New HURT drive to help tackle substance misuse

Group pictured at the recent launch of the HURT 'Sowing the Seeds of Hope Programme'. Seated are Dessie Kyle, manager, Annette Coyle and Vivienne Gannon. Standing , from left, Johnny Scanlon, Judith McCann, Community Fund, Stephanie Hill, Peace Bytes,  Natasha Hewlett, Leona Moore, Damien Mullan and Catherine Wells. DER3719GS ' 023
Group pictured at the recent launch of the HURT 'Sowing the Seeds of Hope Programme'. Seated are Dessie Kyle, manager, Annette Coyle and Vivienne Gannon. Standing , from left, Johnny Scanlon, Judith McCann, Community Fund, Stephanie Hill, Peace Bytes, Natasha Hewlett, Leona Moore, Damien Mullan and Catherine Wells. DER3719GS ' 023

HURT (Have Your Tomorrows) is poised to roll out a new programme aimed at tackling substance misuse and addiction following a major funding boost.

The Derry-based charity has been allocated £309,623 by the National Lottery to fund the Sowing The Seeds of Hope programme, which has now been launched.

The four-year project will see HURT undertaking to deliver a number of programmes which are primarily aimed at working with needle users to reduce potential harm from injecting substances.

This programme includes work in relation to the effects of substance misuse on health, including oral health and blood viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis C, as well as work around associated issues such as diet and nutrition, self-esteem and confidence and advice on sleeping.

The new project also includes a Community Education/ Prevention Programme, which will consist of a series of workshops aimed at increasing community awareness around substance misuse. Sessions will be developed with target groups and topics covered will include the form and use of substances, effects and health risks of substance misuse and sources of support.

A third aspect of Sowing the Seeds of Hope involves a Brief Intervention Programme to raise awareness among the community sector to enable front line workers where appropriate to make interventions to help individuals at risk to access help.

Training the Trainer meanwhile will provide the skills and awareness for participants to cascade their learning through the groups they are part of or their communities, and pass on information in relation to substance misuse and referral agencies.

Dessie Kyle, HURT centre manager, thanked the National Lottery for supporting “this very worthwhile project supporting vulnerable and at risk service users and supporting the awareness and training associated with providing community workers with essential training to support members of their communities involved in substance use.”

HURT has been working locally for almost two decades directly supporting people, families and communities affected by addiction.