DDN April2022 April 2022 | Page 9


London Alliance to work across eight West London boroughs . IPS Into Work is an intensive and personalised service provided by expert employment specialists who understand the ebbs and flows of recovery . Focussing on client readiness to enter work , a rapid job search , and working with employers , our award-winning team is dynamic and innovative but perhaps most importantly , believes that anyone that wants to work can work .
As featured in our recent impact report , we ’ re proud to have supported over 250 employment outcomes , provided more than 4,000 hours of support , and that 100 per cent of participants recommend the programme . The impact of work is hugely significant and truly transformative , and so many of our
clients ’ stories have stuck with me . I recall one individual we helped who had not worked in over 40 years . Getting that job was life changing – enabling them to have an improved relationship with their child and creating structure and financial independence .
Another testament to our success is having recently received additional funding from the Department for Work and Pensions ( DWP ), supported by the Department of Health and Social Care ( DHSC ), to extend our existing contract and expand into a ninth London borough , Hammersmith and Fulham .
With the recent drug strategy announcement committing to roll out IPS in every local authority by 2025 , the future looks very promising in the world of IPS and for those individuals it can help . But don ’ t take my word for
it , hear from two people who have experienced the power of IPS . Rebecca Odedra is head of reintegration at WDP
Pictured : Rebecca accepts the Transforming Lives Achievement Award at the 2021 MJ Awards . The awards celebrate the delivery of services and showcase their role in communities across the UK .
The IPS model impressed the judges who said it was not only changing perceptions of drug and alcohol problems but also empowering people through a
cross-partnering approach .
See www . drinkanddrugsnews . com / wdp-west-london-alliancewin-mj-award /


I DIDN ’ T PICK UP MY FIRST DRINK UNTIL THE AGE OF 20 but from that point , I drank very heavily . In the mid-1990s , cocaine became part of my story as well and the consequences started to kick in .
By 2000 , I was completely out of control , barely hanging on to my job , and I went to the first of six treatment centres . When I left , I should have gone to a ‘ dry house ’, but I chose not to – I wanted to return to work . I returned to work five weeks after leaving and relapsed within a week . By 2001 , my employer said , ‘ We need to part company with you ’.
In 2002 , I sold a property for quite a sum of money . But if you ’ ve got a cocaine habit of at least one or two grams a day and you ’ re drinking , buying holidays , sports cars , that type of thing – by 2008 , the money had gone . From then until a year and half ago , I started to claim benefits and was doing odd jobs , manual jobs , gardening .
I was very fortunate as I ended up engaged with a treatment service ( now WDP ) and a housing officer found me a secure roof over my head . But up until a year and a half ago , I had become a hermit . I didn ’ t engage with life , with people , and I wasn ’ t in a good place . I was so lonely , worried , and fearful , and I didn ’ t know what was going to happen .
But things changed infinitely for the better 18 months ago . I had tried to commit suicide but was lucky – I woke up , I escaped , I got away with it . I then reconnected with WDP and was also referred to the IPS service .
My employment specialist carried out a detailed assessment and really got to know me . He wanted to know my journey and understand what my needs were . He then put together a tailored support package . He was very helpful with my CV as there were some significant gaps which we jointly addressed . He would send through jobs every week based on what I wanted , which was a customer service position .
One job was with a US corporate hospitality and food company , and I had to answer some questions by video . They said they were very happy with my interview and offered me a job . I am now working there and about to start another job as an events steward . My focus for this year is working for these two companies and then I ’ ll start to think about what ’ s next .
IPS has been an extraordinarily supportive tool to me returning to normality . It builds your self-esteem , your selfworth , and it provides structure and socialisation once you are back in work . I am very grateful and couldn ’ t commend them more highly .
' My employment specialist carried out a detailed assessment and really got to know me . He wanted to know my journey and understand what my needs were .'