Check out the “Down Your Drink” website! Set up to help you make decisions about your drinking.
Many of us drink too much alcohol. Whether you’re not sure if you need to cut back, or if drinking is a real problem, Down Your Drink (DYD) has the information and tools to help you look more closely at your drinking.
You can check it out here: https://www.downyourdrink.org.uk/
Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK have written a report called: “Tackling alcohol-related anti-social behaviour through Civil Injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders: A missed opportunity?”
You can read it here: https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=8c2c4fa4-15b1-461b-9efa-d2b566f32536
Camden commissioners hired an independent organisation called Tonic to do an evaluation of service user involvement in Camden. Tonic heard from 123 users of both mental health and drug & alcohol services and they have produced a report which you can read here.
Tonic: Camden Service User Engagement report
The report proposes the following options for the continuation of Camden involvement. Watch this space because commissioners will decide soon!
Option 1: Refine and review the current specification. Commission an independent organisation to co-ordinate service user involvement across the Borough for mental health and substance misuse. This service would operate as the ‘go to’, impartial, service for service users to share views, or for the council to seek input for consultations.
Option 1a: Commission two separate independent organisations to co-ordinate service user involvement; one for substance misuse and one for mental health.
Option 2: Offer independent funding directly for service user groups (e.g. directly from the council to service user groups e.g. CBUG)
Option 2a: Stipulate in new contract with independent provider that some of the budget should be retained for service users to apply for grant funding for new initiatives.
Option 3: Contract with a current commissioned provider to provide and coordinate independent service user involvement activity across the cohort (either substance misuse or mental health). Key to this option is that service users feel confident that their views will not affect their care from said provider and this function is seen as an adjunct to the other activities offered.
Option 4: Do not commission an independent service user involvement service outside of the current service providers, as they already promote service user engagement as part of their individual contracts. This would, however, not benefit from a resource to pool together all of the separate service user engagement and feedback into one place for providers and commissioners and service users may be concerned they cannot give honest feedback to the service providers about their care/treatment.
The Pavement is a magazine and website for homeless people committed to publishing independent advice as well as hard-hitting and entertaining reportage. They aim to provide and publicise appropriate information that is objective, timely and relevant on a range of advisory and practical services available to homeless people, as well as news on the issues impacting the homeless and dispossessed from across the UK. Their ultimate goal is to help reduce short-term hardship amongst their readers and longer term to provide them with information to enable them to guide their own futures.
You can visit the site here: http://www.thepavement.org.uk/index.php
Their journalists cover the news from the streets or news affecting the streets, and often deal with topics ignored by the mainstream press. Alongside this, other professionals provide features on health, foot care, legal advice and life in hostels, with the back pages given over to The List, a regularly updated directory of homeless services.
Disabled campaigners held a national day of action yesterday (Wednesday 17th April) calling on the government to halt the roll-out of its Universal Credit.
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Single Mothers’ Self-Defence and WinVisible activists demonstrated in Westminster against the national introduction of the new benefit system.
To find out more about DPAC please visit their website: https://dpac.uk.net/2018/03/national-day-of-action-to-stopandscrap-universal-credit/
You can see the protest reported here:
Fears for rough sleepers as specialist north London unit faces 42% budget reduction.
NHS bosses are under fire for cutting back a team of doctors and nurses who provide mental health care to one of Britain’s largest groups of homeless people.
Camden NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in north London is giving the Focus Homeless Outreach team £219,866 less a year starting on 1 April, a leaked CCG document reveals. One of the team’s two psychiatrists and one of its six nurses will lose their jobs as a result.
Critics say the decision makes a mockery of Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt’s repeated claims that NHS mental health services are receiving record amounts of funding to improve care. They fear it will lead to more rough sleepers suffering mental health crises and killing themselves, and that it will add to the already heavy demand for care being faced by hospitals and GPs in Camden.
The CCG is pressing ahead with the 42% cut to the £521,000 budget it gave the team this year despite a storm of protest from local GPs, psychiatrists, homeless charities and managers of hostels where rough sleepers sometimes stay. Camden had the third highest rate of rough sleeping in England in 2017, recent government statistics showed – more than Manchester, Bristol and Cornwall.
Focus, set up 25 years ago, helps treat the high levels of depression, psychosis and other mental health conditions found in rough sleepers, hostel dwellers and “sofa surfers”, including some asylum seekers and people who have been trafficked. Its budget is being reduced even though it is regarded by NHS, local council and social work bosses in London as a model of good practice of how to reach the kind of group that often shuns traditional NHS services…
Read the full article on the Guardian website here.
If you are concerned about someone who is homeless, please ensure that they are aware of the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP). This means that anyone who is homeless can present at their local council, or contact the out of hours team & ask for assistance to be accommodated in a B&B, hostel or night shelter whilst the temperature is 0° or below.
They don’t need to prove a local connection or be in priory need. No one should be left to manage these conditions.
If people do not wish to accept temporary accommodation, local homeless projects can often help with robust sleeping bags.
On Thursday 22nd February, VoiceAbility supported 4 service users to attend the annual Drink Drug News (DDN) conference in Birmingham.
Following a talk about supported housing called “More than Bricks and Mortar” Frontline member Clive took the microphone to contribute to the conversation. You can watch Clive in action here:
Following Frontline’s complaints about the lack of services available to people with no recourse to public funds, Camden’s Community Safety team have provided this list of services.
Cold Weather Shelters:
Refugee and Asylum Services:
Hostels for people with no Camden connection:
Homeless link have released a list of London Winter shelters. The Camden one is:
C4WS HOMELESS PROJECT NIGHT SHELTER
C4WS runs from 9 November 2017 to 29 March 2018, closing for a week at Christmas when guests go to Crisis at Christmas
Phone: 07598 066712
Who can access? Homeless people, including those with a range of support needs. No local connection is required.
How to access? Can only accept referrals from Camden-based agencies with whom C4WS have a signed Service Level Agreement. Please phone to check vacancy details; if there is a vacancy, the referring agency is required to fill out a guest referral form on behalf of their client. If C4WS can accept the guest, the guest will be given directions to the shelter for that evening. Guests should not turn up at the venue without their agency completing a referral first. All spaces must be booked in advance.
How many spaces are there? 16
What times does the shelter open and close? The shelter opens for admissions from 7.30pm with last admissions at 7:45pm. Guests must leave by 8:45am.
Rules: No alcohol is allowed on shelter premises and no smoking inside shelter buildings. Guests must register with welfare manager. Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. Guests Must accept C4WS ethos and accept terms of stay.
You can find the full list here: London Winter Shelters 2017-18_version7ocx