Endings, returnings and near misses #consultancy #life
Weekly blog number 3….. a round up of my musings over the last week or so. Might be interesting or might not.
Endings – just completing an engagement with the quite wonderful Recovery Connections. Based in the North-East they are a great example of how an organisation that is driven by a sense of place and purpose alongside an authentic commitment to making ‘lived experience’ central to everything they do can flourish in uncertain times. The work we have done together makes me think about the interfaces in the world of drug and alcohol treatment between: commissoning, treatment, recovery, harm reduction and peer activism. How these unhelpfully drive irrelevant prioritisation, create over-complicated systems and conditions of unnecessary friction. I’m going to blog in more detail about this at some point – and apologise now for when I start badgering others to find a better / simpler path. Within all that uncertainty it’s always a privilege and a humbling experience to walk alongside people doing such extraordinary work.
Returnings – the long wind tail of austerity and cost of living challenges dominates much of my working life right now. Seems as usual that it’s the smaller organisations that are going to suffer most. Their voices are more easily ignored. So whether we are planning for life beyond a ‘social outcomes contract’ (SIB in old language) or how to absorb with as little damage as possible a 10% cut to a core grant knowing that demand continues to rise it’s all pretty tough. It also comes with predictable impacts. It all feels like very familiar territory and one in which ‘party politics’ in an election year is going to inhibit sensible decision making more than usual.
Been following with interest some of the more radical / entirely sensible developments in the treatment sector. Be that The Loop starting a limited approach to drug testing in Bristol and Release fundraising harm reduction hub (my language so apologies if that’s not what they’re calling it) funded through donation not contract. Both developments are needed and can be important in shifting the narrative. It is only a matter of time before ‘drug consumption rooms’ or ‘safer injecting facilities’ are part of the fabric of our treatment system. We’ll look back in a few years time and wonder what all the fuss was about.
Near misses – apart from forgetting to see Gruff Rhys in an in-store performance at my favourite record shop (Resident in Brighton in case you were wondering) I very nearly got my first ever hole in one at golf landing my tee shot 3 inches from the hole. I do have photographic evidence…. the thrill of the shot followed by the disappointment that it didn’t quite make it and then the resignation of ‘well I’ve still never got one’ – sums up both golf and life inside my head.