Charity given multi-million-pound contract to tackle drug and alcohol addiction

PUBLISHED: 06:55 20 March 2020 | UPDATED: 07:35 20 March 2020

Staff celebrating the opening of We Are With You. Picture: Nye Jones

Staff celebrating the opening of We Are With You. Picture: Nye Jones

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Services to help people across North Somerset who are experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol are set to continue.

Staff celebrating the opening of We Are With You. Picture: Nye JonesStaff celebrating the opening of We Are With You. Picture: Nye Jones

We Are With You, previously known as Addaction, has provided treatment and support to adults who are affected by alcohol or drugs, and to their families, friends and carers for the past five years.

Its contract ends this month and, following a competitive re-procurement process, North Somerset Council has announced We Are With You successfully applied for the new contract, which starts on April 1.

The contract is for up to seven years with a value of £1.45million a year.

We Are With You will continue to
provide a range of support and advice including one-to-one sessions,
structured day programmes and medically assisted detox from its Weston hub, in Boulevard.

Staff celebrating the opening of We Are With You. Picture: Nye JonesStaff celebrating the opening of We Are With You. Picture: Nye Jones

Cllr Mike Bell, deputy leader of the council and executive member with responsibility for public health, said: “High quality drug and alcohol support services are absolutely essential to help people turn their lives around, stay safe and healthy, and stop problematic drug and alcohol use.

“It’s vitally important that people across North Somerset can access a range of services to help address the problems they are having and improve outcomes for themselves, their families and their loved ones.”

Research conducted by the charity found three times as many people surveyed said they would choose We Are With You compared to Addaction, with many describing the changed name as ‘inclusive’, ‘approachable’ and ‘reassuring’.

Gill Flanagan, service manager at We Are With You, said: “Our changed name reflects our service and staff, which are consistently described as warm, non-judgemental and approachable by those we help.

“Our research shows that language around addiction can in itself be a huge barrier to people seeking help.

“We will use everyday language and focus on the help we offer, not the problem.

“Our new name not only better reflects the ethos and history of our services, but also how we work with people as equal partners.

“We hope to be more accessible to people who use or might use our services.”

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