09 March 2023

Drug and alcohol treatment service for rough sleepers launches in Shropshire

News@2X (2)

Today sees the launch of RESET, a new and potentially lifesaving multi-agency service to provide drug and alcohol treatment support for rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping across the county.

RESET’s multi-agency team will provide holistic support services for rough sleeping communities including domestic abuse support, adult social care, housing support and mental health treatment.

The RESET team will be made up of Shropshire Council, WithYou at Shropshire Recovery Partnership, the Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust (MPFT), Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS), The Shrewsbury Ark and Intuitive Thinking Skills.

According to Office for National Statistics Data, in 2021, almost two in five deaths (35%) of homeless people in England and Wales were related to drug poisoning and almost 1 in 10 deaths (10%) of homeless people in England and Wales were alcohol-specific.

To help tackle the growing number of deaths of homeless people in the county, Shropshire Council has been awarded £1.4m to provide substance misuse treatment and support services for rough sleepers and people at risk of rough sleeping. The money is part of the Rough Sleepers Drug and Alcohol Treatment Grant provided by the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID).

The funding will support the county in meeting the intended outcomes of the national drug strategy by helping to reduce drug-related deaths, reducing alcohol-related hospital admissions and increasing the number of successful individuals in treatment.

The team will work alongside colleagues in Shropshire Council’s Housing Services so that those currently rough sleeping are ready to take on accommodation that takes them off the streets; and those at risk of rough sleeping receive help and support to ensure they don’t become future rough sleepers.

The RESET team will provide the following services to Shropshire’s rough sleeping community:

  • Drug and alcohol recovery support and treatment including medical prescribing via With You at Shropshire Recovery Partnership.
  • Learning new skills or new coping strategies via Intuitive Skills Training, to improve peoples’ resilience and support them to address their substance use with confidence.
  • Domestic abuse support via the Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service.
  • Mental health treatment and support provided by the Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust.
  • Social prescribing provided by Shropshire Council’s Healthy Lives Programme.
  • Ongoing support and day centre facilities provided by The Shrewsbury Ark.

Ian Houghton, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Commissioner at Shropshire Council said:

“With You has been successful in delivering drug and alcohol treatment services to the Shropshire community for many years. We are delighted they will expand on this work with other key partners using their well established relationships on the ground to support local communities of rough sleepers, or those at risk of sleeping rough, with drug and alcohol treatment.”

Graham McGaw, Contracts Manager at WithYou in Shropshire said:

“This project provides an exciting opportunity to expand the work of WithYou and its partners to support rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping with substance misuse needs. We know that there are often multiple barriers that prevent sustained engagement with substance misuse support for this cohort and we believe that the approach of the RESET team will enable sustained engagement in treatment and result in positive outcomes for individuals.”

Dean Carrol, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for growth, regeneration and housing said:

“The RESET project brings together the experience of a range of partner organisations to deliver targeted support to some of the most vulnerable people in our county’s community. At Shropshire Council, we are confident that the project will greatly improve outcomes in our ongoing strategy to tackle health inequalities, reducing hospital admissions and delivering sustained support to those who need it most. When we succeed at this, it benefits all of us.”

If you or someone you know needs drug and alcohol support for rough sleeping in Shropshire, email us on reset@wearewithyou.org.uk, call us on 01743 294700 or visit our website https://www.wearewithyou.org.uk/services/shropshire/

Other rough sleepers can be referred to the Council’s rough sleeping team at rsteam@shropshire.gov.uk.

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