Scottish Drugs Forum’s Addiction Worker Training Project (AWTP) is appealing for votes after reaching the final public voting stage of the annual search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.
The AWTP is a unique initiative which supports, trains and provides paid work experience in the social care and addiction field to individuals with a history of drug and alcohol problems.
Reaching nomination stage is a huge achievement for the project, having already seen off tough competition from more than 1,300 organisations – a record number of entries – to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards.
There are seven award categories, with the Addiction Worker Training Project (AWTP) being the only Scottish charity nominated in the Best Health Project category. The winner of each category will get a £5000 cash prize to spend on their project, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and an invitation to the star-studded glittering awards ceremony to be broadcast on BBC One in September.
The project, which has been rolled out in the East and West of Scotland, helps people in recovery to integrate back in to mainstream society through employment. It has significant impact on participants’ lives and helps improve services by ensuring a qualified, enthusiastic workforce with their own insights and experiences of using services.
Trainees are employed by Scottish Drugs Forum while carrying out placements in local agencies. The trainees frequently bring a new drive of enthusiasm to the care services they are placed in, and their shared life experiences with service users can help foster trust and a rapport that supports treatment.
Since 2004, over 200 people have started the AWTP project – 90% have completed and achieved SVQ Qualifications in Social Services and Healthcare. Over 85% of Graduates have continued work, the majority securing full time jobs in the health and social care field.
Nicola, who graduated from the Addiction Worker Training Project in 2016, applied because she wanted to start employment and was particularly interested in working in the social care field.
“AWTP has been a life changing experience, it has given me the confidence and self-esteem I needed to begin a career.”
Nicola carried out two six-month placements with Addaction and the NHS Addiction Bentinck Centre, both in Kilmarnock, during her time in the programme. Upon graduating she started work as a direct access worker in Aspire.
“I’ve now secured full time work in emergency housing and personal development and I love every moment of it!
“Life after addiction is hard. Giving up the drugs is the easy part, rebuilding my life was much more difficult. Since graduating from the AWTP, employers now see me and not my past, they see my knowledge, training and skills and feel I would be an asset. The AWTP has given me my life back.”
David Liddell, Scottish Drugs Forum’s CEO said “The National Lottery has helped us create life-changing opportunities for hundreds of people. The funding has allowed the roll out of the Addiction Worker Training Project across a large part of Scotland where it has transformed the lives and prospects of people recovering from substance use problems, improved services, reduced stigma and socially integrated people who were previously marginalised from society.
“We are grateful for the National Lottery’s sustained support and faith in what we are achieving here with our partners. It would be a tremendous accolade for all those involved to be recognised with a National Lottery Award and I would appeal for the public to vote for the project, so that we can raise the profile of this life-changing work.”
National Lottery Awards spokesperson, Jackie O’Sullivan, said “The National Lottery Awards celebrate the talent and dedication of the amazing staff and volunteers who run these incredible National Lottery funded projects for the benefit of their communities.
“The Addiction Worker Training Project has worked very hard to become a finalist and they now need your support. So get voting!”
To vote for the Addiction Worker Training Project, please go to lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards or telephone 0844 836 9691 (calls cost 5p max)
Voting runs for four weeks from 9am on June 29 until midnight on July 27.
And remember… EVERY VOTE COUNTS!