Top councillors visit Project 28

Top councillors visit Project 28

(l-r) Liz Bryan, Cllr Paul May, Charlie, Cllr Alison Millar

The Bath & North East Somerset councillors with responsibility for children and young people’s services paid a visit to Project 28 to find out more about what we do.

DHI has run Project 28 for the last six years and each year we see around 200 young people on an individual basis. This is in addition to approximately 650 young people seen each year through outreach work, and speaking to over 4000 young people in schools and colleges.

Across the country, there is a downward trend of young people in substance misuse treatment, but numbers of young people using illicit drugs seems to be on the increase. However, in Project 28 we are seeing our numbers in treatment continue to rise.

Liz Bryan, DHI’s young people’s service manager, said: “I want to thank Councillors May and Millar for showing such a great interest in our service. I’m proud that we are bucking the trend nationally with more young people seeking support to change their relationship with alcohol or drugs.

“This is still a worrying time for us though, since we are not just seeing more young people but our service users are getting younger and come with more complex problems. County lines gangs often target young vulnerable people to become pawns in their drug dealing operations. We have seen locally the damage that this can do to a young person and the fear tactics that are used to trap them in this cycle of crime.”

Councillor Paul May, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “As the B&NES lead member for Children and Young people it has become very clear to me that the voluntary sector provides help to individuals in ways that the public sector cannot. Project 28 not only provides direct support for young people with dependency problems but provides a continuing personal whole person network that recognises and supports real long term change for their lives. Meeting young people during our visit just brings home how successful Project 28 is for them. Lovely professional people who care and we are fortunate to have such a team working for them.”

Councillor Alison Millar, Chair of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel, said: “It was great to meet one of the clients benefiting currently from Project 28. Charlie spoke frankly about how life had been before - and how it had been turned around with long term help from the Project 28 staff who work really hard to support vulnerable young people in a variety of creative ways. It really was inspirational.”

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