Drink and Drugs News DDN Feb2018 - Page 16

Co-production and partnership working can help organisations thrive in troubled times . DDN hears from the MD of Equinox Care and Penrose Criminal Justice Services , Kelly Hallett

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Co-production and partnership working can help organisations thrive in troubled times . DDN hears from the MD of Equinox Care and Penrose Criminal Justice Services , Kelly Hallett

As a sector we can still do more to work together to find better or more innovative ways of pooling resources and supporting people ,’ says Kelly Hallett . ‘ Certainly one of my priorities is to identify more opportunities for us to be building these relationships and combining expertise .’

Joined-up working is a subject she knows quite a bit about – late last year she was appointed MD of Equinox Care and Penrose Criminal Justice Services , both of which are part of the Social Interest Group ( SIG ), which was established as a charity in 2014 . ‘ At the time Equinox was looking for a merger partner and Penrose wanted to build a much stronger infrastructure , which it couldn ’ t afford on its own ,’ says Hallett . ‘ SIG was the answer .’
The group now includes five charities , and provides the framework to support them and help develop their strategies . This means organisations can remain true to their charitable aims and retain their own boards while benefitting from being part of a ‘ much bigger picture ’, she explains . ‘ It ’ s about strengthening our charities by opening up opportunities to freely learn from each other and innovate , working closely together and remaining financially robust enough to enjoy the back-office services that they could not have achieved on their own .’
The new MD role offers the opportunity to ‘ lead two charities as businesses that truly care about individuals ’ recovery and rehabilitation ’, she says . ‘ I have great ambitions for Equinox , Penrose and our service users .’ She ’ d worked at Penrose for more than six years , rising to director of operations and director of criminal justice services , before taking on the current role . Before was Turning Point – first as regional manager for Kent and then assistant director for substance misuse – and before that a period in prison drug treatment . ‘ I started as a

‘ It ’ s about strengthening our charities by opening up opportunities to freely learn from each other and innovate .’

volunteer , progressing to CARAT worker , CARAT manager and then eastern area manager , overseeing 11 drug treatment services in prisons across the East of England ,’ she says .
So was the drugs sector something she ’ d always been interested in ? ‘ Not specifically . I always knew I ’ d work with vulnerable people and I always had an interest in prisons . Many years ago I worked with the elderly , then I had a temp job in a prison doing admin which gave me the opportunity to be introduced to the prison substance misuse team . I started volunteering with them in 2003 , which led to a job within the team – this field has captivated me from day one , and I ’ m still very grateful to have been given that volunteer position .’
Drug treatment in prisons is obviously facing hugely challenging times , with the consequences of the dramatic increase in NPS use making regular headlines . What could be done to improve treatment provision in the current climate ? ‘ I think that whilst there are some excellent examples and outcomes out there , there are still many challenges to providing effective , choice-based treatment ,’ she says . ‘ The cuts to funding and staffing are well known , and the environment itself is restrictive – prisons are facing their own challenging times . Access to , and movement of , prisoners is not always easy , and prison regimes often mean that it ’ s hard for meaningful activity to take place – boredom and lack of daily structure can be very demotivating .’
Despite all the evidence showing that ‘ safe environments improve outcomes ’, access to specific resettlement , wellbeing or drug-free wings isn ’ t always an option ,
16 | drinkanddrugsnews | February 2018 www . drinkanddrugsnews . com
Profile Partner uP s a sector we can still do more to work together to find better or more innovative ways of pooling resources and supporting people,’ says Kelly Hallett. ‘Certainly one of my priorities is to identify more opportunities for us to be building these relationships and combining expertise.’ Joined-up working is a subject she knows quite a bit about – late last year she was appointed MD of Equinox Care and Penrose Criminal Justice Services, both of which are part of the Social Interest Group (SIG), which was established as a charity in 2014. ‘At the time Equinox was looking for a merger partner and Penrose wanted to build a much stronger infrastructure, which it couldn’t afford on its own,’ says Hallett. ‘SIG was the answer.’ The group now includes five charities, and provides the framework to support them and help develop their strategies. This means organisations can remain true to their charitable aims and retain their own boards while benefitting from being part of a ‘much bigger picture’, she explains. ‘It’s about strengthening our charities by opening up opportunities to freely learn from each other and innovate, working closely together and remaining financially robust enough to enjoy the back-office services that they could not have achieved on their own.’ The new MD role offers the opportunity to ‘lead two charities as businesses that truly care about individuals’ recovery and rehabilitation’, she says. ‘I have great ambitions for Equinox, Penrose and our service users.’ She’d worked at Penrose for more than six years, rising to director of operations and director of criminal justice services, before taking on the current role. Before was Turning Point – first as regional manager for Kent and then assistant director for substance misuse – and before that a period in prison drug treatment. ‘I started as a volunteer, progressing to CARAT worker, CARAT manager and then eastern area manager, overseeing 11 drug treatment services in prisons across the East of England,’ she says. So was the drugs sector something she’d always been interested in? ‘Not specifically. I always knew I’d work with vulnerable people and I always had an interest in prisons. Many years ago I worked with the elderly, then I had a temp job in a prison doing admin which gave me the opportunity to ɽՍѼѡ)ɥͽՉх͔ѕ$хѕٽչѕɥݥѠѡ̰ݡ)ѼݥѡѡѕLѡ́́ѥمѕɽ䁽'eѥ)ٕ䁝ɅѕհѼٕٔѡЁٽչѕȁͥѥd)՜ɕѵЁɥͽ́́٥ͱ䁙՝䁍ѥ̰ݥѠ)ѡ͕Օ́ѡɅѥɕ͔9AL͔ɕձȁ̸)]ЁձѼɽٔɕѵЁɽ٥ͥѡɕЁєa$ѡ)ѡЁݡЁѡɔɔͽፕЁᅵ́э́Ёѡɔѡɔɔ)ѥ䁍́Ѽɽ٥ѥ͕ٔɕѵгd̸͡ͅaQ)́Ѽչхɔݕݸѡ٥ɽЁ͕)ɕɥѥٔLɥͽ́ɔѡȁݸѥ̸́Ѽ)ٕЁɥͽ́́Ё݅́䰁ɥͽɕ́ѕѡЁӊe)ɐȁհѥ٥ѼхLɕՍɔ)ٕ䁑ѥمѥd)єѡ٥͡ݥѡЃaͅ٥ɽ́ɽٔэϊd)́Ѽɕ͕ѱаݕȁ՜ɕݥ́ͻeЁ݅́ѥ+a+a%ӊé)ɕѡ)ȁɥѥ́))չѥ́Ѽ)ɕ䁱ɸɽ)ѡȁ)مєd) ɽՍѥѹ͡)ݽɭɝͅѥ́ѡɥٔ)ɽՉѥ̸8́ɽѡ)5ե ɔAɽ͔) ɥ)ѥM٥̰-!(؁ɥ՝͹́Յ)ܹɥ՝͹̹