DDN November 2021 November 2021 - Page 19

available to maintain their own wellbeing .
Feedback from staff who attended the training has been very positive . One team member at Gateway said , ‘ After exploring a real case study in the training peterschreiber . media / iStock
ABOUT GATEWAY
sessions , I have completely changed how I look at my clients . I ’ ve started using the techniques with a woman I was working with , and it has been really useful .’
Another said , ‘ We are about to embed ‘ Discover Me ’ into our group work programme and that ’ s really exciting . The tools from the training have helped me see how simple it is to recognise unwanted behaviours and seek to change them – I am using this for myself and the people I support .’
NEW MODELS Wider research on working in a trauma-informed way within this sector is still very much in its infancy . However , the emerging evidence suggests that all housing services should be trauma informed and that teams often find that a trauma-informed approach of focusing on needs , flexibility and accessibility is important . Those who engage in these types of services have found that a trauma-informed approach allows them to construct new models of relationships , learn adaptive strategies for living , and increase hope , direction , and purpose .
Kate Cunliffe is homeless and prevention services lead at Gateway
GATEWAY brings together a wide range of services focusing on homelessness support , prevention and resettlement . Part of The Calico Group , Gateway delivers a range of person-centred and solution-focused services that support homeless or vulnerable individuals in our communities . They help people build on their strengths , develop independent living skills and improve personal resilience to nurture their health , wellbeing and future independence . calicogateway . org . uk
THE CALICO GROUP is made up of charities and businesses working together across the North West to create social , rather than financial , profit . Each part of The Calico Group has its own specialism and expertise . Together , they have a track record of providing a complete community service across domestic abuse , homelessness and addiction support , housing , healthcare , employability , training and construction . In 2020 , The Calico Group ranked fifth in the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers List . calico . org . uk

GOLD

STANDARD

IN AUGUST OF THIS YEAR , the Office for National Statistics released figures indicating that more than 4,500 people had died as a result of drug poisoning in 2020 alone . Sadly , in the same period , we have also seen a decline in the number of people accessing the needle and syringe programmes that play a crucial role in reducing drug-related deaths . This loss of face-to-face contact with people during a time of rising drug deaths poses a significant risk .
The needle and syringe programmes provided by Humankind not only help save lives but also reduce Hepatitis C reinfection rates , provide the lifesaving drug naloxone and offer an opportunity for our teams to begin conversations with people that can help connect them to further services and support . It is for these reasons that they are at the heart of our work and we are committed to ensuring they are delivered effectively , which is why we ’ ve recently introduced new needle and syringe provision standards across all of our drug recovery services ( DDN , October , page 5 ).
The standards , which aim to reduce stigma and increase equitable access to needle and syringe provision , are part of Humankind ’ s work to ensure that as the organisation grows we continue to maintain a high level of care across our core provision . The document includes guidelines for things like provision of needles that meet national best practice standards , safe use and disposal of equipment , and processes for managing stock . While many of these protocols might seem quite obvious , focusing on the basics in this way will ensure that we ’ re
Humankind ’ s new NSP standards will help set a precedent for the sector , says Stacey Smith
providing a consistently high standard of service .
Creating the standards has also allowed us to build on fundamental needle and syringe specific requirements by including additional elements such as access to menstrual and contraceptive products , the provision of onsite hepatitis C testing and pathways to treatment , and connections to peer support groups .
Loss of face-toface contact with people during a time of rising drug deaths poses a significant risk .
Humankind also recognises that harm reduction principles should be a thread that runs through all our service provision . To support the process we are recruiting a national harm reduction lead who will be responsible for developing and implementing a national harm reduction strategy for the organisation .
It is our hope that as well as building on our already high levels of service , these new standards will set a precedent for needle and syringe provision within the sector and , most importantly of all , help to save lives .
The needle and syringe provision standards can be downloaded from Humankind ’ s website .
Stacey Smith is the director of nursing for Humankind and a registered nurse .
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