Inspirational Barnsley Churches Drugs Project still working hard after 10 years
14th August 2012
A UNIQUE project in Barnsley provides the simple needs to improve the quality of life of people suffering from substance misuse and the homeless within the local community.
The Barnsley Churches Drugs Project is dedicated to helping people suffering from drug or alcohol addiction and the homeless by providing basic simple needs. The passionate team of 36 volunteers and one part time employee open the service three times a week on John Street in Barnsley to give out hot and cold meals. They also give out food parcels, donated clothing and bedding and offer comfort by way of a listening ear.
The project began 10 years ago after a young man died of an overdose in Barnsley, shocking the community but also spurring them into action. Since then the BCDP has grown and grown and has gone from helping an estimated 30 people a session to 75-80. The project aims to encourage well being and self worth in their service users.
Co-ordinator Caroline Hyde spoke of the project and its success so far, she said:
"We provide food and nourishment that they either wouldn't get or wouldn't think to get otherwise.
"We are making a difference. We know that some past service users are now in employment."
One touching success story for the project and as an example of the kindness in the Barnsley Community is of one homeless man and regular at the projects drop in sessions who had his life completely turned around. The man was given a job and place to stay by the manager of a business he was sleeping near to in the street. The manager had often helped the homeless man in the past and went the extra mile when he heard of his attempts to get back on his feet.
The man still drops by the centre even now for a cup of tea and to catch up with the staff, proving just how important the dedication and support they gave was to him when he was in need and to those who continue to use the service.
The BCDP's success is made more impressive by its constant commitment to stay open, it relies completely on funding, donations and its own fundraising to keep going. The latest issue that the project has ran into is the possibility of losing its premises to a supermarket chain, but the project's team are determined to keep providing all the services they can no matter what.
Caroline Hyde said:
"It is difficult to look to the future. We have a year's worth of funding left for now but we are running out of funds to apply to and we are anxious we won't be able to continue without more help."
Despite the projects uncertain future it remains optimistic with high hopes for what more they might be able to provide for service users if they can obtain the resources to do so.
Caroline Hyde said:
"We would like to set up an employment service, where people would have access to computers to look for jobs and we could provide help with CV's, they could look for accommodation too. We want to be able to get the little things too, like new kitchen equipment and fruit which can be expensive."