Local residents in Andover challenged by drink and drug addiction can now attend the About Turn Project, a new support group run by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) which opened last week (Tuesday 11th August).
This scheme has been running successfully in Basingstoke and in other Hampshire towns for a number of years.
The About Turn Project is a drop-in group meeting for people in the community who need to make changes to their substance misuse or offending behaviours and to those family and friends who support them. Participants who attend the morning group will be given a free lunch and encouraged to stay for the afternoon where they will hear talks from agencies who can offer practice help, advice and referrals around issues such as housing, health, training, employment and debt issues.
The Andover About Turn Project will run from 9.00am – 3.00pm on each Tuesday at The Rendezvous on Union Street.
The project has been created by HIOW CRC About Turn Project Co-ordinator, Roy Phillips, and in Andover is run by HIOW CRC Engagement Officer, Popi Daouti along with Hazel Wakeford from the Society of St James Support. About Turn is part of the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) service funded and delivered by police, probation and drug support services.
Former drug addict and About Turn Project Peer Mentor Melanie Hunter, explained: “When I first went to the About Turn project, I was on heroin but with support I stopped and now I’ve trained to become a group facilitator. When I see new faces, I try to welcome them and talk to them in the same way that I was welcomed. I build up trust with people and try to help them by sharing my experience with them or by directing them to another member in the group who may be better qualified to help.”
“The About Turn Project was my first experience of care, love and trust, whether I was using drugs or not. I owe a lot to this project and the people in it. It remains a vital part of my recovery and it means a lot to me that I can give something back to the projects which helped give me a new way of life.”