DAWS celebrates its 1st Birthday!!
Written by Darren Glynn
As the Operations Manager of The Drug and Alcohol Wellbeing Service (DAWS) I am proud to be offered the opportunity to write a piece on our first year in service. I’m extremely pleased how we’re progressing and whilst we all know we’re not the finished article we’re certainly striving to be the service that our three London Boroughs deserve.
We launched in April 2016 as a partnership between Turning Point and Blenheim CDP and set ourselves out to be a pioneering new Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) model of how to work with the substance use client group. Built on the hard work and successes of existing providers, The DAWS partnership service aimed to meets the needs of the three borough residents in a holistic manner, focusing on increasing wellbeing with a broad range of innovative approaches as well as some interesting and diverse partnerships with fellow treatment system providers and local institutions.
Within our first six months we faced the many challenges of implementation that any new service has to deal with, but we also had the pressure of a CQC inspection to contend with. We safely transferred over 1000 service users into the new service all whilst staff were learning about and attending to the necessary restructuring the service was undertaking. The service passed its CQC inspection with aplomb, due in no small part to the hard working individuals of the service and the dedicated support they received from both Central Turning Point and Blenheim Services.
Aside from the day-to-day running of the service some of the interesting and innovative highlights to date include:
Roads to Wellbeing digital Asset Map (https//roadstowellbeing.communitymaps.org.uk)- Alongside the University College London (UCL) and Change Grow Live (CGL) we created a digital map to showcase five ways to wellbeing activities/services across Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea. This type of innovation sets us apart from other substance misuse services throughout the country and highlights our dedication to wellbeing.
We set up the Launching Innovation Fund, a co-production with Blenheim and CGL, whereby service users and small organizations can receive grants for items and projects that benefit Service user wellbeing. A Service User decision making panel decides the grant awards. In providing such a fund we demonstrate our focus truly is on the service user and their wellbeing.
Munster Road pop up Art gallery – Service users held an art exhibition open to all over a weekend in September 2016. Local residents and visitors commended the gallery and the pieces on show. For me this was a perfect example of how, when given the right support, our services user really can give something back to the community.
DAWS still has a long way to go to get to where our service users and commissioners want us to be, but we are getting there. I know with the perseverance, dedication and determination I’ve witnessed from staff across all three boroughs we will succeed in becoming the stand out substance use service within our treatment system and in London.