I Issue 4 | Summer 2011
Meet the UP2U Chair Clive Sanger talks about his role as Chair of the UP2U forum
Footsteps Project Jess Snowden gives us an update on CANâ€™s mentoring scheme
Input & Inspire Clients share their stories, pictures and poetry
Who we are
Over 1.2 million of societyâ€™s most vulnerable people are leading independent lives thanks to Supporting People Supporting People is a government grant programme that funds housing related support. The services who receive funding help vulnerable people improve or maintain their ability to lead independent lives. This might include supporting someone coming out of homelessness obtain their own tenancy, enabling an older or disabled person to stay in their own home or helping someone to flee domestic abuse. Supporting People strive to deliver high quality, needs-led services that are strategically planned and complement existing care services. As the key focus is on getting the right support and outcomes for service users, each service is monitored to ensure certain standards are met. This is achieved by working in partnership with local government, probation and health services, voluntary sector organisations, housing associations, support agencies and the service users themselves.
Supported housing - have your say UP2U gives clients opportunities to get involved in planning and shaping the services they receive.
Current members include people who have been affected by: homelessness drug and alcohol problems teenage parenthood domestic abuse mental health issues physical disability
Group members meet every couple of months to share their experiences and offer valuable feedback to the service providers.
Interested? Why not contact Richard Lukehurst for more information Office: 01604 250 678 Mobile: 07958 617 516 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 2
iJi Inside this issue
News Jess Snowden gives us an update on the Footsteps Project
The Goodwill Project
Coffee mornings at St Giles Street
Eden Park celebrate its 6th birthday
Dropping in on Bromford Support
Features Recovery: Clive Sanger shares his journey with us
The Recovery Issue Here we are in August and I can’t believe how quick time flies! This is our second issue of the Umbrella magazine this year and I believe it is improving with each edition. A big thank you to all who have contributed to Umbrella this time around, we could not produce it without your help, so really, a big thank you to all! This issue is largely focused on recovery, a term which is often banded around the different consultation events we have been attending over the spring and summer months. I believe it is a personal matter how one defines the word recovery dependent on one’s best hopes or preferred future, although I have taken it upon myself to give you few dictionary definitions. Recover: become healthy again, find again, or gain a former condition. Part of the role of UP2U is to empower and promote independence amongst our client group. Our mission statement is “empowerment through involvement” and over the last few months members
who have actively got involved with the project have certainly started the process of recovery as a result of taking part within the many realms of UP2U The coming months are about looking forward as a group and offering your views to the commissioners with a view to help shape future service provision. There have been and will be many opportunities for you to take part in different consultation events that have been organised across the county throughout the summer months. The findings will be collated and a report sent to cabinet in November. The primary purpose of this is to shape and mould services to better serve those who access them in need, thus hopefully starting the process of recovery. We look forward to continuing the work through the summer/autumn months and hope some of our readers will be inspired to get involved within your own organisations.
A word from the Chair. A Q&A session with Clive Sanger
OMG it’s Accommodation Concern’s new service for young people
Input & Inspire Clients submit their stories, poems and pictures
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The Footsteps Project My name is Jess Snowden, and I work for CAN. Established in 1972, CAN delivers a range of drug, alcohol and homelessness services across Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Luton. I am a Project Worker for The Footsteps Project, a Supporting People funded service that offers our clients the support of a volunteer mentor or befriender. I’ve been in my role for about a year and a half now, and have been lucky enough to work with a really diverse, interesting and committed group of clients and volunteers. Before working at CAN, I worked for a youth homelessness charity in London, where I offered advice and guidance to clients, and co-ordinated a similar, but smaller, mentoring project. It has been great to use my experience there when setting up and shaping Footsteps. Working in this field has always been so rewarding for me; every day is different and I get to work alongside people with a real wealth of skills and experience. Witnessing progress and change in our clients is also really inspiring- and it feels good to be working towards helping this to happen. The Footsteps Project has been around for many years, in various different forms- so I was lucky enough to have some wonderful advice when I started, from the woman who ran the project before me! The name Footsteps was inspired
by the famous poem ‘Footsteps in the Sand’, which is a story of being given care and support in times of need. It also suggests taking steps to move forward on a journey which is just what the project aims to achieve. By having the support of a mentor or befriender clients have someone independent to meet up with weekly, who will take the time to show an interest in them, to offer some advice and encouragement as they move forwards in their own journey. A listening ear, a friendly face, and someone to talk things through with can be really helpful. The mentors and befrienders themselves come from a huge range of backgrounds, and have been fully trained. Some are professionals, some are retired, some have been in similar services in the past, but they all have a lot in common- the desire to volunteer and help someone to move forward in their life. Our volunteers also gain skills and experience of working in a one-toone capacity with a client, and it can be wonderfully rewarding to watch someone move forward and progress. There are also regular coffee mornings for all involved, which are a nice social get-together. The project works closely with the UP2U project and there are some clients who are involved in both. I believe that client involvement is key to the success of any project and I have learned a lot from working with Richard Lukehurst and the UP2U group.
By Jess Snowden Footsteps values and needs the input and feedback of Clients at all stages if it is to be a success! If anyone thinks that it would be useful to have the support of a mentor or befriender, or is interested in volunteering for the project, they should give me a call and we can have a chat about the best way forward. Clients can refer themselves, or ask a support worker to make the call on their behalf. The office number is 01604 250678. My Mentor is great, he’s easygoing and really reliable. We have a laugh, and my confidence is so much greater than when we first met. Steve My mentor is like my rock. I know that she is there, and that motivates me. I can report back to her all the good stuff that is going on. Client M What can I say about Footsteps? It’s been at times a revelation. I was introduced to my mentor, and from the very first meeting we gelled. After all my years of alcohol abuse, there was somebody encouraging me to move on from the past and to concentrate on the present and the future. I am thankful for his perseverance and faith in me. Ricky
inspiring people through enterprise Goodwill Solutions supply affordable furniture and offer better value to charities, but this company’s commitment to community doesn’t end there. Managing Director Mike Britton is embarking on a project that is improving job prospects for people who are facing more barriers to employment than most. The company is partnering with local support agencies and is offering work experience placements to clients from vulnerable backgrounds. The 6-week placement teaches participants the fundamentals of working in a warehouse and includes forklift training. Those who successfully complete the training qualify as fully licensed forklift drivers. Mike, and fellow director Graham Tomkins, who founded the Brackmills based company in 2008, are pleased with the way the project is progressing. He said: “So far we’ve seen 9 or 10 clients go through the process. The main benefit they are getting is that they are becoming more socially involved. If you look at their progress from week to week, they gain a pride in themselves and more self respect.” Simon receives support from The
Mayday Trust and got involved with Goodwill via Richard Lukehurst and the UP2U forum. Previously unemployed for five years Simon has now been taken on as a permanent member of the Goodwill team. He is delighted to be working full-time where a typical day involves loading and unloading lorries, order picking and other general warehouse tasks. He said: “I would recommend this to anyone in a similar situation to me. It’s hard to get back to work when you’ve been out of work for so long. The support has improved my circumstances and given me something to look forward to.” Mike said it can be really difficult for people with troubled pasts to gain employment so he has been liaising with HRGO Recruitment, an agency that is supporting the project by considering applicants based upon Mike’s recommendations. There are also plans to create a new Social Enterprise that could generate up to 20 jobs. Mike said “We are working towards setting up a mini supermarket on the estate. The site could also include a cafe, pallet repair yard, carwash and training centre.” He added, “Over 12,000 people work here and they have to drive into town on their breaks if they run out of
Footsteps coffee mornings Footsteps and UP2U coffee mornings are proving to be a great success. Why not come along to one of our forthcoming sessions at 81 St Giles Street and join in the fun? Tuesday 13th September 10.30am Tuesday 27th September 10.30am Tuesday 11th October 10.30am Tuesday 25th October 10.30am i
biscuits, teabags or whatever. There is definitely a community need.” Northamptonshire is at the heart of the logistics and distribution industry and boasts numerous industrial estates. Mike sees great potential in what is essentially a simple model and hopes that it could be repeated countywide. “If it pans out” he said “it could generate many jobs.”
Promote your organisation You can advertise your services, events, drop-ins and news in Umbrella free of charge 5
Eden Park celebrates its 6th year
Eden Park successfully held an open day for its clients, previous clients and co-workers to celebrate the excellent work and progress of the project since it opened in 2005. The day was supported by local services who joined in with fundraising events such as face painting, craft stalls, cake sales, a barbecue, drama sessions, bouncy castle, DJ experiences and much more. The Police had a stand to raise awareness of community safety and the children had fun trying on Police uniforms. Eden Park has also secured ÂŁ5,500 for a peer mentoring scheme which 6
invites ex clients to return and train as mentors who then support current clients to move on and achieve success and independence as they have done themselves. Mentors are undergoing training in child protection, adult protection, data protection, health and safety, food hygiene, treasure baskets, baby massage and life skills like budgeting. Eden Park is a support service for young parents and families in Corby that provides support and accommodation to young mothers and fathers aged 16 - 19. Support needs vary from benefit entitlement advice,
educational needs, emotional support and parenting and life skills. Acting as a stepping stone to independence Eden Park has 13 fully furnished self- contained flats that provide accommodation for clients before moving on to their own independent tenancy. The project is a hub of local services providing work shops and drop in sessions on a range of topics and skills. Clients can be referred to Eden Park when they are in their 24th week of pregnancy or are the primary carer of a child aged 0 - 5 years. For more information on Eden Park contact the office 01536 204315. i
Is floating support for me?
Bromford Support Drop-ins Would you like help with your mental health, tenancy issues, bills, budgeting and benefits or accessing education/ work/community and social resources? You can now access Bromford Support’s Mental Health Support Service in a new way. They are setting up a number of new drop in sessions for people with any kind of mental health need who aren’t already receiving support from Bromford can come along and see a support worker to get some help and support immediately.
This means you don’t have to get referred to Bromford Support, you can go straight to them in person. They can then help you with some things there and then – such as form filling, or advice on where to go to get the kind of help you need, including a referral to the full support service if the drop in support is not enough. There are lots of different times and places all over Northampton: For more details, please call Bromford Support on 01604 755704 or call in and see us!
Monday - Central Library - 1pm - 2pm r g you n i n i a Expl and s right sibilities n respo ant en as a t
Tuesday - Weston Favell Library 1pm - 2pm Support with contacting and making appointments with other agencies
Advice and su pport with cl aiming welf benefits and are housing ben efits aids and y need y n a n o Advice t you ma a h t s n o i adaptat
Support with budgeting and managing your bills Support with reporting rep airs to your home and managing your tenancy
South Northants: Northampton: Wellingborough: Daventry:
Karen 07785 510901 Dee 07912 275269 Jo 07739 446206 Andy 07912 275268
Wednesday - Emmanuel Church Coffee Shop, Weston Favell, 1pm -2pm Thursday - The One Stop Shop, Guildhall, 1pm-2pm Friday - Kingsthorpe Methodist Church, 10am-12pm Northampton Time Bank Scheme - Time to Make Time Take Time to Make Time is a new Time Banking scheme in Northamptonshire, it is a partnership between Changing Minds and Northamptonshire County Council and is part funded by the East Midlands Innovation Fund. A Time Bank is a way for people to share skills with others in their community and be rewarded for it - in time. For every hour of time you give providing a service for another participant, you receive one time credit. You give a few hours of your spare time when you want to, doing the things you enjoy.... You receive the opportunity to get some help for yourself when you need it, or you can give your time credits to a member of your family.
The scheme is open to anyone over 16 years old in the Northampton area. We currently have 48 individual members and 5 organisations signed up – including CAN. The services currently on offer range from housework and ironing to furniture restoration and upholstery to personal shopping and Spanish lessons! For more information or to register on the scheme, contact Nicola Jones on 07833 479096 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Go green - download your copy online Visit issuu.com/umbrella-mag to view and download issues or send a request to email@example.com
A word from the Chair
Recovery: a story of hope
Illustration by Rosie Barratt
I know I don’t talk for all, although I can speak for many. This is a personal view of my own recovery and what can be achieved by taking positive steps and action. It may just inspire one person to take action to recover from what might seem a hopeless place. Two and half years ago I was engaging with tier 4 alcohol/ drugs services and tier 4 mental health services, meaning rehabilitation and mental health institutions. I had found myself in a place where I could not stop drinking/using and was physically as well as mentally dying and suicide seemed the only way out of a living hell. I can’t praise the services enough, after all they kept me alive, although I didn’t see it at the time, how could I. At the time I did not know night from day. I know now they did everything they could. One thing that used to really irritate me was that some people would say, “Well you choose to be an alcoholic”. All I could say
to this is would you choose to live like me, would you choose to lose everything in life that has meaning i.e. family, friends, self worth, in fact everything good that life has to offer? I have already touched on the professional services and yes I owe them a great deal of gratitude and they had a massive impact on my life, this is why I now spend a lot of my time giving something back to the services that helped me, they were instrumental in my recovery. I have to say though, that for me, it was not enough for me to change. I was looking for answers, seeking why I could not stop drinking/using. I was lucky enough to have a home computer that ended up saving my life. I don’t know how I made first contact with the people that turned my life around, call it fate or destiny. Over a period of about six weeks I started talking to a rehab in the USA on a regular basis, things got so bad for me I was at breaking point, at that moment my life started to change. This was for me the start of a journey that has transformed my life. Not going into too much detail as I am writing a book and if not too careful this could turn into a life story. The most incredible thing happened; I was in the UK talking to someone in the USA about my dilemma and as a result of reaching out the response was within an hour. A man who I had never met called round the very same night to see me and share with
By Clive Sanger
me his experience with alcoholism and from that moment I have never looked back. This was the start of a journey that introduced me to the 12 step program of recovery. The last two years have been the most amazing years of my life; I came through the program to understand myself. Many things have happened in this time. For those willing to seek recovery and work at it, the rewards are that I am now able to live a life that’s full, allow me to share some of the highlights. Out of the blue eight months into my recovery I had an email from the rehab in Texas inviting me over to to the USA to talk on recovery to their clients. I was thinking this sort of thing does not happen; I’m just a “normal” guy. I was invited over for four days and asked to speak once, remember eight months earlier I was practically housebound. I ended up speaking everyday while there and have made many friends, also at some time been invited back to speak in New York. From a place of hopelessness to a happy and productive life. The impact of recovery on family can’t even be measured; I have been able to build bridges that I thought had completely gone. My relationship with them has never been stronger, instead of being a burden and a worry; I am now a father, brother, son, that my family are proud of. To have my family come to me for love and support just about says it all.
A word from the Chair
Meet the Chair
Clive Sanger, UP2U chair,talks to Umbrella about his experiences of being part of the forum
The UP2U forum is made up of clients and professionals who are involved with supported housing projects across Northamptonshire. Clients have recently been involved in consultations with Northamptonshire County Council where they have offered valuable feedback about the services they receive. Supporting documents and information relating to the consultation can be found at the link below. This page will be updated regularly as the consultation progresses, so please keep checking for updates. http://www.northamptonshire. gov.uk/en/councilservices/ asc/services/prevent/Pages/ Prevention-Consultation-2011Downloads.aspx
When and how did you get involved with UP2U?
What influence has UP2U had on commissioners to date?
I became involved with UP2U quite early in to its being, almost 17 months now. Starting off with sitting on decision making forums giving my view of the past services I had received good and bad, and how for people like me that have accessed services these previous decisions impacted on my life and recovery.
Commissioners and directors are taking notice, how could they not. In this time of uncertainty for all even they do not know the way forward, it’s only by input from the service users that the the right choices can be made.
How did it come about that you became Chair? Good question! I would think it’s because of the commitment I have shown in something I really believe in, you would have to ask the person that asked me to get a correct answer on this. That would be Richard Lukehurst client involvement worker who asked me if I was willing to step up and commit, something I now ask of other people.
What does being the forum’s Chair involve? A lot of work! Something I also do in my own time is taking time to talk with vulnerable clients to get them involved. How else can positive changes be made? If it does not come from the clients that receive the services then how do the professionals know they are doing the best for clients?
Take the substance misuse field. I know that things like the time it takes for a person to access detox has come down and consultation with DAAT will have an impact on the way the service is delivered in the future.
What else has the UP2U forum been involved with? UP2U was approached by JDChoices to offer feedback on the education boards they already produced. It was pointed out that although they are a great education tool some of the boards did not go far enough. They asked UP2U to produce a board that they felt was important, dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis, a combination of two problems, can be many things, in this instance this came to be a substance misuse and mental health. JDChoices now produce these boards and it’s a direct result from UP2U input.
How important do you think Client involvement is?
What do you get out of your involvement with UP2U?
Client involvement is the only way forward, without this the impact on statutory services would be overwhelming.
There is so much I get, remember it’s not about about me, to see clients move forward as I have is the main thing.
Government talk a good talk about saving money but they need to listen as well as govern.
Talking now from from my experience it’s not only this, the professionals know their job but it is important for them to know how, where, and why they make a difference.
My experience of chairing UP2U has been one of most rewarding experiences of my life. All I can say is that it’s open to all that get involved, I have only committed to this post for 12 months so step up and get involved.
Input & Inspire
By Rosie Barratt
Behind lies a track of fear, regret and hopelessness, ahead is set a path of hope, dreams and happiness. What is behind is history and in the past, it can’t be changed it’s time to move on fast.
Leap into the unknown and take courage by the hand, let go of the control and let worries wash away in the sand, let all your blessings be carved onto stone, let words of wisdom never leave you on your own.
What is buried behind us has been and gone from our lives, but what is still to come is for our hearts dreams and strives. A journey that leads to opportunity and change, with lots of risks and chances that may seem scary and strange, but will leave you feeling so happy and proud, that you have freed yourself and things you have allowed.
Success doesn’t come from words that have been said, to achieve we must take action with a positive mind in our head.
Don’t anticipate what the outcome of your actions will be, don’t hold back with fear and doubt and for what you can’t see. Take the first step out of the darkness and into the light, listen to your heart not your head and just lose sight, of any hopelessness of weakness that has kept you locked inside, and break through the barriers and shine from where you hide.
To live a life of compassion, love and understanding, with no regrets just purity, peace and a free spirit set gambling, to give up all the rules and fears that you have served, for a life worth living that you are so well deserved. Continue to believe in yourself and never forget, you are unique and special to everyone you have ever met. You are a one and only, no one can replace you or who you are, so accept yourself for you and respect the qualities of what makes you that wonderful shining star.
ry o t S Karl’s
Input & Inspire
I found a solution in Cocaine Anonymous If you are suffering from the ravages of addiction as I did I hope you read this story and put into action the same plan as I did; then you need not suffer any more.
I arrived at a point five years ago where I was beaten and so very desperate. I was homeless, physically ill, had no friends and no prospect of a way out. I knew that I would repeat my mistakes again and again and would always That was something a man at Cocaine Anonymous give into to the lie that this time it would be different. All I promised me, and I have to tell you he was as good as saw in front of me was his word. My actions based on his experience more despair and a and those that have gone before mean I have cold death. To begin with it was mostly recovered from a hopeless condition. fun shared with friends and I had heard the I am a product of the sixties and seventies, message of Cocaine it gave me a sense of ease pretty pills and buckets of wine, amazing Anonymous and now and comfort – somewhere parties and easy come easy go relationships. I wanted what those Sure I was self centred but through the 70s life along the journey it changed. guys had, I craved it. seemed simpler, selfish and indulgent. I loved For so long I had sat that sense of relaxation that being stoned gave around thinking about me, being high or out of it was a state I just loved. recovery, wishing and hoping to feel better. Nothing happened until I was desperate enough to act on what To begin with it was mostly fun shared with friends and it Cocaine Anonymous was saying. gave me a sense of ease and comfort; somewhere along the journey it changed. I don’t know exactly when but I I asked the man who reached out to me to guide me into crossed some sort of line from simply enjoying drugs and the program and sponsor me through the work contained wanting to get high, to needing to get high and then on in the Basic Text of Alcoholics Anonymous. Even though I to having to was too fresh about to gain any freedom initially he did get high give me a daily plan of action and he encouraged me into just to feel good habits early. I could not see that my life normal. He suggested I pray to be kept clean, worked on becoming was running on fear and I had my first grateful for what I had and read from fellowship literature selfishness. detox aged daily. He took me through the work at a reasonable pace 21, I didn’t and I was amazed at what I discovered. Through the really know steps I began to see clearly that my sickness had little to how I ended up there and my denial protected me from do with drugs, rather they were just the symptom of an seeing the awkward reality of it at the time. I could not underlying problem. He called it a spiritual malady and see that my life was running on fear and selfishness, my described how he had suffered from it too. reactions were based on what people thought of me and I was so sensitive; drugs anaesthetised that sensitivity. I No matter what, my natural state is one of high anxiety was confused, how something I so enjoyed could began and isolation and I was programmed to finding a to cost me more than I wanted to pay; I was losing friends, chemical release from that. He assured me that this jobs and my principles began to slide into an ever-deeper 12-step programme was the spiritual remedy that I trough. needed to recover. With help I could change my behaviour and so eventually change my thinking. I could clear up the Along the way I had certain high spots, I married an mess I had made of my life and make restitution with my amazing woman and had three incredible children with family and friends. I could take responsibility for my life her. I had so many opportunities, great jobs and brilliant and grow in usefulness. I could live life Happy, Joyous and experiences but somehow could never build on them – Free without even thinking about using drugs. they paled and faded as my commitment to my necessary drug grew. My life was becoming unmanageable and at I guess you don’t need to worry about the steps at this times- spiralled out of control, there were periods when point rather accept that through them I have discovered I thought I was managing to claw my way back. I really an amazing way to live, I have a deep and resounding faith believed at times I was regaining control, a new job or a that all will be well and have a host of true and dear friends. move to somewhere exotic, small victories were always Call the CA helpline 0800 612 0225 or check out eventually replaced by an even greater calamity.
www.cauk.org.uk for meeting information.
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