People struggling with a dependency on alcohol are to benefit from an almost £400,000 grant secured by Stoke-on-Trent City Council to improve support services.
The £398,700 from Public Health England (PHE) will be used to improve access to alcohol treatment – meaning more people will benefit from the services available.
The latest statistics show the scale of the harm associated with alcohol misuse in the city is significant, with 87,300 people, or 44 per cent of adults, in Stoke-on-Trent reportedly drinking at increasing or higher risk levels in 2017.
In addition, alcohol misuse is one of the leading contributors of premature death and the leading risk factor for preventable death in 15 to 49-year-olds.
Support for people with drug and alcohol dependencies is provided by the Stoke-on-Trent Community Drug and Alcohol Service (CDAS) – which supported the council’s grant bid – but only 20 per cent of the estimated number of people requiring alcohol treatment actually received it in 2017.
Following consultation exercises with service users about how support could be improved, the city council successfully applied for a share of a £6 million alcohol treatment capital fund from PHE to put improvements into place.
This money will now be used to provide the following:
- An extra three community venues to deliver the service.
- More outreach work in familiar places close to where people live in the community, where assessment, case working and clinical sessions can take place.
- Refurbishment of the CDAS venue, to create a separate entrance and waiting area for alcohol-only service users.
- The creation of a breakfast club initially for rough sleepers with an aspiration to build this up to a café. This will provide practical support while encouraging familiarisation with the service and increased exposure to recovery and peer mentors being the key to inspire people who are not currently accessing treatment.
- Increased promotion of the service, to ensure more people are aware of how to access treatment at an earlier stage.
- Dedicated, supervised sessions for parents, including child-friendly areas at times, and in areas away from the main drugs service.
Councillor Ann James, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and cabinet member for health and social care, said: “Securing this grant is fantastic news and will help us to continue our work to support vulnerable people in the city.
“Alcohol dependence is a significant public health priority, impacting on individuals, families and communities. We know we have high levels of alcohol-related harm in the city, but there are reducing numbers accessing treatment. The bid for this funding was aimed at turning the tide and getting more people the support they need – based on the suggestions and opinions of service users.
“It is our duty to make sure our support services are accessible to all those who need it, and feel able to take those first steps towards seeking help. This grant will enable us to put a number of changes in place to make this more possible.”
For all media enquiries please contact the press office at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232265.