Tidy-minded volunteers will be making a clean sweep across part of Dudley next week when they aim to bin as much rubbish as possible in England’s biggest litter pick.
Members of Dudley Aquarius’ Service User Network will be taking part in the Big Tidy Up on Friday 18th November, as one of a number of events Aquarius are holding to help promote national Alcohol Awareness Week.
The group will be blitzing an area designated by Dudley Borough Council which is in need of a little TLC. Anyone who can spare a little free time to lend a hand is welcome to come along on the day. Volunteers meet at the Gallery in Castle Street at 11am.
Aquarius is supporting the campaign as a way of helping the local community and highlighting their services within the borough.
Phil Griffiths, Aquarius Participation Worker for the Black Country said “We asked our service users to come up with ideas for making a real difference in their local community and their preference was to do their bit and involve local people in helping to improve the local environment”
The tidy up will run until 2pm and afterwards free soup and a roll, tea, coffee and biscuits will be available at the Gallery for everyone taking part.
Alcohol Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday November 20, will see the launch of a national charter aimed at working towards a world free from the harms caused to individuals and communities by alcohol abuse. MPs, public bodies and other organisations are being asked to lend their backing to the campaign.
Dudley Aquarius holds weekly drop-in mornings at the Gallery every Thursday from 10.30am until 12.30pm. The informal sessions are a chance for people to chat to other users over coffee, gain peer support and make new friends.
The Board of Alcohol Concern has announced a restructuring of its senior management following the loss of core funding with the role of the CEO becoming part time for a year alongside the recruitment of a full time Director of Fundraising and Campaigning. This means that after more than six years at Alcohol Concern of which three and a half year have been as Chief Executive, Don Shenker has decided to leave the organisation in order to take a full time position elsewhere.
Alcohol Concern Chair Richard Sumray said:
“Don has made a huge contribution to the campaign to reduce the harm that alcohol causes to individuals and society. Coming from leading an alcohol treatment agency, he understood the issues extremely well and he has put his knowledge to good effect during his time with Alcohol Concern. He raised the profile of alcohol nationally and has worked tirelessly for change. He has made a very significant contribution and will be missed. I would like to thank him for all he has done.”
Don Shenker said:
“It has been a privilege to be Alcohol Concern’s CEO for the past 3 years and to lead major campaigns to address the harm alcohol causes. We have undoubtedly made great progress in raising both public and parliamentary awareness on a range of alcohol issues and I hope the organisation can continue to advocate on behalf of its members and supporters successfully. I’d like to applaud and thank everyone who I’ve worked with, particularly the staff at Alcohol Concern who work day in and out to reduce alcohol harm.”
Eric Appleby, who was Chief Executive for fourteen years with Alcohol Concern, is returning for a year to act as Interim Chief Executive.
Photograph is taken from the Birmingham Drug and Alcohol Action Team’s (BDAAT) World Drugs Day event. Suleman Ahmed (left), Practitioner at Aquarius Family Services, pictured with Amanda Higgins (centre), Substance Misuse Worker with the West Midlands Police Substance Misuse Arrest Referral Team, and Colette Lloyd (right), Young Persons Alcohol Practitioner with Aquarius.
It’s not just those who misuse alcohol or drugs that suffer from the effects – but also the loved ones who are trying to care for them.
And Aquarius, which helps individuals and communities with problems relating to alcohol, drugs and gambling, has a special service to support the people who care about users.
Suleman Ahmed, practitioner in family services for Aquarius, said: “We support family members of people who use drugs or alcohol with homes visits and group work.”
“People often don’t know where to turn for support but we can speak to them confidentially.”
Aquarius currently has groups for carers of substance users in Edgbaston, Highgate and Washwood Heath.
The service is also hoping to set up more carers groups, where members can offer support to each other and share ideas, in other areas.
Anyone interested in the groups should contact the Aquarius Family Service on 0121 414 0888.
Additionally, Colette has worked with young people for 10 years and her role with Aquarius now includes going into schools, social services homes, hostels and the local community to raise awareness about alcohol. She also works one-to-one with young people who have an alcohol problem.
CARERS who look after drug and alcohol problems were given a little TLC in Erdington this week.
The Birmingham Drug and Alcohol Action Team (BDAAT) and local charity Aquarius decided they would acknowledge the hard work of relatives and carers who help drug and alcohol dependants by organising a free pamper session and lunch at the Fosseway Centre in Erdington yesterday (Thursday).
The aim was to acknowledge those who help people with substance misuse problems and how often they affect the lives of those around them, with family and friends struggling to watch them suffer.
The event, which ran from 11am until 3pm, provided the chance for carers to come together and share experiences and have a break from the distress of worrying about their loved ones.
Richard McVey, Aquarius Family Service Manager, said: “This day was a chance for us to give something back to the families and carers of substance users.
“We offered will be a range of complimentary therapies, a chance to share experiences with other relatives and carers, and to find out what Aquarius can provide.
“The event was also the first step to setting up a regular support group for families and carers in north Birmingham who are affected by someone’s drug or alcohol use. This day will be the first of many we will be offering across Birmingham.”
BDAAT commission Aquarius Family Service to provide confidential support to those affected by someone else’s substance misuse which includes help tailored to individual needs.
Help is provided in reducing the risks from drugs, drug awareness talks, workshops on drug misuse and support for any carers helping drug and alcohol addicts.
Anyone wanting information can call further information call 0800 073 0817.
Original story by Nick Horner (News Reporter – Sutton Coldfield Observer)
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