EU funding extends drive in Brighton & Hove to tackle the impact of addiction
Groundbreaking work In Brighton & Hove to help communities and families tackle addiction and the anti-social behaviour it can cause has been awarded new European Union funding.
The £90,000 award comes two years after Brighton & Hove City Council was awarded more than £200,000 of Intereg funding to deliver a three-year project called Communities and Families Tackling Addiction (CAFTA).
The project has involved working with two European partners – Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Calais in France – to share good practice and improve services for communities and individuals affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use.
Initiatives funded include:
A pilot scheme to tackle anti-social behaviour linked to drug and alcohol use in “hotspot” areas around the city
A training programme for professionals to help them understand the needs of carers, families and friends of substance users
A support programme for adults who care for children and are affected by another persons’ substance misuse.
New lesson plans for all primary schools in the city. These aim to help young people to feel safe and stay safe in the city.
CAFTA has also funded the annual Silent Voices conference in Brighton & Hove for the past two years (2012 and 2013).
The conference has been running for nine years so far, and is for the families, friends and carers of people with drug and alcohol misuse problems. It is a day to focus on their own needs, to meet others in the same position, to hear speakers talking on relevant topics and gather information about support services.
A total of around 350 people have attended the conference over the two years CAFTA has funded it.
Cllr Jason Kitcat, chair of the Community Safety Forum, said:
“This project has made a real difference to people’s lives in terms of both those families, friends and carers living with addiction and those affected by the anti-social behaviour caused by it. This new funding means we can build on this good work, share our expertise with European partners and devise new ways to improve residents’ lives.
“Hundreds of people including families, friends and carers of people with drug and alcohol misuse problems are getting the help and support they need through the regular Silent Voices conferences.
“At the same time, we are working with residents suffering with antisocial behaviour to put in place practical measures to tackle problems and improve lives.”
The CAFTA team has carried out 16 audits in “hotspot” areas in the city affected by antisocial behaviour caused by drug and alcohol misuse. This work involves knocking on residents’ doors to gather information and then drawing up practical action plans to tackle the issue.
One audit centred on problems of antisocial behaviour and noise in Norfolk Square. Residents were encouraged to come together to discus the problem and offer possible solutions and this led to two of the benches being moved, which has reduced the problems.
Two residents of Norfolk Square sent this compliment in via the council website:
“Just wanted to let you know about our very positive experience in our dealings with Sue and Matt on the [CAFTA] Projects Team.
As residents of Norfolk Square, Brighton, we have had ongoing problems with alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour centered around the benches in the square. We approached the council and they put us in touch with Sue and Matt. They listened to us, undertook a local audit, organised meetings and have now relocating the benches on a trial basis.
“Now that this has been done there is a significant improvement and it has only been a week! We have been impressed with the way our case has been dealt with and appreciate their help in our efforts to make Norfolk Square a better place. Give them a big pat on the back they are doing a fantastic job!”
The new Interreg funding will be used to deliver the Safer Neighbourhoods Approach (SNAP) project in 2014. It will include:
Staging an event in Antwerp for all partners, beneficiaries and stakeholders to promote our work and share experiences.
Producing a publication featuring the work undertaken by all the cluster partners as a guide to good practice in the field.
Piloting a new activity based on further learning from our partners.
Concentrating our efforts to sustain the work, activities and learning of the CAFTA project.
In Brighton & Hove both SNAP and CAFTA are delivered by the Safe in the
City Projects team.