In-dependence and Action for Children to offer vital community Alcohol and Drugs support services

Two local third sector organisations, In-dependence and Action for Children have been selected by the Health Improvement Commission to provide community drug and alcohol services for the next five years. 

Following their success in the Commission’s tender process which included a detailed written submission and a presentation to an expert panel, from January 2022, subject to contract, the charities will deliver five vital services in the community. In-dependence will provide brief interventions, advice, counselling and structured psychosocial interventions for people with alcohol and/or drug dependence. For the first time this will be a combined alcohol and drug service, they will also provide the community needle exchange and the Criminal Justice Substance Service. The services are an important part of the Substance Use Strategy approved earlier this year. 

Action for Children’s Guernsey team will deliver the Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Education for Young People aged 9 – 18yrs. For the first time, this service will combine tobacco, drugs and alcohol education, recognising the need for a combined approach and the benefits of having dedicated providers in schools with expertise and consistent messaging across all areas. The combined service also benefits schools, pupils and parents/carers by being a single point of contact for information and support. 

The Health Improvement Commission, who will be signing new contracts with the charity providers are pleased to confirm and congratulate both Action for Children and In-dependence on their successful bids. The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Simon Sebire explains why these services achieved top marks:

"We are grateful to all of the organisations who took the time to apply to provide these community services. Action for Children and In-dependence scored highly across all areas of assessment and represent excellent service design and value for money. We were particularly impressed with the high level of professional standards in both organisations, their use of evidence-based approaches and their innovative ideas for service development. Due to this, they will be able to put the service users’ needs at the heart of their provision. We’re confident they will provide excellent support to all who need it."

Dr Simon Sebire

"Whilst In-dependence has been delivering drug and alcohol services for some time now, the new funding will enable us in the longer-term, to establish a more sustainable response to any rise in referrals to the service. One area of focus over the last two years has been in the area of clearer referral pathways, and good examples of this are the links with the Accident and Emergency Department and the Community Drug and Alcohol Team. Ensuring people have access to the most suitable service at the time they need it is key to effective recovery.

We look forward to developing our relationship with the Commission, particularly in the area of shared learning."

Tracey Rear, Manager of In-dependence

"We’re delighted to have been awarded the contract to deliver Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco education for children and young people across the Bailiwick.

This service will be a key strand of our work, ensuring we’re able to provide education at the earliest possible opportunity and compliments our existing service that supports young people with substance use issues."

Aaron Davies, Children’s Services Manager at Action for Children

Action for Children will also be working in partnership with the Commission and the Employment and Social Security Committee to deliver the Youth Housing Project which has a specific component related to supporting young people with or at risk of harmful substance use.

"I am delighted to have such experienced partners delivering services in the community and in the schools, sharing important information and offering vital support.
Recognising the complexity of substance use and the lives of those seeking help, both organisations showed strongly how they work in close partnership with other agencies from statutory services to the third sector. We are looking forward to working together over the next five years to offer the best possible experiences and outcomes for service users."

Andrea Nightingale, Substance Use Lead at the Health Improvement Commission

In-dependence and Action for Children will be operating these funded services from January 2022.