west yorkshire – Humankind

Swedish social enterprise cooperative visits 5 WAYS

Jack Keery

Pictured from left to right are 5 WAYS Manager Jo Byrden with Linda Tolly, Charlotte Gustavsson and Angelica Lindblad of Vägen Ut!
Staff from Vägen Ut! visited 5 WAYS, our Recovery Academy in Leeds, on Wednesday 3 May for a seminar with members and staff about setting up and managing social enterprises.

Vägen Ut! is based in Gothenburg, Sweden and runs 13 social enterprises that provide real jobs for people who struggle to gain employment due to past issues with alcohol/drugs, criminal justice or disabilities.

They provide environmentally friendly products and services then reinvest the profits to create more jobs. The cooperative has an annual turnover in excess of £33 million. Vägen Ut! means ‘A Way Out’ in English.

5 WAYS Manager Jo Byrden said: ”The work that the Vägen Ut! team do in Sweden is incredible. Helping people who are unable to find work to create their own businesses is fabulous. Not only that, the diversity of the business they run and the people they support is so impressive and they do it all with the highest green credentials.”

“It’s been a wonderful learning opportunity for us and has really motivated the team and the members to look at how we might begin to create our own social enterprises here in Leeds, using the many skills and experiences of the members. Our members are full of creativity, ideas and enthusiasm. Now it feels like just a matter of deciding where and how we start.

The staff from Vägen Ut! were also impressed with 5 WAYS. Linda Tolly of Vägen Ut! said: “It’s truly inspiring to come to 5 WAYS and see what they are doing. It’s clearly a real meeting place of hope and creativity where people can help each other. We don’t have anything exactly like this in Sweden.”

Vägen Ut! visited a range of recovery services in the North of England that also included Aspire in Doncaster and Recovery Connections in Middlesbrough.

Pictured above from left to right are 5 WAYS Manager Jo Byrden with Linda Tolly, Charlotte Gustavsson and Angelica Lindblad of Vägen Ut!

New alcohol and drug service launches for Bradford district

Jack Keery

New Vision Bradford is a new service to help people who have issues with alcohol and other drugs across the district.

The service, which starts today, on 3 April 2023, is a partnership between our national charity at Humankind along with three local charities, The Bridge ProjectCreate Strength Group and Project 6, who have been offering support from their bases in Bradford and Keighley for many years.

New Vision Bradford has been commissioned by Bradford Metropolitan District Council and the NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board through the Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership.

Humankind Regional Director Lee Wilson, who will oversee the service, said: “We plan to build on the experience of our partners to make New Vision Bradford one of the most innovative and effective substance support services in England.

“We already have plans in place for treatment pathways and models that can help people achieve their goals and build better lives for themselves. We’ll be working closely with other partners in health and social care across the district and listening to the people we support to continually develop and improve what we have to offer”.

Sasha Bhat, Programme Director – Healthy Minds for the Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said: “We recognise that providing compassionate and people-centred services to support people experiencing substance dependency is the best way to create long-lasting behaviour change.

“We’re delighted that this new service will help local people and do so in a way that is non-judgemental and at a pace that suits each individual. We want people to know that this service will be there for you in your recovery journey.”

New Vision Bradford will include a range of support including harm reduction, care coordination, clinical and therapeutic interventions. The service will also provide support for family members. New Vision Bradford will continue to work with people who become abstinent to help them create a healthy and meaningful life.

To contact New Vision Bradford call 01274 296023 email info@newvisionbradford.org.uk or visit the website www.newvisionbradford.org.uk

‘Outstanding’ Forward Leeds has its contract renewed

Mark Hindwell

Staff at Forward Leeds pose for a photo outside of their Armley Park Court office

Following a Leeds City Council procurement process, Forward Leeds has been successful in winning the contract to provide the city’s alcohol and drug support service for at least another five years.

The service, with sites in Armley, Seacroft and the city centre, will begin its new contract on 1 April 2023. The initial contract will run until 31 March 2028 with Leeds Council having an option to extend after that date for up to five years potentially taking it up to April 2033.

Forward Leeds, who recently won Leeds City Council’s Partner of the Year, is a consortium between three charities: Humankind, St Anne’s Community Services and BARCA-Leeds along with the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT).

Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Public Health and Active Lifestyles, said: “As a Care Quality Commission outstanding rated service, it is really pleasing that Forward Leeds have been awarded this contract for the next few years. The service plays a vital role in addressing the challenges posed by drug and alcohol use to individuals and communities in Leeds, ensuring that anyone in the city struggling with drug and alcohol issues is able to get support.

“For some years now, Forward Leeds has consistently been one of the highest performing drug and alcohol treatment services in the country, and it is one of only a few services in the country that is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)”.

Victoria Eaton, Director of Public Health at Leeds City Council, said: “It is fantastic news that Forward Leeds will continue to provide the Leeds City Council Public Health commissioned drug and alcohol service, which offers support for anyone affected by drug and alcohol use. The service has gone from strength to strength, to become one of just a few drug and alcohol services to be rated as outstanding, by the Care Quality Commission, in the country.”

Operations Director of Forward Leeds Helen Cook said: “To be awarded the contract for at least another five years is fantastic. It reflects the quality and the hard work of the staff across our partnership and the commitment that they show in working with people who come to us for support.

“We have had to prove that we are able to continue to offer the high-quality service we have been doing and that we can develop and evolve our service to meet the ever-changing needs of the city.”

Humankind Regional Director Lee Wilson said: “Having our contract renewed is a testament to the dedication of our staff and volunteers who provide the highest quality of care and support to everyone who comes to us needing help.

“The service has had to meet significant quality thresholds in the bidding process along with due diligence checks on safeguarding, health and safety, finance, and insurance. These were all completed successfully with no issues identified. Our social value response was even given the top score possible by the council.”