Inclusion Isle of Wight has blossomed over the past 3 years through the most difficult of periods through the pandemic. What started as an adult’s, young person’s and family and carer’s Service has adapted with the times for the service users on the island and has now encompassed the following services:
- Mental Health Service
- Criminal Justice Service
- Housing Service
- Hep C U Later Worker
- In-hub and Mobile Needle Exchange Service
- Drug and Alcohol Liaison Service
Partnership working and especially collaborative working with Housing and Mental Health Services on the island are models of best practice now and are attracting attention from other parts of the country. Particularly, our ‘no wrong door’ pilot in collaboration with Isle of Wight Specialist Services, enables access to mental health services for our service users.
We are the only Inclusion hub in the country to incorporate the Homelessness Navigator Mental Health Nurse and Recovery Worker roles as part of the Rough Sleeper Initiative agenda, and our outreach offer means that the service has never been more accessible.
We now have a huge timetable of recovery activities and have been covering many of the fantastic festivals on the Island to raise awareness around harm reduction, in terms of drug and alcohol misuse.
As drug and alcohol-related deaths in the UK reached record levels after years of spending cuts, Inclusion Isle of Wight were able to adapt quickly to new funding streams and introduce new roles to enhance the service. One of the primary reasons for this was the establishment of a thriving Volunteer Programme on the island, which offers training and opportunities to people from all over the community. Due to the staged development model, unique to the island, we were able to promote volunteers and staff at the right time and offer paid work to people who may not have achieved paid work elsewhere, due to the stigmas associated with addiction. 14 people in total have progressed through this route and there are more to come, to enhance the workforce and talent pool for Isle of Wight services, for both Inclusion and partner services.
Inclusion Isle of Wight are very proud of this development model, which has been designed based on recommendations from the 2010 Marmot Review, where it was advised that good quality work helps to tackle health inequalities and sustained improvements in quality of life. Contact with people with lived experience during a treatment journey is an evidence-based factor in the NICE guidance, as those on a recovery journey are more likely to sustain their progress in recovery.
The Celebration of Recovery is here to celebrate all of these things. To give others inspiration through shared lived experiences, with the purpose of giving those on their own journeys, aspects that they can borrow, learn from and incorporate. We celebrated the lives of the people we have lost from our community and learnt from their journeys too. It was a wonderful day, as always, which stirs a range of emotions.
Written by Tony Burkitt, Event and Volunteer Coordinator at Inclusion Isle of Wight.