Stoke Recovery Service (SRS) are relaunching their drug and alcohol service in its new building, while over £1 million of government funding will help develop substance misuse services in the city.
SRS, part of Stoke-on-Trent’s Community Drug and Alcohol Service (CDAS), is an abstinent-based recovery service which offers a range of support to residents in Stoke-on-Trent who have experienced drug and alcohol-related issues and have now become abstinent. The program offers support which is tailored to suit everybody based on their needs and lifestyle. They offer group support, one-to-one support, creative recovery, psycho-educational support, therapy and social connection.
SRS is a partnership of NHS Trust, BAC OConnor and We Are With You and is funded by Stoke on Trent City Council. SRS accept referrals from all professionals, self-referrals and is the aftercare program for those who access CDAS.
The new recovery hub comes as the city council has been awarded £1,303,956 of government funding to improve housing support for drug and alcohol recovery. The money will fund a specialist housing team to work alongside existing housing and drug and alcohol service to support residents to access accommodation, help them maintain tenancies and support those in crisis who have lost tenancies.
The funding has been awarded by the Department for Health and Social Care and will complement the previously announced £5.3 million of funding over three years as part of the National Drug Strategy.
Cllr Lorraine Beardmore, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Public Health said: “It was fantastic to be able to visit the new recovery hub and see first-hand some of the amazing work the team are doing. It’s also great news that we are being allocated this funding to further develop our substance misuse services. This funding will add to our also recently awarded £5.3 million to develop services in the city.
“We want our residents to live well, and offering wraparound support, as well as tackling the causes of substance misuse and the misuse itself will provide better outcomes for those accessing treatments. Helping people into sustainable accommodation will also further support better outcomes.”
Caz Whittaker has accessed Stoke Recovery Service over the past year and has spoken about her experience: “I am 13 months in recovery and during this time I have accessed SRS groups, one-to-one support, and both the social and creative recovery. What I like most about going to SRS is when I walk into the service I feel like I belong. I can relate with other people using the service and connect with people who really understand me and what I am experiencing. When you are getting sober and battling by yourself it feels almost impossible, you feel isolated and lost and it is hard to staff motivated when life still feels the same just without the drink.
“Coming to a service like SRS, you begin to feel more confident in your recovery, you realise you are not alone and become surrounded by people who are also on a similar journey. You gain hope and inspiration from meeting people who are many years in recovery and they can offer real-life experiences that can really help you to understand yourself and develop new ways to cope. I personally have tried to get sober many times alone and it has not worked, but this time accessing the support and feeling connected has helped me to feel happier, motivated and excited about the future.
“I am now looking to become a volunteer and help others who come to access the support. Reaching out for support is hard but this service wraps around you and begins to feel like a family which makes you feel safe. Being in recovery is amazing, there are still tough days but the good days far outweigh the bad days. Now the service has a building to deliver the support from and I’m so happy about this and it means so much to all those currently accessing support and those who have previously accessed the service. We now have a safe space to go Monday to Friday where we can connect, learn and make new friendships.”
Vicky Lomas Service Manager at Stoke Recovery Service said: “The service welcomes anyone in recovery from substances to come and connect and get some support, we have already seen the recovery community come together in the first week of opening and we hope that over the next 12 months, we will welcome many more people through our doors and support them to build a positive life in recovery.”
Residents can access more information about CDAS at https://www.scdas.org.uk/