Engage Communities are helping communities tackle and prevent drug use and associated health and social problems. We are carrying out a community-based programme to deliver outreach, mentoring, training and diversionary activities. The training includes delivery of drugs awareness and prevention workshops. The diversionary activities consist of opportunities for vulnerable young people to participate in sport and art based activities.
We employ the community engagement and community interacters model to deliver this work. It enables privileged access to those often labelled 'hard to reach' through the employment and training of community interacters and volunteers which themselves come from local communities and geographical areas. The interacters are culturally competent and bilingual – these are often cited as barriers to service uptake – lack of cultural understanding and language barriers. The interacters also signpost into further support in relation to employment, training, education (ETE) needs and existing drug services. We feel the signposting is important as these are all underlying risk factors to drug use.
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