2014–2015 has been an exciting, challenging and productive year for the Community Support Team (CST). Owing to the positive outcomes for service users, demand for the service has increased.
This hard work and commitment has resulted in the service being awarded additional funding and two full-time support workers have been recruited, in order to meet the growing need for assertive outreach across the city.
Some great co-production work has taken place and the Community Support Team hold regular service user review days, when all CST service users are invited to attend an event and give feedback on the service. The March 2015 event attracted a good representation of service users and the chief executive attended. Over lunch, service users provided some glowing feedback to the service and comments were tweeted widely throughout Leeds on a Twitter loop, courtesy of Ben, Touchstone communication’s officer.
CST’s service user consultant Tim has successfully revitalised CST service user involvement meetings. Through the meetings Tim has encouraged 16 CST service users to attend various service user training sessions, on subjects such as recruitment and selection, and first aid training. A CST service user attended recruitment training and was then able to support the CST manager as a panel member on two recruitment panels.
The Community Support Team have invested in motivational interview training for the team, to work with people with problematic drug and alcohol use. A report was completed setting out their outcomes. 17 service users were pre-contemplative (not thinking about change), however after input from the team 15 of them over a 3–6 month period made significant progress in managing their drug and alcohol use through motivational interviewing techniques. They made considerable progress and changed from not thinking about change to thinking about change and implementing change in terms of their alcohol and substance use.

Case study

Adam has been supported by CST workers for the past couple of years and through regular attendance at the pool and gym groups has developed his confidence. He attended an 8 week course at the Ministry of Food cooking group run by Touchstone.
Due to changes in Adam’s lifestyle, he no longer uses alcohol as a coping mechanism. He finds it much easier to manage his finances and has been able to get rid of all his debts and to start regular saving.
Over the course of the time working with Adam, CST has been able to build a good therapeutic working relationship.
The work with Diverse Pathways, has provided an environment conducive to him addressing his emotional issues. The purpose of this particular work was to help Adam identify the positive achievements that he had made –something that he struggled with.
Throughout the course of working with Adam he has made better use of his support networks.
Using the outcomes star as a gauge of Adam’s improving mental health; he has scored the maximum 10 in managing money, social networks and
relationships, drug and alcohol misuse.

Feedback from service users

“My worker tries to give me constructive advice and I found this difficult at first but it challenges me to change my way of thinking.”
“My worker has been very good at getting me to join other services such as Multiple Choice.”