To celebrate one year of Spark providing substance misuse services across Blackburn with Darwen, Spark hosted a celebration event at Ewood Park with all the partners of the Recovery Collaborative to reflect on a year where Spark has supported over 2000 people in Blackburn with Darwen.
Over the past year, Spark has had over 1400 referrals into the service with 135 families and younger people supported. Over 100 volunteers working within the service, Spark has held 137 events in the community with nearly 1000 people attending community forums.
Starting off with a discussion in which Craig Worswick of Roots Community who has been through the programme interviewed a panel of guests from each part of the collaborative; IMO, CVS, Early Break, Red Rose Recovery, Calico Enterprise, Delphi, Acorn and The 180 Project. There was discussion around what part each partner plays in the service. There was also a reflection on the year and how Spark had performed and what is on the horizon in the following year.
There was also discussion around how Spark can develop further in engaging with minority groups in the community for example Eastern European and Traveller community.
The 180 Project talked about their work in the community and breaking addiction with the gym. The project focuses on CrossFit workouts with the intention of engaging users in The 180 Project but also with other partners in the collaborative. Whilst being a physical programme the project is also a community programme aiming to connect people.
In the afternoon, Shad Chefs gave a presentation on their men’s mental health focus group. 18-20 men turn up each week and a mock-up of how a meeting would take place was acted out with a football being passed around to facilitate conversation. The community-based project which has featured on Russell Howard’s Good Deeds shows is having a massive impact in the community creating friendships and a place for men to open up.
Throughout the day, Afta Thought acted powerful scenarios relating to substance misuse including anonymous client stories. The scenarios related to the impact addictions can have on families.
Claire Illingworth, Area Operations Manager at Delphi and Acorn; ‘Thank you to everyone that came to the event. The event was emotional and powerful messages shared, it was great to see the impact our team is having in Blackburn with Darwen.
It has been an amazing year for Spark in having a huge impact in our community, we are always looking at ways to improve our service and will continue to do so in the next year.’