Partnership vice-chair welcomes strong turnout for public meeting

Last week’s delayed PCSP meeting included a look ahead to ‘Be Smart Don’t Start’, a multi-agency project raising awareness with target groups about drug and alcohol misuse.

Banbridge PCSP is developing and delivering the project with £5,700 in funding secured from the seized criminal assets fund.

It will include a February 7 roadshow for local Year 13 students and Free Accredited Training for community and sports leaders who want to increase their knowledge and confidence on substance misuse.

Mr Duncan McCausland, Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, was a keynote speaker at the meeting and outlined the background to the development of a Joint Industry Code for the responsible promotion and retail of alcohol.

PCSP vice-chair, Mr Jonathan Murphy, welcomed the strong turnout for last week’s drug and alcohol themed meeting.

“It was good,” he said, “to see so many community representatives at this meeting, which went ahead despite an attempt to disrupt this opportunity for local people to be signposted to relevant advice, information and support.

“There are a whole range of agencies and organisations who are currently working together and co-ordinating activities and projects to empower local communities to address issues of local drug and alcohol misuse alongside appropriate and effective enforcement.

“The PCSP presented their local drug and alcohol strategy which will help to ensure that a co-ordinated approach is taken locally to identifying, delivering and supporting effective interventions in partnership with local communities.”

The meeting, a response to community concerns, was aimed at providing information, advice, support and signposting, this as part of Banbridge PCSP’s local delivery plan to co-ordinate the work of statutory and local partners in identifying and developing appropriate initiatives around drug and alcohol misuse.

Following an initial meeting in September this year, the PCSP responded to community concerns and requests by bringing together a range of statutory and local partners embarked on a joined-up approach to addressing the impact that drug and alcohol misuse is having on individuals, their families and the local communities in which they live.

Further information about support and advice on drug and alcohol misuse issues is available, along with contact details for the agencies and organisations who deliver, by contacting the PCSP staffing team 028 4062 0246.