One Voice announce new drug and alcohol ambassador

Published Wednesday 20 January 2016 at 10:05

One Voice has announced that 19-year-old Adam Umarji will become its first drug and alcohol ambassador.

The role is part of the Baiter Sehat project, in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council and supported by local substance misuse prevention and recovery provider CRI Inspire and GO2.

Adam will be involved in taking part in open, respectful and informed conversation within the BME community around drug and alcohol use to make it everybody’s business and increase understanding and acceptance of early help and support.

Inspire/Go2 will provide training and support for Adam and another two ambassadors to be created by One Voice.

A number of focus groups conducted by One Voice have highlighted the need for advice and guidance around substance misuse within the BME communities of Blackburn and Darwen. They also found that community members were also often reluctant to ask for assistance when it came to substance misuse or harm.

The group is planning a media campaign through leaflets and posters, as well as recovery champion talks and continuous engagement within the BME community.  A mosque event is planned in February.

Adam is looking forward to his new role. He said:

I have seen many young lives being affected by drugs and alcohol. Often these young people do not want to ask for help, or do not realise where they can get help. I have supported young people in the past and with the knowledge that I can get from CRI Go2 I am sure that I will be able to support others.

Zaheer Mahmud, Lead of the Baiter Sehat project said:

Our role and the role of the ambassadors is to signpost members of our community of all ages and assure them that structured assistance from CRI could go a long way to solving their addictions.

Inspire Services Manager, Jackie McVan, said:

Training community ambassadors to deliver information about the services we offer, and to support someone by making a referral, is imperative in making sure communities are able to identify, understand and discuss substance misuse, and to get support that might be needed.  We are really proud to work alongside One Voice and developing our relationship further.



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