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PCC visits South Gloucestershire Support Services

On Friday the 28th of April, PCC Mark Shelford, met with Ignite Life, Abbotswood Residents Group, South Gloucestershire Drugs and Alcohol Service (DHI) and South Gloucestershire Disability Equality Network.

Each service provided a tour of their facility and overview of the work they provide within South Gloucestershire.

Ignite Life

Ignite Life Manager Beth showing PCC Mark Shelford some of their facilities

Ignite Life is a registered charity, supporting young people and families through the provision of holistic care, tailored to individual needs. They focus on relieving the needs of disadvantaged and marginalised young people through:

  • Addressing economic inequalities
  • Access to sports
  • Counselling
  • Family support
  • Provision of educational support
  • Supporting wellbeing and mental health
  • Youth mentoring

They work in partnership with Impact Mentoring, together they offer a wide range of activities within their facility, which includes:

  • Art zone
  • Bike workshop with bikes
  • Building skills – carpentry, plastering and more
  • Gym and classes – available to the local community
  • Full equipped kitchen for lots of food activities
  • Pottery workshop
  • Safe space – where young people can relax and or use the space for counselling sessions.

In addition to the above services and support, they provide a shop style foodbank, which not only provides food to those in need but volunteering opportunities for their young people.

“Ignite Life is an inspirational charity, which offers a variety of tailored services to suit each individual young person, their family and surrounding community.

“It was interested to learn about their shop style foodbank service, which not only makes walking through the door easier for those in need, but volunteering opportunities for the young people they work with”

PCC Mark Shelford

Click here to learn more about Ignite Life

Abbotswood Residents Group

Abbotswood Residents Group Alex, Laura and Pam with PCC Mark Shelford

Abbotswood Residents Group and support services are based in the St Nicholas Family Centre, offering support to local families, individuals and victims of crime.

The residence group facilitate a variety of local activities for local residents, including fundraising activities and a monthly swap shop.

Their youth club is facilitated through Yate Town Council, the weekly club offers young people a space to get together, play sports and access the new outdoor play area (which is just outside the church grounds).

“Individuals like Alex and Laura, help make a difference in our communities; their support for families and vulnerable people ensure local young people have activities and a safe haven”

PCC Mark Shelford

Click here to keep up to date with the Abbotswood Residential Group

South Gloucestershire Drugs and Alcohol Service (DHI)

South Gloucestershire DHI team with PCC Mark Shelford

South Gloucestershire DHI supports anyone in the area struggling with drugs or alcohol addiction. There services includes:

  • 1:1 sessions
  • Harm reduction advice
  • Naloxone training and provision
  • Needle exchange
  • Opiate substitute therapy
  • Peer support, alcohol service
  • Preparation for detox
  • SPACED (stimulant, psychoactive, alternative, club and experimental drugs) service
  • Structured group programme

During the visit, Mark met with a form service user, who is now a Peer Mentor; “they don’t judge you and make it a welcoming atmosphere. They give you the tools and techniques to manage. You are not just in a room with strangers, they all know what you are going through. You can share ideas and help one another get through it. I get a lot from this job. I am the proof in the pudding!”

“Services like this are vital, as they provide structure, training and continual support. Listening to the Peer Mentors own personal experience gave me an insight into how important this safe space is. I was most impressed that this person has come through the service programme and is now working with those now in need.”

PCC Mark Shelford

To find out more on the South Gloucestershire Drugs and Alcohol Service, please click here.

South Gloucestershire Disability Equality Network Manager Ashley with PCC Mark Shelford

South Gloucestershire Disability Equality Network

South Gloucestershire Disability Equality Network (SGDEN) is an independent organisation, run by a group of disabled people for disabled people. They provide events, open meetings, newsletters, social media, and work with other local organisations to help those with a disability. As well as bringing together local disabled people, and the organisations who work with them, to speak out about what will improve lives.

During the visit, Mark learnt of the regular hate crime local disabled people are experiencing and the impact it has had on their lives. Somerset Council have a few short films which explain disability hate crime and how to access support if you have been a victim, please click here to access the films.

“The South Gloucestershire Disability Equality Network offers such a fantastic range of advice, support and services. I was saddened to hear about the hate crime many local disabled people are experiencing locally, and the impact it has had on their lives. All hate crime is unacceptable and I urge anyone who may have been a victim of hate crime, to contact the Police and report it.”

PCC Mark Shelford

If you would like to learn more about the South Gloucestershire Disability Network, please click here.