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Council commissions new £1.8m drug and alcohol service contract to help the residents of York

City of York Council has awarded the drug and alcohol service contract to a leading health and social care charity Change Grow Live.

The charity will deliver a £1.8m service to provide community-based treatment and interventions for York residents wishing to access support for substance/alcohol use.

Change Grow Live helps tens of thousands of people each day, delivering over 150 services across the UK including supporting individuals, families and communities whose lives are adversely affected by crime, substance use, homelessness, anti-social behaviour, domestic violence, social deprivation and lack of opportunity.

Locally, Change Grow Live will deliver an integrated alcohol and drug treatment and recovery service to be available to all York residents.

Recovery is at its core, as well as recognising the role that trauma exposure can have on our residents, enabling them to be free from drug and/or alcohol dependence and enter recovery.

The service will support everyone, at all ages, providing dedicated support for adults and children and young people. York residents can access treatment and support through contacting the service directly, or through referrals from local health and care professionals. There is a single point of contact telephone number (01904 464 680) and online referral/self-referral form.

Samantha Craggs, Director with Change Grow Live, said: “Change Grow Live is delighted to be awarded the contract to provide drug and alcohol treatment services in York.

‘Working closely with the teams in York, Change Grow Live intend to build upon the great work that is already happening. We will focus on ensuring anyone in treatment, or looking to start treatment receives the highest standards of care whilst we work through the early stages of our contract mobilisation.

“Alongside our main treatment offer Change Grow Live will provide specialist support to children and Young People (25 and under,) this service will be known as The Gate. We will also provide support for those concerned and feel that their alcohol use is becoming a problem through our offer: New You. 

“For York’s Day Rehab offer, ASPIRE, Change Grow Live will partner with Emerging Futures, lived experience experts who deliver a range of programmes facilitated by trained specialists, recovery coaches and volunteers across the country. Change Grow Live currently works in partnership with Emerging Futures across eleven services including Kirklees, Manchester and Lancashire, where it has seen positive outcomes.

“Change Grow Live is looking forward to further developing relationships with people across the local communities in York. We are keen to see where we can add value and work in collaboration with others to promote long term recovery and improved wellbeing for all.”

City of York Council (CYC) has responsibility for providing drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services through the Public Health Grant. The Provider will be expected to work in partnership with CYC as commissioner and with other partners to ensure the needs of some of the most vulnerable individuals in York are met.

The commission has a budget of £1.8 million per year, which includes a small contribution from York and office for Policing, Fire and Crime Commissioning.

The Government’s Harm to Hope 10-year ‘Drug Strategy’ has an ambition to reduce overall drug use towards a 30-year low. As part of the strategy, the Government has made a Supplementary Substance Misuse Treatment and Recovery Grant available to enhance core service provision (not include in the £1.8 million per year).

Peter Roderick, Director of Public Health at City of York Council, said: “We are delighted to award the new drug and alcohol service contract to Change Grow Live, who have a proven track record in this field in successfully supporting individuals, families and communities.

“We're committed to working so everyone can enjoy the strengths and successes of our city and be able to live happier and healthier lives. Our Council Plan priorities and 10-year Health and Wellbeing Strategy set out our vision and our priorities. Through these strategies we want to improve health for all in York - by coordinating and influencing long-term, complex health support.”

Change Grow Live have been awarded the five-year contract, which started in July 2024.

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