DDN Sept_2022 September 2022 | Page 13

Become a Buddy , become a lifesaver
THESE PAST 12 MONTHS working for Cranstoun have been a fantastic and insightful learning experience . When I applied for the job , I was equipped with my GCSEs , less than 12 months of experience working in mental health care , and zero experience working in a substance use setting . Within a matter of months training with Cranstoun I felt confident and knowledgeable in the field , and by the end of my trainee programme I had been awarded a level 3 NVQ in adult care and a full-time job as an engagement and recovery worker , independently managing my own caseload of over 60 clients .
A typical day working as a trainee with Cranstoun is split between academic training and working on-the-job . There are a number of training sessions focused on the various elements of good practice in adult care , as well as many opportunities
however , then seeing a client the morning of their release from prison and hearing them say they are never going to use again , thanks to yourself and the Forward Trust .
At present there are no nationally recognised training requirements for this role , merely an ability to demonstrate transferable skills , knowledge of the recovery agenda , and a desire and ability to support people to make changes to their behaviour . People with substance misuse histories to engage directly with service users by developing care plans , conducting a range of tests and assessments , and assisting with their queries and concerns both in-person and over the phone . Most of my time is spent in or around our general office , where I ’ m surrounded by experts in the field , all of whom are willing to support and guide me in my training . To me , the most rewarding aspect of this job is having the opportunity to make a genuine impact on the lives of others , and be witness to their recovery journey first-hand .
If I could change anything about the current trainee scheme , it would be to place an even greater focus on opportunities to work alongside the existing staff and support them with their duties , as it was during these experiences that I believe I learned the most about the job .
The apprenticeship scheme that has been developed by Cranstoun has granted me the opportunity to go from knowing almost nothing about this industry to being fully trained and working independently in only 12 months . I would absolutely recommend to anybody interested in a career in substance use to consider becoming a trainee with Cranstoun – it ’ s one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have in this field .
Liam Topping , engagement and recovery worker , Cranstoun
and who are in prison are often the most negatively stereotyped and stigmatised individuals in society . I don ’ t see clients in this way . I see them as people , who have a history , and who are in need of support . If you believe a person can change , then you can help them to believe this too . So , for anyone considering a career in this field , think about all the lives that you can help change , and how fantastic that can be .
Laura Clark , recovery worker , Forward Trust


Knatchbull Road is an abstinent supported housing program for adults in recovery from substance use and other issues .
Funded by Housing Benefits and accessible by clients from any borough in the UK . We provide an environment that enables our residents to ;
· Maintain abstinence ( via the group work and daily testing program )
· Better manage their health and wellbeing
· Build and develop personal resilience
· Address the reasons behind their substance use

Become a Buddy , become a lifesaver

Could you help people injecting drugs alone to stay safe ? Our BuddyUp app ����������������������������������������������� send help in a crisis
Sign up to help reduce drug related deaths from your own home with full training , equipment & aftercare supplied .
��������������� cranstoun . org / buddyup
· Adopt healthier coping strategies
· Improve , increase and strengthen support networks
· Prepare for independent living
· Move on into independent accommodation