradford, the district’s alcohol and drug service, marked its first anniversary in April.
After its first year in operation, New Vision Bradford has already supported thousands of people experiencing issues with alcohol and other drugs.

The service is made up of a partnership of organisations, including the Bridge Project, Project 6 and Create Strength Group, and led by Humankind, a national charity offering services and support to meet people’s complex health and social needs. New Vision Bradford now offers free, confidential and non-judgemental support for anyone living in Bradford, Keighley, Ilkley, Shipley and Saltaire.

Thanks to the rich and varied partnership and friendly, professional staff, the service has quickly rooted itself in the local community offering advice, information and much needed support. The partnership have created some innovative and impactful initiatives such as the Safe Space Van which offers a safe space for people enjoying the Bradford nightlife and Beating Hearts campaign where trained volunteers teach CPR to as many people across the service and in the community as possible.

The big push in its first year of operation was to be more accessible to the Bradford community to encourage people to come forward for support in larger numbers. The fact that the service is more visible in a wider range of communities and the caring and listening culture are just some of the many positive features of the service which has contributed to more people coming forward for support than before. It also works in an integrated way with people to support other aspects of their lives, like access to safe and secure housing, employment and a rough sleeper team who support some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Someone supported by New Vision Bradford said: “Since going to New Vision Bradford my life has changed for the better. I have friends now that I can call if I’m struggling, and they know they can call me if they are struggling. New Vision Bradford has given me confidence to do things I would never have done in the past. I can now go for a meal or meeting with my friends and I’m happy having a soft drink. Something I thought I would never be able to say”.

To mark the one year milestone and the many achievements of the service, staff celebrated with tea and cake.

It is clear from the positive feedback that was shared that the service has had a positive impact on the lives of people who use the service. Staff and volunteers work with each person using a range of treatment approaches, including structured one- to-one and group support, clinical interventions, and support for families. Over 350 people successfully left the service having reached their goals, which for most means living an alcohol or drug free life.

Becky Norton, Assistant Director for New Vision Bradford said: “I feel really proud of the service, all our partners and the hard work the team have put in over the last year. It has been fantastic to be reminded of the number of people we have supported as well as all the events and initiatives we have been involved in.

Many people exiting treatment want to give back and one of the many ways they do this is to volunteer. Volunteers who are trained to support people on their recovery journey have a really positive impact on the number of people who reach their recovery goals and successfully exit treatment. They play a crucial role in making people feel welcome and confident accessing treatment and supporting them along their journey towards recovery. Many of the volunteers have their own lived experience which, when it comes to listening, means that they have ‘seen it and been it’. 45 volunteers have been trained to offer this crucial support in the last year and together they have given 9529 hours of their time.

Joe Kean, Interim Joint Commissioning Manager (Public Health) Bradford Council added: “Year one for the service has been a very positive building block for our plans to support the residents of Bradford and Airedale with alcohol and drug needs. We’ve turned around a decline in treatment numbers and are supporting around 3500 people in formal treatment and many many more with varying needs.

“However, year one is just the beginning; in the current climate of a seemingly ever-increasing cost of living, many people are struggling and we are committed alongside our partners to providing a service the district deserves and we are confident that this is reflected in the investment plans for this new financial year with the provision of more resource and some innovative areas of work.”

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