New centre to help people with alcohol and drug issues launched
Published on Friday, May 18, 2018
The new centre – known as No. 5 – was a previously empty building in Hill Street, off Humberstone Gate, which has been refurbished through joint funding of £600,000 from Leicester City Council and Public Health England.
It replaces the service offered by the former Anchor Centre in Dover Street.
No. 5 has been commissioned by Leicester City Council, along with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire, as part of a joint approach to tackle street drinking in the city centre.
Users of the centre are able to access a range of treatment options, healthcare, support and information on employment, education and training to help them get back on their feet.
No. 5 operates by offering a drop-in service every day, and those who attend will also be able to access food, washing and laundry facilities.
The centre is run by social enterprise Inclusion Healthcare, which provides care for homeless and vulnerable people across the city, and will also see input from another social enterprise, Dear Albert, which specialises in helping people recover from substance misuse.
The official launch of the fully-refurbished building takes place on Friday, May 18, at 1.30pm.
The service is being opened by Leicester South MP and shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth. He has campaigned for greater recognition of the damage done by alcohol, and last month ran the London Marathon to raise money for a charity helping children of alcoholic parents.
Mr Ashworth said: ‘I’m delighted to support this new project and commend the city council and Police Commissioner for commissioning the service.
“Supporting those with alcohol and drug misuse issues is a priority of mine, both as the MP for Leicester South and shadow Health Secretary.
“If we are to help some of the most vulnerable in society affected by alcohol and drug abuse then these are exactly the types of initiatives that should be supported.”
Also in attendance will be City Mayor Peter Soulsby and Leicestershire Police and Crime Commission chief executive, Paul Hindson.
Sir Peter said: “The facilities and services on offer at No. 5 are vital in helping to address the complicated issues surrounding the often chaotic lives of street drinkers and other substance misusers.
“In working closely with Inclusion Healthcare and Dear Albert, this centre will provide innovative services, tailored to helping problem drinkers get off the streets and accessing the support and advice needed to address their problems.”
Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, added: “This centre will help some of the most vulnerable members of our community to find a route off the streets and help them to make a positive change to their lives.
“I’m keen to see these people, who are after all our fellow citizens, receive the most effective type of support to prevent them becoming victims or perpetrators of crime.
“Protecting vulnerable people features strongly in my police and crime plan. I feel this project has a lot to contribute towards the delivery of that objective and indeed, that is why I agreed to support it financially.”
Inclusion Healthcare’s CEO Dr Anna Hiley added: “No. 5 is the culmination of several years advocating, planning and partnership working.
“These new premises are vital as we support people with drug and alcohol issues, who live on the streets of Leicester to engage with services and make positive choices.
“The centre is already becoming a place of hope, where people are valued and believe in each other. The Inclusion team are proud to be working with Dear Albert as we launch this flagship service that has the potential to transform lives.”
Jon Roberts from Dear Albert added: “‘We're thrilled to support Inclusion Healthcare in addressing the harms of substance use, including street drinking and we look forward to developing increased opportunities for those accessing No. 5.
“We believe delivering a peer-led aspect to this new service will help achieve improved outcomes and more recovery for service users.”