Drug and Alcohol Service Foward Leeds Helps Nearly 6,000 People in First Year

Nearly 6,000 people have accessed drug and alcohol services run by Forward Leeds since it launched in the city a year ago.

The Leeds City Council commissioned service has helped a total of 5,889 people since it began operating in July, 2015.

It responds to over a hundred calls a day, assisting clients and professionals with alcohol and drug advice, appointments, referrals and other general enquiries.

Forward Leeds, Executive Director, Lisa Parker said: “We have managed to make a really positive contribution to the lives of so many people in the city. “Leeds is rightly thought of as one of the best places in the country to get support to recover.

“Since we launched last July, we have steadily grown our services and become very well known throughout the city. We’ve run effective public health campaigns such as Like My Limit, which informs people about the health harms of alcohol. We have also been delighted with the positive feedback we’ve received about the recent Illegal Highs campaign, which raises awareness of the potentially fatal risk posed by former ‘legal highs’. We have also launched a new Recovery Academy in Burley, for people of Leeds in recovery. “We have achieved so much already and next year looks even more exciting.”

Councillor Charlwood (Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adults), said: “Forward Leeds has used their first year to provide welcome new services which integrate drug and alcohol service for the city. At a time when there are significant pressures on health and care resources we have to find innovative ways to link prevention and support people through treatment and into recovery, providing information and education around health and the impact of drugs and alcohol.

“Through its offer of a range of services, Forward Leeds has supported many people, including families, across the city and as it celebrates its first year since it began operating, I look forward to the service continuing to play its part in Leeds commitment to improving health for everyone and reducing health inequalities.”

The new Recovery Academy was launched last month, with funding awarded by Public Health England to charity Developing Initiatives Supporting Communities (DISC), the lead delivery partner of Forward Leeds. The academy, in a converted chapel on Hollis Place just off Burley Road, offers activities such as art, music, IT, peer support, employment and education skills, and on-going support as well as opportunities to contribute to Leeds, after overcoming substance dependence.

Forward Leeds operates from four main hubs, at Kirkgate and the Market Place in the city centre, one in Seacroft and one in Armley. The services can also be accessed through the single point of contact 0113 887 2477, GP surgeries and community services across Leeds.