PCC’s fund helps drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity in Halifax (16 Jan 2018)

13 CopyMark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner's (PCC) Safer Communities Fund has helped a rehabilitation charity for offenders with mental health and drug and alcohol problems in Halifax.

Alpha House Calderdale received £5000 from Mark's Safer Communities Fund for their project "Rapid Response" which looks to rehabilitate ex-offenders with drug and alcohol issues.

Alpha House is a specialist supported housing scheme with a comprehensive drugs and alcohol treatment recovery programme for those with a history of offending due to mental health issues compounded by substance misuse.

The organisation have several shared accommodation properties as well as single occupancy flats open to ex-offenders on release from prison. They also provide a range of support including addictions counselling, dual diagnosis counselling, care plan sessions and life-skills training to help tackle underlying issues contributing to offending.

The Safer Communities Fund specifically went towards funding an "out of hours" worker at Alpha House to help induct new residents who have been released from prisons outside of normal working hours.

7Mark, who visited the project on Monday (15/01), said: "We cannot hope to reduce crime and reoffending without tackling the underlying problems such as substance abuse, which is exactly what this project does.

"Alpha House is making a real difference in Halifax and further afield and I am proud of the fact I was able to give them some funding towards their important work. It was a pleasure to visit and to have the opportunity to meet and thank their dedicated staff and speak to some of their service users.

"This model of support is clearly making a big difference in helping service users stay off drugs and alcohol and ultimately find employment."

Yvonne Oliver, Clinical Director at Alpha House, said: "It was encouraging for the staff and service users to have a visit from the Police and Crime Commissioner in appreciation of all our hard work. Alpha House works with some of the most marginalised and excluded members of the community and our aim is to help them change their destructive lifestyle to become constructive members of their community."

To find out more about Alpha House, visit www.alphahousecalderdale.org.uk.

Mark created the Safer Communities Fund in 2014 and to return money recovered from criminals by West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors, under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), to good causes across Wets Yorkshire.

The Safer Communities Fund is currently open for applications with £140,000 available for good causes. This round of the Fund closes for applications on 9th February at 12pm, for more information and to apply visit www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/safer-communities-fund.aspx.

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