From 2004 – 2007, I was the Service Manager of a medical and psychotherapy treatment service for those seeking support in overcoming substance abuse addiction; one of the services of Cranstoun group. The service covered the London Borough of Croydon; one of the most diverse of London’s Boroughs.
The treatment service was classed as a Tier 2 and Tier 3 non-residential ‘Community Day Programme’ treatment service; offering counselling, psychotherapy, a 16 week group therapy treatment programme (which my team and I designed and wrote), drop-in support, sexual health services, needle exchange, blood testing and immunisation, outreach, keywork, crime reduction initiatives, advocacy, psycho-educational workshops, family support, housing and education support, blood borne virus support services through our microbiologist and much more.
One of the elements I was tasked with, was to ensure that our treatment service involved our service users and so I instructed my team to bring service users into helping deliver the service and to design its ongoing development. This not only proved incredibly successful, but we also achieved recognition and were awarded for our work in developing ‘Service User Representatives’ from minority and marginalised backgrounds.
I was interviewed by the, at that time, highly renowned ‘User News’ magazine of the London Drug and Alcohol Network; a magazine aimed at those accessing treatment services.
Below, is the publication in which I was interviewed. The standard of interview isn’t great and is poorly worded; I wasn’t well quoted, but hopefully you can see that the work we were doing, in bringing Service Users into all aspects of service delivery, was being recognised. See the right hand column entitled: ‘Croydon Toolkit Spurs on Local User Involvement’:
I left my role as Service Manager with Cranstoun, in 2007. I had loved my time in my role and my former colleagues remain friends to this day. Pictured here; some of my former colleagues on my last day in April 2007:
From there, I relocated to Suffolk, where I joined the Chief Executive’s Unit at Suffolk County Council as one of the Commissioning Manager’s within Suffolk Drug & Alcohol Action Team.
(C) Dean G. Parsons, 2017.