Dance Drug Safety Outreach in pubs and clubs in Blackpool (Drugline-Lancashire Ltd)
The Dance Drug Safety Project is an outreach led peer support service which utilises the pubs and clubs in Blackpool to deliver its message to night time revellers regarding safer drug use, sexual health information and general safer pubbing and clubbing issues. The project aims to work in close partnership with licensees, police licensing and venues, to promote Home Office Safer Nightlife guidelines within the area through free in-house training sessions. The project is delivered by the coordinator and indigenous volunteers from the local community. Volunteers receive ongoing drug awareness training and updates that are delivered as an extensive training package combining listening skills, outreach work skills, communication skills, health education giving, drug awareness, sexual health awareness, alcohol awareness and personal safety awareness. The different aspects of the project are well evaluated. Outcome: Increased service awareness to people using venues, increased partnership working, increased appropriate networking, increased outreach work practice, increased capacity of peer education leading to increased employability and further education access.
The project builds on extensive local Dance and Recreational Drug Use Projects, with recognition to the increased national and local profile of the project since the Home Office launch of 'Safer Clubbing' and 'Safer Nightlife' and the impact of the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy, Sexual Health and HIV Strategy, 24 hour Licensing and Crime and Disorder legislation. The project offers considerable support to the assurance of Blackpool becoming Safer Nightlife / Best Bar None compliant in partnership with the Blackpool Nightsafe and Blackpool Pubwatch and LGBT licensee forum. The project supports the challenges of town centre venues of drug use, alcohol use, binge drinking, town centre violent crime and sensitive issues such as drink spiking and drug related assault reporting and sexual health issues.
The main objectives of the project are to:
- Develop effective peer education to volunteers.
- Utilise volunteers as service deliverers.
- Build their capacity to aid personal development, employability and access to further education.
- Offer regular outreach work for volunteers.
- Recognise the health needs of people using town centre venues.
- Develop credible materials and messages for people in town centre venues.
- Work in partnership with established forums and district and area levels to ensure strategic best practice compliance with respect to drug, sexual health and young people.
- Work in partnership with venues and to offer ongoing training of bar staff, management and doormen and supported capacity building.
Regular outreach service: The Dance Drug Safety Project is an outreach led service which utilises the pubs and clubs in Blackpool to deliver its message to night time revellers regarding safer drug use, sexual health information and general safer pubbing and clubbing issues. The town centre of Blackpool has historically a high proportion of much used bar and club venues. The issue of maximising health through venue based outreach work in this arena remains a unique opportunity to target sensitive issues to a group of people who would not traditionally avail themselves to established service provision. Resources include: fun packs (safety advice on drugs and sexual health, condoms), posters, leaflets, banners, drop cards, and post cards.
Free venue training sessions:The project aims to work in close partnership with licensees, police licensing, and venues to promote Home Office Safer Nightlife guidelines within the area through free in-house training sessions. Currently, free training sessions include the subjects: drug awareness, venue drug policy, tackling dealing, emergency procedure, drink spiking & drug assisted sexual assault, sharps handling and procedure, and needle stick injury.
Volunteer recruitment and utilisation:The project is delivered by the coordinator and indigenous volunteers from the local community. Volunteers receive ongoing drug awareness training and updates that are delivered as an extensive training package combining listening skills, outreach work skills, communication skills, health education giving, drug awareness, sexual health awareness, alcohol awareness and personal safety awareness.
Evaluation of the project included quantitative aspects, such as the number of volunteer peer educators recruited and trained, the number of venue outreach events covered, and number of leaflets, drop-cards and fun packs distributed. It also involved surveying venues, peer educators and partner agencies on the impact of the project.
Implementation of the project increased: service awareness to customers in venues; partnership working; networking; material development and access; outreach work; training opportunities; venue capacity and safety; understanding of service user needs; safety of venues; popularity, reputation and profit of venues, information to allow better informed decision making; and increased access to drug and sexual health services. The project also reduced: the number of recreational drug users excluded from information and support; club drug taking and binge drinking; drug related sexual assaults; and drug related deaths through recreational/ club drug use and alcohol overdose.
The project targets pubbers and clubbers of Blackpool. This includes residents and holiday makers, recognises the younger age of attendees and also the diverse attendees, including targeting the extensive LGBT venues.
The service has drawn from national drivers as Safer Clubbing and Safer Nightlife and local practice development from the mid 1990's consolidated in Outsider research 1997 which shaped service delivery. This was continually reviewed to meet changing needs and evaluated in Outsiders 2 2003
- Materials: cards / flyers covering uptodate messages and targeted to substances, people & events
- Resources: condoms, bags, sweets, targeted for events e.g. fans/ whistles etc
- Equipment: fleeces, id cards, T shirts
Materials/resources and training for bar/ club staff and volunteer peer educators
Outsiders 1 allowed the development of a response to clubbers to meet their needs: materials, approaches, as well as identifying target drugs.
All materials and messages were well received and of noted impact.
Target 12,000 contact per annum, at 20,000GBP cost, to deliver the Dance Drug Safety outreach Project in Blackpool. Research was undertaken with Outsiders 1 with a small grant from then North West Lancashire Health Promotion Unit and Outsiders 2 within DDS projects then covering Blackpool, Preston and Burnley and funded through the then Blackpool CSDP, Avencentral SRB and Burnley CAD resepctively.
Outsiders 1 and Outsiders 2 are not available electronically. Hard copies are available on request.