Tel: 0151 649 0111
March 2008Dear Supporters,
As I write, the Government is announcing new ways to help people back into work, or, for many, into work for the first time. We hear the figure of 2.6 million people on incapacity benefit, up from 700,000 25 years ago.
We hear that for people with drug and alcohol issues, Government are talking about withdrawing benefit from those who do not accept treatment.
For me, this demonstrates the difficulty, which we at the Ark face daily, (because these issues affect most hostel residents), of finding an effective way to help people away from drugs and alcohol. The Government are considering trying a different way - arising, I suspect from a frustration of trying ways of helping, and finding them successful to a limited degree only.
This demonstrates two things:
1. Helping people away from drug and alcohol abuse can be very complex. One frequently cannot deal with that issue in isolation. Often, in the equation are accommodation, support (real support), meaningful use of time, education, relationships, money, surroundings. To some degree, one has to understand what brought them to drugs or alcohol in the first place, to be able to help them away from them. Some people's lives are constructed around drugs, and a new life has to be constructed.Engagement with those in our care is a necessary step, and we are pleased that our art and performing arts weekly classes have begun. We are working towards having activities and training on each day of the working week, as well as looking outside the box and consider what other opportunities there are to break people away from their present lifestyle.
The decision on whether we shall receive a £200k grant towards our planned training extension has been put back to mid-April, we are advised, so this information won't be available at our AGM on 27th March.
We continue to be hugely grateful to those who support us, as without these donations our work could not continue.