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Jo-Anne Welsh

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Jo-Anne Welsh

Job description: Director at Brighton Oasis Project

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Areas of interest: Families and children – including relationships, Substance use, Women involved in the criminal justice system, Improving support for women involved in prostitution

Jo-Anne Welsh's Recent Activity

"Brighton Oasis Project (BOP) exists to support women with drug and alcohol problems and provide care for children affected by substance misuse in the family. We have over 15 years experience working with women Our services for adults are gender specific to address the underrepresentation of women in treatment services and address their specific needs. We have particular expertise in working with children affected by familial substance misuse via Young Oasis. BOP'S aims are to reduce the harms caused by drug/alcohol misuse to individuals/families and communities. Our portfolio of services includes the provsion of a community sentence ( Drug Rehabilitation Requirement) for women whose offending is linked to their substance misuse. This group of women have complex needs and insecure housing is the norm for most of them, sofa surfing or living in a hostel is the most typical situation. We use an holistic approach in working with women and recognise that making them feel safe is a prerequisite to change in behaviour. For many their goal is to eventaully have their own home but this can be a long journey in a city where affordable accomodation is in short supply. Cath’s Story demonstrates how the DRR can be effective in enabling recovery for women with long standing drug problems. "Oasis helped me when I need it most. I was ordered to do a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) and initially was very reluctant. My lifestyle was chaotic and I found it hard even to be in the group. I felt resentful that I had to go there. I felt hard done by. After attending intermittently and been breached (for non attendance) with the help and support of the workers and the girls in the group I decided to commit 100% and after my first clean test – that was all I needed to motivate myself. With all the support from BOP and probation, I turned my life around. I have now been clean from illicit drugs for 8 months and I m off my medication. I m now facilitating smart recovery at BOP. I have completed a counseling course. I now have accommodation of my own and I realise I have a future to live. I m now doing “recovery champion” training at BOP and have got plans to carry on with other study, I m hoping to do the community justice award. I have started to rebuild my relationship with my estranged children and family who I now see regularly. I believe that I was in the right place at the right time and ready to stop my substance misuse. The DRR was just what I needed to help me get my life back on track." http://www.oasisproject.org.uk/"
Reply To: Women, homelessness and the criminal justice system