Ulverston Bringing Communities Meeting Wednesday 15 th of May 2019
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Please find attached the agenda and minutes for the UBCT meeting.
ULVERSTON “BRINGING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER” (Agenda) Meeting on Wednesday 15th May 2019 Ulverston Library (6.30 – 8pm) A G E N D A 1. Welcome by Chairman 2. Introductions / sign in on arrival 3. Apologies 4. Charles Rogers will update us on the progress of Ulverston Emergency Planning Group (UEPG) Including the Emergency Plan Book which he compiled and printed, and which has since been adopted by other groups, Coordinators and Volunteers. 5. Minutes / Actions from previous minutes 6. Financial Update 7. Any Reports 8. A.O.B. 9. Date of next meeting – provisionally August 14th 2019 (or 21st) Pat Appleton – Secretary 582394
Our last meeting was held on March 20th 2019 in the Ulverston library, but not without incident, i.e. on opening the doors (with the key I had picked up earlier that day) the burglary alarm went off – so ear piercing that those of us who had arrived early to set things up, had to retreat outside to consider what to do next – hoping that some official would turn up to see who had broken in, but nobody came of course. Luckily for us however, our speaker for the evening Ged Pickersgill turned up and saved the day (or night) and after several phone calls we were able to hold the meeting. So thank you to Ged and Sharon from The Well. Chairman Cllr. Dave Webster welcomed 14 attendees along to the meeting and introduced Ged and Sharon from The Well, who came to talk about the work that the organisation were involved with tackling “drink & drug” addiction. More later …..... Apologies were received from Cllrs Pat Jones, J. Pickthall, Mark Wilson, Helen Irving and Marion Danson and Alan Jones. Minutes / Actions from previous minutes It was agreed that Pat stay in touch with PCSO Howard Firth and Matt Barker – Grange N/Watch. It is hoped Matt will be able to set up a Facebook page which can tell people what's happening in the Furness area, with information of forthcoming N/Watch events, activities etc. N/Watch street signs – It was reported some had either gone missing or were facing the wrong way, with cold and windy weather not helping the situation - George, Bob and Pat will be back in action to replace and straighten soon as possible. It was decided if helpers available we should go ahead again this year with a stall at the N. Lonsdale show on July 31st 2019, and also put our UBCT display up at Ulverston library, sometime in June – our usual contribution to mark National N/Watch week. Pat will go ahead and book N. Lonsdale show, and also check availability at the library for a week in June. Financial Update Still looking healthy – Charles reported a balance of £712.50. only expenditure still to come out was £10 from the hire of library for our meeting. Reports Bob reported that the Ulverston Emergency Planning group (UEPG) were to carry out a table top exercise involving the Coordinators, with John Davies of SLDC setting up a scenario will lead the “emergency”. As the group has been going for some time now it was agreed we ask Charles if he would update us at the May meeting on progress so far. Charles has many skills on the computer which he has put to good use, which he will explain further. Cllr. Mark Wilson has also put a lot of energy into setting up the UEPG, which we hope will never need to be put into action, but with climate change seeming to happen by the day here and around the world we have to take note. Gt. British Spring Clean A number of litter picks were planned around Ulverston coordinated through UTC. Dave reported information was available on the town council website. Monday 25th March – Councillors and volunteers were asked to meet at Croftlands Community Hall for 10am. - Tuesday 26th March at Coronation Hall for 10am. And Monday 8th April at Travis Perkins N. Lonsdale Rd from 10.am Firstly some background information to The Well: It was created and developed by ex-offender David Higham. David had been in and out of prison since the age of 16, and was a drug user for more than 25 yrs. With intensive support from the former Lancaster Castle prison, David began his recovery and has been drug free for over 11 years. He has since dedicated his life to supporting others with drug and alcohol addiction, and decided to set up The Well, using his own money and with no blueprint to follow. Instead, he used his experience, vision and determination to create what has now become a leading provider of recovery services in the region. Ged Pickersgill told us he was a St. Helens lad, and had worked in some very good jobs, including the newspaper industry for Johnstons Press. Unfortunately he found solace in alcohol, and told us he made a million excuses as to why he did – at one stage drinking 3 litres of vodka every day. Suffering from long term drug and alcoholism, he was admitted to hospital. He entered The Well in 2015, and weighing just 7 ½ stone he was on the brink of death (they even looked after his dog). His marriage had also broken up. He told us back then The Well had 4 bedrooms, and today there are 23 spread over 7 properties with staff – money from Public Health England re-furbished the buildings, providing drug and alcohol support in Barrow, Fleetwood, Lancaster, Kendal and Morecambe. Services include day-hab, 12 step programme, mutual aid, peer mentoring, employment skills, sports and social activities. They have a hospital contract with Furness General, and are also contracted to several prisons. It's an Open Door policy to everybody – he said there was nothing they hadn't heard before. 80% of residents are from the Barrow area. 20% Kendal/Ulverston etc. There has been some bad press for Egerton Court related to recent deaths through drugs – Ged told us the P.C.C. Peter McCall and the Police had been a great support to the organisation which had also been recognised with an “Outstanding Achievement” award. Insp. Jim Bailey of Barrow Police has worked alongside The Well, and a flat on Egerton Court has been set up – The Well man it for 30 hrs per week. We're told many addicts don't trust the police, Council, Social Services, so The Well provides a link. They also liaise with the Green Heart Den, work with schools,Mind in Furness, and in answer to a question they also have links with the Royal British Legion. The Well community works on the principle “No beginning or end” Sharon then went on to tell us she had been clear for 6 ½ yrs . She admits it was her choice to drink, and had good times. Things were ok in school, and she went to college and did hairdressing – she got married and had a son, but her drugs and drinking destroyed his life – however, now she is happy to report he's got A's and is doing well. As a Barrow girl she had been a productive member of society, and was still functioning, but loved her wine, and eventually her addiction took its toll – her husband and had enough and had an affair. She admitted she was awful in drink, but needed drink to function. She was left with her son, and one day crashed the car taking her son on the school run. She was offered help from Unity in Barrow, but at the time didn't feel she was ready, and had to hit rock bottom. Eventually she got a Social Worker who she says wouldn't give up on her, and was sent to a treatment centre in Workington. Admitting she would do anything to get alcohol, she called herself a “Jekyll & Hide”, and was in a “blackout” for 10 months. She spent 14 months on the 12 step treatment, and went down to 5st 11ozs. Things started to improve and she was re-integrated back to Barrow, and bit by bit built up trust with family members. She said addiction is male dominated, both drink and drugs, and it was considered normal for men to leave the home, but she was the opposite. We were told it was no easy time at the centres for those recovering from drugs and alcohol addiction, Up at 7am – gym for 7.30am. A rota on the wall with a list of jobs to do, and in bed by 11 pm. It was good to see both Ged and Sharon had turned their lives around and were now helping others, and following The Well founders philosophy where “Long term recovery can happen through the therapeutic value of one addict helping another” We thank them both for being so open and wish them and The Well future successes. The next meeting is planned for May 15th in the Ulverston library. Pat Appleton – Secretary 582394