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Posted on 15 May 2020

Adapting support to tackle the new normal

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to adapt the way we deliver support, we’re proud to say that all our services remain available for those that need them.

As much of the country grinds to a halt, demand on our services has continued and, in some cases, increased. To ensure we meet this growing demand safely, staff across our service have rapidly adjusted the way they work.

Our community services, which rely so heavily on face-to-face support to achieve lasting results, have undergone the greatest transformation. With consistent and compassionate support vital to addiction recovery, the key for us has been to maintain contact with clients. To that end, our teams in the community have embraced technology to help them stay connected with clients. While technology can’t yet match face-to-face contact, it can at least provide a semblance of normality and routine for clients. By adopting technology where possible, our community services continue to deliver positive results.

The Acorn team continue to work with local services to deliver support throughout the pandemic. The team have been working with nationwide support and advice charity Change Grow Live, to deliver prescriptions to local pharmacies. In Blackpool, the Acorn team are working as part of the Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, carrying out essential visits, delivering food parcels, prescriptions and also providing remote support to all patients. At the LSCFT Harbour facility, a 154-bed inpatient Mental Health Hospital in Blackpool, Acorn has been busy collecting vital PPE supplies and distributing to community services.

Elsewhere, our Reduction and Motivation, and New Leaf Programmes have developed new workbooks for clients. The workbooks allow clients to continue their recovery independently and remotely in a structured manner.

Each of our residential rehab and supported accommodation facilities remains open and continue to offer treatment. Within these services, we’ve been promoting strict social distancing to ensure the safety of clients and staff. To help with this, we’ve moved group-based support from treatment centres to individual recovery houses. To keep boredom at bay, we’ve broadened the number of activities on offer. So far, we’ve introduced yoga, games nights and arts and crafts sessions for clients. We’ve also supported clients to engage with online and interactive support from 3rd parties including Breaking Free Online, a pioneering digital solution that tackles dependence.

As we move forward, Acorn will continue to follow Government guidance to ensure we provide consistent and safe support to our clients and communities.

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