Platform Outreach Project pilot ends sucessfully

A three month pilot project entitled POP,  which was developed by DISC’s project Platform Gateshead has now been completed.

The Platform Outreach Project was developed as a way to begin to explore how to address substance misuse, antisocial behaviour and risk taking behaviour amongst young people in identified hotspot areas across the borough.

Project leader Faye Codling said: “We believe this project brings significant benefits to young people and the local community and would like to be reconsidered for further funding to continue this work over the next 12 months.

“Within this, we would also like to consider the option of peer mentors becoming part of the project in order to empower young people and give young people a voice in shaping the future of POP. Funding has been applied for and we are waiting for a decision- fingers crossed!”

Over 11 nights POP have delivered brief interventions to 191 young people.

Areas within Gateshead covered have been: Carr Hill,  Fewster Square, Bankies Felling, Team Valley, Dunston Park, Birtley, Felling Square, Leam Lane.

Brief interventions were delivered around Sexual health, harm reduction, stop smoking, school behaviour and exclusions, Routines and boundaries, offending behaviour, emotional well being and mental health, employment, training and education, Drug and alcohol, Delay message/c-card, Platform, anti-social behaviour, physical health, exploitation and grooming, overdose.

Case Study 1

December 2016

Platform received a referral from QE hospital for a girl 15yrs who was admitted after allegedly using ecstasy.  The Platform worker followed procedures and offered numerous appointments via letter and phone calls, however the young person did not attend any of these.

Mid-January 2017

During POP work in January in Fewster Square Felling, the staff met a group of girls.  They introduced themselves and what the purpose of POP .  One of the girls recognised the name Platform and stated ‘I was supposed to go there’.  From this conversation the staff were able to promote Platform, giving the young person various options of how and when she could be seen and highlighted how beneficial it could be for her if she engaged.   As a result she decided that she did want to engage and would like to be seen at school.  Staff informed her that they would speak to her key worker and get things moving.

February 2017

Following the update from POP the Platform Keyworker made contact with the most appropriate person at school for the young person, and a home visit was arranged.

March 2017

The young person has now engaged in two full sessions with her keyworker from Platform.  They have devised a care plan and worked on interventions around the risks of ecstasy ensuring that the young person has a good baseline knowledge which will help her make informed choices around her substance use.

Case study 2

As part of the outreach work staff introduced themselves to the local shopkeepers who stated they were having problems with young people outside their shops.

The Fish and chip owner talked about how he has had his business over 19 years and due to the amount of Young people displaying anti – social behaviour outside his shop, he believed his business had rapidly declined. The shopkeeper stated that he is racially abused on a daily basis and he knows all the Young people involved. He has had CCTV installed and this shows the extent of the anti – social behaviour.

The shop keeper stated he has reported this to the police but the young people move on when they see the police, but then they return and then become verbally abusive to him for calling the police. He strongly believes that if the bus stop was removed outside his shop this would stop the Young people remaining outside of the shop. The shopkeeper stated he has spoken to the local council and the local counsellor however feels nothing has changed. POP informed him that they would discuss this issue with the relevant people.

It was highlighted by the police that the shopkeeper will not pass on the name of the young people and therefore there is little they can do without this information.  The POP staff returned to the shop owner and explained this however he states he is too scared to do this.

Although this issue was not resolved, the shopkeeper thanked staff for listening and responding to his concerns.