More news for this week...
We were fortunate at the end of last week, just before lockdown, to do two positive activity days for our Affected others in West Norfolk – Art in the park with Alex Egan, a great Norfolk artist. Their art work was shared both on Alex’s social media pages and ours if you want to take a look at their efforts. We are having a couple of follow up zoom meetings on Saturday 14th November. The young people are doing a challenge to create a poem, story or some more art to share, and Alex will show them round her art studio. We are extremely grateful that even in the rain Alex volunteered her days to help.
Our Big Lottery funded project, Bounce Back, for West and North Norfolk has started and Susan is really pleased that she will have some help soon from a new young people’s practitioner. Thank you to Gina and Amy who have both supported when needed! The one to one support is already started and Susan is trying to meet the needs through zoom and through visits to schools with her supply of PPE.
Next Steps remains open and we will continue to provide structured support for both existing members and new members starting RSP next week. This week we have had confirmation of £25,000 grant from Garfield Weston Foundation – well done Ryan and Graham. We have had what felt like a very positive meeting with Henry Smith Trust for a 3 year contribution to funding to RSP.
Susan was delighted to have a zoom meeting with the North Norfolk MP, Duncan Baker, from Westminster. There was discussion around County Lines and mental health for young people in the North of the County. Further discussions are going to be going ahead after lockdown. Clive Lewis MP is backing our campaign for ongoing funding for OTW.
OAK STREET CENTRE
This week the new Next Steps recovery centre won a Build 2020 international design award. The centre was funded in part by Norfolk Council Public Health and Public Health England, and in part with the support of local individuals, businesses, Trusts and Foundations. It provides community, support and skills to people in recovery from addiction, Veteran’s with PTSD and substance misuse issues, and children who are impacted by substance misuse. It was designed by Canon Clarke Architects with input from people in recovery, staff and partner agencies and built by TGA Construction. It remains open during lockdown 2.
Unity have been very busy with a return to more face to face working ensuring that we are meeting with our most vulnerable clients and providing the support they need. We have been working closely with families, schools and other agencies to ensure that this can be done in the safest way possible. We’ve had lots of lovely feedback including this message from one of our young people: ‘’Just thought I'd let you know that I'll never have to sit in an English or maths lesson again! Just wanted to say a huge thank you for sticking by me and believing in me, you've been a huge part in where I am today and I'll be forever grateful.’’
We have also been working hard on developing our ‘Digital Offer’ to help us engage with young people in the most effective way. The manager of our North and East Team, Eve Hart, was successful in securing some exciting initial funding as part of the ‘Tech for Good’ programme and has submitted an application for the next stage which we hope will also be successful.
In September, our Complex Needs Manager, Ester Drake, began an online support group for the parents of young people who are using substances began which was extremely successful. On the 2nd November a group for Kinship and Foster carers of young people affected by familial substance misuse also started in collaboration with Norfolk Children’s Services. Each cohort of these groups runs for 6 weeks and we plan to run several throughout the year. Feedback from an attendee as follows: ‘’Many thanks for all of your help during this time, it honestly was insightful & the guidance you gave was really invaluable’’