9th Jul 2023

Council Rolls Out Substance Misuse Training to All Employees

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has taken a proactive step in recognising the potential impact of substance misuse on its workforce. Initially, the council offered training exclusively to frontline employees engaged in services that assist vulnerable individuals. However, realising the paramount importance of this issue, RMBC has now extended the comprehensive substance misuse training to all employees. This significant move reflects the Council's commitment to a safer, healthier, and more informed work environment.

Partnering with external experts, RMBC has collaborated with Generis, a leading organisation specialising in substance misuse training, to develop and implement the programme. More than 600 individuals from across the Council have already undergone the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Training offered by Generis.

Generis provides the necessary knowledge and skills to support and guide individuals when they or their colleagues are facing substance misuse challenges. The training sessions aim to create a better understanding of the issues surrounding substance misuse and equip participants with effective strategies to address them.

Initially focused on front-line services such as education, adult, and children's services, the Council soon recognised the positive impact of the training and extended it to care providers, including those in the voluntary sector.

Claire Tester, Learning and Development Officer at Rotherham Council said: "Led by Laura Jarvis, the team at Generis has been delivering a range of courses to Rotherham colleagues from across all service areas over the last 18 months. We have several more sessions scheduled. 

“Commissioned by Rotherham Council’s Public Health team, Generis has delivered Drug and Alcohol Awareness Skills sessions as well as accredited training on Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Cannabis and Stimulant Awareness and Motivational Interviewing. The delivery method has been a blend of virtual and classroom sessions to suite the learning styles and busy workloads of our people.
“Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with a wide range of professionals and front line staff attending each session. Laura and the team are diligent in the way they deliver their sessions and the support they give to me when arranging the logistics of scheduling and booking. They offer a professional service at great value for money.”

Laura Jarvis, Senior Development Manager at Generis, emphasised the universality of the issue: "Alcohol and drugs can and do affect anyone. This means any one of your employees may be grappling with their own substance misuse or supporting a loved one facing these challenges.”

“With the backing of almost four decades of experience in the substance misuse sector and a track record of 15 years in developing and delivering accredited training, Generis is well-equipped to empower Rotherham's staff with the skills and knowledge they need to support service users and start conversations about drugs and alcohol.

"Although we've trained over 600 people at Rotherham, the ripple effect will reach much further. The take-up at Rotherham has been fantastic, and we are pleased to see the Council acknowledge this as a worthwhile investment.”