TASMANIAN neighbourhoods will now have increased access to a range of alcohol and drug services thanks to the launch of a new project by Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania (NHT) in partnership with the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council (ATDC).
The project, ‘Facilitating Collaboration with Neighbourhood Houses’, is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS) and seeks to strengthen local communities and aid Tasmanian neighbourhoods that regularly see the consequences of alcohol and drugs.
DSS state manager Anthony Speed officially launched the project at the Bucaan Community House in Chigwell.
The NHT, together with the ATDC, will offer support to their community houses to increase access to services, as well as provide workers with education on the range of alcohol and drug services available, risk management and how to engage with clients with challenging behaviour.
NHT executive officer John Hooper said many neighbourhood houses were based in regional communities and provided a great first point of contact for people who were feeling isolated.
“We are excited that this project will help us, our staff and many volunteers to have a deeper understanding of people experiencing alcohol and other drug issues,” he said.
“The project will help us to connect with the professional alcohol and other drug services (AOD), where appropriate, in a non-judgemental way.”
ATDC chief executive officer Jann Smith said the project would not only help neighbourhood house workers and volunteers to access AOD services, but also exposed their sector’s workers to what the neighbourhood houses did and the value in ongoing support they could provide.
“Sometimes reconnecting with the community can be difficult for people who have been through an alcohol and drug problem,” she said.
“Being able to walk into a safe and respectful neighbourhood house and have the opportunity to contribute to your local community can be really important to rebuilding your life.
“This is going to be a very beneficial partnership between two very different industries and the outcomes can only be positive for all workers and clients involved.”