Monday, 27 September 2021

Worker needed to give drugs advice

A YOUTH and community group in Henley needs to employ another member of staff to tackle substance abuse, according to

A YOUTH and community group in Henley needs to employ another member of staff to tackle substance abuse, according to its project manager.

Nomad, which is based at the d:two centre in Market Place, has received a £20,000 donation from the Henley Educational Trust which will be put towards the cost of employing an additional full-time youth and family support worker.

Speaking at the group’s annual meeting on Monday, project manager Sue Prior said: “The fact is we are working at full capacity and we don’t have very much more space in our days or weeks to do much more. What we are doing at the moment is not enough. There is much more need out there.

“Tackling the issue of substance abuse is the key thing. Lots of people are a little surprised when we say there is an issue but I estimate that with approximately 50 per cent of the young people and the families that we work with there are substance issues of some kind or another.”

She hopes that Nomad will be in a position to hire another employee within the next six months.

The group made 2,168 interventions between April and September, 590 more than in the same six-month period last year. Nomad launched a families against drugs group earlier this year to support people whose loved ones have substance abuse problems.

Mrs Prior said: “It is an area where a lot of people don’t necessarily find it easy to come out into the open about because there is a shame element but it happens across the board. It is not about blaming parents, it is about helping them and giving them support.”

In addition to employing a new staff member at the cost of about £30,000, Mrs Prior also wants to “skill-up” Nomad’s existing team of five.

“Each one of our team comes across substance abuse, whether it is with a parent, a young person or another family member,” she said. “We need to be aware of what is going on in the drugs scene. We have got some plans to start an ongoing training programme and building a more targeted approach to the substance abuse issue.”

Nomad has also received £4,000 from an individual via the Oxfordshire Community Fund, which matches up donors with charities of interest to them. This money will be used to extend a programme which provides activities for children and families during school holidays.

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