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Public health chiefs visit Doncaster

A team of senior public health officials have visited Doncaster to spend time with a group of people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Public Health England’s Alcohol and Drugs Manager Melanie Earlam, Centre Director Prof Martyn Regan and Simon Reeve, Head of Public Health Strategy at the Department of Health, met with representatives from Doncaster Council Public Health at the Civic Building, before visiting the Thorne Road base of Doncaster Drug and Alcohol Services, which are run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).

RDaSH Assistant Director, Drug and Alcohol Services Ian Joustra said: “We were delighted to host this important visit and showcase the work we are doing locally to support people to beat their addictions, and achieve a sustainable recovery.”

As well as chatting with staff, the visitors met service users, mentors and volunteers to discuss how mentoring and peer support helped them to engage with services and feel part of a wider recovery community.

Ian added: “When people use our service they are welcomed by a peer mentor who explains what they can expect and shares their own story and experience. They provide ongoing support throughout the recovery journey to help people lead fulfilling independent lives beyond our services.

“This visit allowed local people to share their real life stories of how they were motivated to start their own recovery journey by seeing the progress made by others – proving that recovery really is contagious!”

Councillor Pat Knight, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Service users, mentors and volunteers all praised the service they received and some users have gone on to be mentors sharing their experiences with others needing support.  It was also pleasing to hear that service users from our black and minority ethnic (BME) communities have been treated fairly and equally.

“It’s good to be able to share our local experiences of improving public health in Doncaster with colleagues from Public Health England. We have invited them back to see more of what’s happening in Doncaster at later date.”

public health officials visit doncaster
Pictured left to right is Meanie Earlam, Alcohol and Drugs Manager for Public Health England (Yorkshire and Humber); Dr Rupert Suckling, Director Public Health Doncaster; Helen Conroy, Public Health Specialist Doncaster; Prof Martyn Regan, Public Health England Centre Director; Stuart Green and Ian Joustra of Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) Drugs and Alcohol Team; Simon Reeve, Head of Public Health Strategy, Department of Health; Helen Owen, Team Leader for Single Point of Access in Doncaster; Jacqui Wiltschinsky, Assistant Director of Public Health Doncaster; Cllr Pat Knight and Deb Wildgoose, Deputy Director of Nursing and Standards, RDaSH.