Drink and Drugs News DDN February 2019 | Page 6

user involvement Capital A idea WDP’s Capital Card scheme has been helping to incentivise and empower service users, the team tells DDN eople who come into drug and alcohol services looking for support and treatment are very often also experiencing profound isolation from their communities. Not only can this be damaging to their recovery, it can also have a negative impact on their general health and wellbeing. Helping service users reconnect with the world is a vital issue for substance misuse services. With this in mind, WDP has launched a simple earn/spend points system that supports service users to make sustainable and significant changes. Created by WDP’s joint CEO, Manish Nanda, the Capital Card aims to transform the lives of service users and their families by protecting against social isolation and encouraging people towards proactive and positive engagement at their service. Much like a retail loyalty card, Capital Card users earn points as they go. When they begin treatment with WDP they are given their own personal Capital Card, and each time they attend a keywork appointment or take part in a group or recovery- related activity they earn ten Capital Card points. They can then redeem the points they’ve accrued at ‘spend partners’ in their local communities. These recovery- focused opportunities are diverse and growing, and include gym passes, restaurants, cinema tickets and adult learning. These benefits and experiences inspire people to engage with their local communities, as well as bolstering their recovery. The idea of Capital Card was initially conceived while trying to improve the engagement we had with our prison-releases – an arrangement was made with a local barber to provide free appointments for a haircut and shave on their day of P 6 | drinkanddrugsnews | February 2019 The Capital Card, January 2019: • 3,880+ active service users signed up • 673,980+ points earned • 86,780+ points spent • 25 spend partners • 40+ different spend activities release. This proved popular, as service users often like to have something tangible to incentivise and reward their treatment milestones. Manish Nanda, joint CEO, and who was key in its development, said that ‘by developing more links with other local businesses, service users would have access to opportunities that they may have previously felt excluded from. After all, everyone likes something for free so why shouldn’t our service users get something extra from coming into treatment?’ The card has been designed based on the principles associated with ‘contingency management’, an evidence-based treatment intervention endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and which suggests that positive behaviour change is strengthened through reinforcement, reward and recognition. It has also been mapped against the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ and all spend rewards are focused on supporting service users to achieve healthier lifestyles. The evidence suggests that even a small improvement in wellbeing can help people to flourish. Points are awarded in real-time, allowing service users to make the immediate connection between their motivation and the incentives for their positive behaviour. There is also a companion app that acts as an e-card where users can check their points balance and see which spend partners are available in their area. The Capital Card was shortlisted by the Global Good Awards and the Charity Times Awards, and was also named ‘digital innovation of the year’ at the 2018 Third Sector Awards. ‘Winning the digital innovation category at the Third Sector awards is truly a testament to the cutting-edge technology that we are continuously developing as well as the incredible hard work and passion of our Capital Card team,’ said WDP chair Yasmin Batliwala. ‘It also clearly demonstrates that our service users are at the very heart of all we do.’ www.drinkanddrugsnews.com