Funding secured for Forward Leeds staff in Early Help Hubs

Forward Leeds staff working in the city’s Early Help Hubs have had their funding approved until March 2022.

The Early Help Hubs are run by Leeds City Council to support families and professionals working with families. The hubs offer a single point of contact and offer advice, help and support around a range of issues. The Forward Leeds Specialist Drug and Alcohol Coordinators are an important part of that broader team at each hub.

Chesley Taylor, who manages the Forward Leeds team in the Early Help Hubs, said: “The team have worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months to embed themselves within the hubs, working with partner agencies including clusters, schools and social care teams.

“They continue to network and promote the ‘think-family, work-family’ model alongside educating how parental drug and alcohol use can impact the whole family.

“The additional funding will enable the team to continue to offer early interventions, getting support right-first-time, avoid problems escalating and prevent second generational drug and alcohol use within families.”

A large part of the work the Drug and Alcohol Coordinators do is brief interventions for those concerned that their drinking or drug use may be affecting their children. The team also offer harm reduction advice to support individuals and families to be a safe as possible.

Chelsey continued: “We also hope to explore working more closely with schools and promote awareness around hidden harms. We recognise these are the professionals who may be more likely to pick up on a change in a child’s behaviour where parental drug and alcohol use might be happening within the home.”

The team also use their own knowledge to offer free training on, ‘Discussing parental alcohol and drug use’. This training provides other professionals in Leeds the chance to increase their own confidence and skills in speaking to parents about their substance misuse.

(please note, the picture above was taken last year before the introduction of social distancing measures)