Island Life Magazine Ltd October/November 2011 - Page 51

ISLAND LIFE Project that really Works A groundbreaking project called The Works, launched earlier this year to help young Islanders give up drink and drugs completely, is already producing positive results. It is an alarming fact that the Island has one of the highest rates in the country of young people being admitted to hospital with an alcohol or drug-related condition. It is estimated that there are 38,000 Island residents aged 16+ who drink alcohol in excess of the recommended daily limits at least once a week. Of those, 21,000 adults are regarded as hazardous drinkers, consuming alcohol in excess of recognised sensible levels but are not yet experiencing harm, and 5,000 are harmful drinkers, consuming alcohol in excess of recognised sensible levels and are experiencing harm. The Works was founded by the Isle of Wight Youth Trust, a charity of 28 years supporting young people on the Isle of Wight. The Works has its own steering group and entirely separate funding. It is an option that seeks to help people, in the 18-25 age group, stop their dependency on drugs or alcohol, especially those who have hit ‘rock bottom’. John Elford is project manager of The Works, a project funded by the Lloyds TSB Foundation, The Big Lottery, the Royal Hotel Ventnor, and the IW Council, but in need of further financial support from Island businesses and individuals to ensure its future. The Works’ major annual fund-raiser is the Isle of Wight Youth Trust gala dinner and grand auction which will be held on Friday, December 2, at The Royal Hotel, Ventnor. The event, now in its third year, has raised over £70,000, which in turn has helped secure Big Lottery funding of over £107,000, £45,000 from Lloyds TSB and ‘in-kind’ support from IW Council. John put together The Works programme using different approaches to drug and alcohol treatment combined with educational theories and personal experience. He believes the comprehensive programme will help many people to find the life they want; a life that is no longer controlled by drink and drugs. He said: “The Youth Trust wanted someone who could run a programme that is abstinence based. This was specifically set up to get people off drink and drugs. I was eng vVBF