30th May 2023

Dame Carol Black Visits Aspire

We had the pleasure of hosting a visit from the Independent Adviser to the Government on Health, Wellbeing and Drugs earlier this month.

Dame Carol Black met representatives from Aspire Drug and Alcohol Service, Doncaster Council and Public Health, to see the work being done to help people with substances get the support they need to recover and turn their lives around.

As an independent Adviser to the UK Government, Dame Carol Black’s review, led to the new 10-year drug strategy From Harm to Hope. Published in December 2021 the strategy focused on ways to prevent the harm caused by drugs, to individuals, families and communities, the support available to ensure health and wellbeing through suitable treatment, and recovery programmes.

As a part of her visit Dame Carol visited New Beginnings in Balby, part of Aspire, and one of only eight NHS inpatient detox and rehabilitation treatment centres in the country. She also met and talked to people from a range of professions who work in the service, specifically noting the role of social workers and, service users past and present about their experiences of the support available.

Dame Carol said: “I was delighted to meet so many highly experienced and dedicated representatives from organisations that have been helping drug dependent people in Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire for more than 30 years. There is a lot of determination to deliver for drug dependent people in and around Doncaster and we discussed the importance of implementing, at a local level, a whole-system approach to this widespread challenge.”

Stuart Green, Service Manager for Aspire, said: “It was a privilege to meet and show Dame Carol some of the amazing work we are doing in Doncaster. She has been a true inspiration advocating for reductions in the health inequalities and societal harms caused by substance misuse.”

Tim Young, Chief Executive of The Alcohol and Drug Service, said: “I was pleased to welcome Dame Carol Black to Doncaster services and to be able to show her that, while there is still a long way to go, the opportunity her report triggered is already making a difference at a local level.”

See the final Q&A session here