Kirklees Community Recovery Builders

2018/19 Action Plan

Vision / Mission: To help develop and promote visible recovery. To spread the word that people can and do become free from addiction and they can do it right here in their local community.

The Community Recovery Builders of The Basement Recovery Project (TBRP) are individuals who have been affected by drug or alcohol addiction, or indeed, both.  We do not differentiate between the two. We do not have a problem with drink or drugs. We do however, have a problem with addiction. On coming to terms with our illness, learning more about it and gaining the skills to combat it we are now abstinent and free from drink and drugs.  We have done this through the TBRP Recovery Programme and associated recovery activities.

Our aim is simple: To champion alcohol and drug addiction recovery in our local communities, and to demonstrate that you can get well in the same place where you became ill.  We do this on a regular basis while working towards the strategic aims and objectives of Kirklees in Recovery by aligning our activities to a set of key actions described below.

AIM ONE

To promote that recovery from addiction is possible to the people of Kirklees.

Current Status

Kirklees in Recovery currently has a Website, Facebook Page and a Facebook Group. The website is listed in the top 10 results when searching for terms such as “addiction help in Kirklees”, “alcohol help in Huddersfield”, “Drug addiction services near Dewsbury” [as is the TBRP website].

On average, the Kirklees in Recovery website attracts 570 visitors per month (since launch in Dec 2017).
There are 544 people in our Facebook Group and our Page has 90 LIKES.
KiR does not have a Twitter account but it is not used.

We have a number of contacts who help our causes, voluntary work or influence our strategic objectives and are useful to know.  See Appendix A (Important Contacts)

Key Actions

  • To ensure our website is kept up to date with current information and to achieve page 1 rankings in all search engines, thus keeping us ahead of the current lead provider. This is not seen as a competitive move but one that ensures visible recovery if the lead provider and service changes name, and a continued presence on the internet for people searching for help.
  • Ensure all communication and materials have an emphasis on Recovery rather than “treatment”.
  • Build key relations with public and private sector organisations to offer regular talks and presentations.
  • To write about and communicate success stories around addiction recovery, volunteering, social activities, the work we do and how people can get involved.
Responsibility for Key Areas
Website
Facebook
Relationship building
Stories
Family days across both hubs in conjunction with KIR
Revitalise the bikes in the cellar at Union Bank

Ultimate Goal

To increase year on year numbers for activities, stories, contacts and our social reach for LIKES, group members, shared posts etc.

AIM TWO

To improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Kirklees affected by addiction.

Current Status

Evidence suggests that a small improvement in wellbeing can help to decrease some mental health problems and also help people to flourish.  Where possible, all our social activities focus on the Five ways to wellbeing; connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

What (if any) influence do we have on people’s health as part of the treatment offering by lead providers and partners and other external services (A&E, Doctors, Pharmacies etc)?

Can we identify key services that we may be able to offer our expertise as ‘experts by experience’?  Could this lead to possible funding streams from organisations such as the CCG and Council?

Key Actions

  • To gain access to key stakeholder meetings (IMG, Strategic etc as “equal” partners so we can help, influence and understand how current service provision is delivered.
  • Continue to explore opportunities for speaking at public events.
  • To challenge, where necessary, issues of concern regarding services that addicts may use.
  • To develop social activities and volunteering opportunities that benefit people’s health.
  • To establish networks and contacts within key services so people receive the care and support they need.

Responsibilities

Responsibility for Key Areas
Confidence building courses
Peer led Mindfulness courses
IT training
Sunday lunch at the Union Bank
Development of Cafe area at Union Bank
Closer working with Community learning works
Hudds & Dewsbury Confidence building courses
Set up a boot camp style fitness groups

Ultimate Goal

To offer service users regular activities around the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

AIM THREE

To develop support networks to help individuals maintain their recovery from addiction.

Current Status:

We have a number of support networks within our local communities varying from mental health services to social networks.  There are no formal relationships for referral or joint working.  Perhaps these are not needed, and only internal awareness is necessary for relevant signposting as appropriate.  We now see more referrals from Doctors into services, but can more be done? Mutual Aid groups are strong, but family groups have never been strong.  Is there a need for more family support?  For example, would a monthly “Choices” type group be beneficial for significant others, so they understand what the addict is facing, what the options are and what to expect?

Key Actions:

  • To map the current recovery groups locally and nationally building a Physical Recovery hub databank.
  • To build our existing contact mailing database with others in Recovery and relevant services
  • To connect directly with all services that border our locality
  • Ensure we are connected to other Recovery Groups
  • To establish a volunteer ‘buddy’ network
Responsibility for Key Areas
Development of mutual aid in Dewsbury hub
Further development of KIR website as a recovery resource
Carry message of recovery to schools
Closer working with Huddersfield Uni and colleges
Revitalise the TBRP FAMA training

Ultimate Goal:

TBRP is recognised as an innovative leader in the Recovery Community across the Yorkshire and Humber region and our Recovery Builder model is one for all organisations to aspire to.

AIM FOUR

To develop community-based opportunities to support recovery through enterprise, participation and networking.

Status:

Our ability to create and sustain participation opportunities has been somewhat sporadic. While one off projects are great to get involved with and help promote recovery through stories and shared social media, our ability to create sustained activities has been limited.  This is partly due to:

  • lack of nominated individuals who will coordinate and see projects through to completion
  • number of available volunteers with a shared interest
  • turnover of recovery builders
  • limited coordination with Chart Kirklees volunteers
  • funding applications driving activities rather than activities driving funding

As a group of individuals more joined up thinking and planning is required to build long term relationships with potential partners and the general public.

Key Actions:

  • Recruitment of dedicated coordinator to support the strategic plan
Responsibility for Key Areas
Development of Cafe at Union Bank
Support CGL /partnership with the coordinating of CHART volunteers
Identify more volunteering opportunities outside of drug & alcohol provision
Rewrite the funding application to Asda for the refurbishment of the Dewsbury recovery hub
Create closer links with Huddersfield Town football club and the foundation
Regular funding applications to PCC and similar

Ultimate Goal:

There should always be something an individual can participate in to further their recovery journey. If people are sitting around in the recovery hubs, it should be their choice to do so, not because they “have nothing to do”.

AIM FIVE

To reduce the stigma attached to those affected by addiction in Kirklees.

Status:

The sting of addiction-related stigma is usually felt most strongly and frequently by those addicted, but it is also experienced by their family and friends, co-workers, employers, community activists and those working in the substance misuse field who are trying to help.  We are often left feeling powerless, angry and frustrated by the attitudes of others who do not understand the nature of addiction.

Reducing stigma requires education and communication, something that cannot be done with one-off tasks.  Some of the best advocates for recovery awareness are those who are in recovery themselves.  By involving as many people in recovery as possible in stigma prevention campaigns, community organising, information dissemination and media advocacy we not only help our cause, but also those who get involved by giving them something that is meaningful, productive and effective.

It is important to understand the different areas where we need to tackle stigma:

  1. From within – As addicts we have experienced low self-esteem as we recognised how much our lives became unmanageable and how much we have hurt ourselves and others. The still suffering addict may feel like victims or blame themselves and feel that they don’t have the power to get better.
  2. From our own recovery community – It is not uncommon for someone recovering from alcohol addiction to stigmatise people recovering from crack cocaine and heroin, much as some recovering people who smoked or drank their drug, look down on others who injected. It is important to identify areas where thoughts like these can be corrected.
  3. From treatment providers – Some members of staff feel that substitute prescribing treatment is ineffective while others feel abstinence is not always the solution. At the same time, some providers believe that non-recovering workers are superior to those in recovery, while those in recovery may believe that non-recovering workers are not able to fully understand the addiction / recovery process.
  4. From the outside – Fuelled by ignorance, misinformation, and fear, people in recovery can face an assault of stigma from the general public. All too often, the general public is unable or unwilling to see beyond an individual’s addiction to the genuine person on the road to recovery.

Breaking the Silence:

Much like recovery itself, there is no one solution to reducing stigma, but there is power in breaking the silence.  Speaking out is central to the prevention and reduction of stigma.   Perceptions can change. Attitudes can shift. Behaviours can be modified, and knowledge can be increased.  But none of these will work unless people speak out.  When people speak out, the power of stigma is diminished. When people tell their stories, others struggling with recovery receive encouragement, recognise that someone else has taken this journey, and perceive that they too can stay on the journey to recovery.  It gives hope.

There are many tasks and activities that can help form campaigns to reduce stigma. More information can be found in the Anti-Stigma Toolkit.

Key Actions:

Responsibility for Key Areas
Continue to build on the work already ongoing with Hudds Uni, Fusion Housing, Probation service, Social services, Crossland Moor training centre etc
Produce drug & alcohol awareness sessions
Support the Haven group to reach its full potential and main objectives offering more support to families and carers
Celebrate success
Produce a Kirklees and Calderdale Christmas play every year and hold at the Mission in Hudds
More targeted working with the national Citizens Service and it’s your citizens

Ultimate Goal:

People should be able to talk about addiction and recovery freely, with confidence and without worrying about being judged by others in their community.

Getting Involved:

If you would like to get involved in helping your recovery community, then LIKE the KiR Facebook Page and Join the FB Group.