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New Van Bringing Drug & Alcohol Treatment Support to the Streets of Sandwell | Sandwell Council

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New Van Bringing Drug & Alcohol Treatment Support to the Streets of Sandwell

Published 14th November 2022

Cllr Suzanne Hartwell, Simon Wollaston and Mayor Cllr Richard Jones with educational materials outside HRV

Sandwell residents have begun seeing a new addition to the boroughs roads in the form of a van which will support people address any issues they may have with their use of alcohol or other drugs.

The ‘Harm Reduction Vehicle’ has been launched by Cranstoun who provide drug and alcohol treatment support across Sandwell.

Cranstoun are hoping that their new ‘Harm Reduction Vehicle’ will allow them to reach more people who may struggle to access addiction services otherwise. It is already out and about across the six towns as part of Sandwell’s current Safer 6 campaign which promotes safety and healthy living.

The vehicle complements Cranstoun’s existing drug and alcohol treatment support service at the Alberta Building in Oldbury Road, Smethwick.

The vehicle was originally used as an ambulance and, now it’s reached the end of its life for the ambulance service, it will continue to be put to use working to save lives and prevent harm caused by alcohol and other drugs across Sandwell.

From the van, Cranstoun’s staff will be able to offer direct support to people, helping to reduce the harm that drugs, alcohol and other substances can cause in communities.

Sandwell has a low drug-related death rate, and the new van will enable the charity to do more outreach work and provide support to vulnerable people in the borough.

Simon Wollaston, the Team Leader at Cranstoun in charge of the vehicle, said: “In Sandwell we recognise that there is a need for our services out in the community and in all of the six towns in the borough.

“With this van we’re able to provide a range of services right to where people need us to be, we can engage with more people who may otherwise not come into contact with specialist support service.”

Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for adults, social care and health, added: “We’re proud of our record in Sandwell in having one of the lowest drug-related death rates in the country, but we are committed as a council to making sure that we continue to do all we can to see those numbers fall further.

“As part of our Safer 6 campaign we’re pleased to have Cranstoun out on the ground, reaching out to people across our six towns and supporting those in need.

“One drug-related death is too many and through this new van, Cranstoun will be able to bring their services into our communities.”

Partners promote Safer 6 in Oldbury town centre - Oldbury ward