"2011 service user conference, Birmingham"

About: Ashley House

(as a service user),

My name is Paul and I had the pleasure of attending the 2011 service user conference in Birmingham, with 3 other service users and an Outreach worker from Ashley House.

We got the train, early morning to Birmingham, all bright and eager to see what it was all about, upon arriving we walked 5 mins to the conference.

In the conference were various companies and stalls advertising things from harm reduction, abstinance, detox, recovery and various service user groups throughout the UK from Somerset to Edinburgh.

The stalls were advertising various things IV equiptment, posters, free gifts, free harm reduction help - the list is endless.

Throughout the day there were guest speakers, interestingly a Tory MP answered questions on the coalition government and the recovery strategies set in place due to budget cuts.

The most up to date topics and thoughts were discussed, giving service users the opportunity to ask and answer questions.

With the new government and difficult economy in place this means they try to make certain budget cuts and the conference gave us the time to try and right some wrongs.

Overall, a most enjoyable day out and a chance to voice our opinions. I'm looking forward to the next conferece.

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Responses

Response from Steve Eastwood, Joint Commissioning Manager, Halton DAT

Paul,

Thanks very much for taking the time to both attend the conference and post here.

I hope that you will have picked up from the conference the changes that are taking place to make drug and alcohol services places where people chose to go and get help.

One of the ways that the services in Halton can get even better is by people contributing their opinions. To their key workers, other service users and here on this website.

This is an opportunity for everyone to get involved in the debate around how we can make things even better at Ashley House.

Thanks again

Steve

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