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WithYou, BAC O’Connor and CDAS shortlisted for a UK Content Award for their Stoke service video

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Published Date 18.06.2024

Through delivering the local Community Drug and Alcohol Service (CDAS), WithYou and BAC O’Connor have worked together to support people experiencing drug, alcohol and mental health challenges across Stoke-on-Trent.

“I didn’t see a way out until I got help with CDAS.”

At the core of what we do are real people and real stories. The clients featured in our video are testament to this, and everything we stand for here at WithYou.

That’s why we’re so proud it’s been shortlisted for a UK Content Award.

We’re working towards a future free from harm caused by alcohol and drugs, where anyone seeking help feels welcomed, not judged. A big part of that is ending the stigma associated with these challenges, which is why we wanted to showcase our clients’ lived experiences, unashamedly and unapologetically. This video was a chance to show the brilliant people, partnerships, and voices within our community. As Susan says in the closing shots, we hope it shows others that they’ve still got things to give, and they still have a life to live.

“I’m part of a community I didn’t have before. Without that, I don’t know what I’d have.”

Our mission has always been to help one another, and we know that everyone has a unique recovery path. We work side-by-side with our clients, to help them believe that the change they want to make is possible. Whether you’re looking to stay safe and healthy, make small changes, or stop a harmful habit altogether, we’re here. For some, it might be that a phone call works best. For others, it’s a face-to-face meeting at one of our services. What matters most is that we connect and create a safe space for you.

Community is embedded within CDAS’ culture. Establishing supportive and meaningful relationships and connecting with others, whether this be with our staff, with other clients, or with yourself, is something we understand the value of. This connection allows us to build a support system that not only lends itself to navigating the challenges of recovery, but also provides a sense of belonging and purpose that is so often missing.

”Coming here, it keeps me focused on what I’ve got to do. If I didn’t have anywhere to go, I’d be lost.”

At CDAS, we know that collaborative support and wraparound care are key to helping individuals lead a life free from dependency. That’s why we work alongside other services and partnerships to better the support we can offer and allow people to lead a future free from harm.

Individually, all organisations make a huge difference and undertake work to support the people who come to their doors. But it’s when we come together that the biggest difference is made.

“They took me under their wing and they believed in me. They didn’t give up.”

We know from our clients that stigma can be a barrier to accessing our services. To help break down these barriers, our video showcased a wide range of clients at different points in their recovery journeys – from people who have recently entered treatment, to ex-clients who are now volunteers and staff members. We wanted to demonstrate that people who experience challenges with alcohol and drugs are real people, and that these challenges can affect anyone. There should never be any shame in accessing the support.

Our clients bravely stepped forward to share their story with us in the hope that others can be supported into treatment. Storytelling forms a central part of recovery – it allows clients to reflect on just how far they’ve come, and their bravery inspires us to pass on the same support to those who need it.

“I always wanted to come back to CDAS. It’s where my journey began, and I hope it’s an inspiration for others that recovery is possible.”

Through more content like this, we hope to continue to dismantle the shame associated with drug, alcohol or mental health challenges and remove the barriers that prevent people from reaching out for help. We firmly believe that people are not defined by their circumstances, but by their resilience and strength instead.

WithYou, BAC O’Connor and CDAS are honoured to have been shortlisted for the Public Sector Content Campaign of the Year Award for our video about Stoke Community Drug and Alcohol Service. We’re really excited to be attending the upcoming awards ceremony to share our work with other like-minded organisations. Until then, we’ll continue in our mission to empower individuals, break down barriers, and make positive change by amplifying the voices that matter.

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