A drug and alcohol recovery service which has helped thousands of people across Leeds is celebrating its third anniversary.
Forward Leeds has helped more than 4,000 adults and 700 young people to meet their treatment goals since it began in July 2015.
Lee Wilson, head of Forward Leeds, said: “We are seeing growing numbers of people positively exiting treatment. That is fantastic for Leeds but it is only a part of the story of what we offer.
“There is more to helping people with their substance issues than getting them to stop using. We work with people on getting into stable housing and we’ve supported over 2,000 people into some form of employment, education or training in the last three years.”
Since the service began, it has introduced naloxone kits, that help prevent deaths from overdoses, and established 5 WAYS, the Leeds hub for sustained recovery from substance misuse. It now has outreach workers based in over 50 health centres across the city and does over 600 school visits a year.
Forward Leeds also offers a range of harm minimisation activities, which include going onto the streets of Leeds to work with the vulnerably housed and using a specially equipped outreach van.
The organisation helps people to get into rehab and detox centres if they need it, and works with people who simply want help with moderating their drinking.
Karl Elliott, who has used the service for his alcohol addiction, said: “It’s helped rebuild my life. Without the help and the weekly one-to-one counselling at Forward Leeds I wouldn’t be where I am now, two years sober.”