An alcohol advice project is appealing for more volunteers to cope with the increasing number of people accessing its services.
The Piccadilly Project, a branch of the Lifeline charity, offers free and confidential advice, information and support for adults across the Bradford district concerned about their own or someone else’s alcohol use.
The project will hold a volunteer recruitment drive, from Monday to Friday next week to extend its community outreach programmes.
Project co-ordinator, Faz Hafiz said: “Our service has grown considerably over the last two years. We now want to expand our community services and offer more direct intervention work. We get referrals from Bradford Royal Infirmary and GP’s, but we are also seeing an increase in self-referrals.
“Awareness of what we do is spreading by word of mouth, through users having a positive experience. We are also extending our primary care services with GP’s, which is acting as a lead-in to the services we offer.”
According to public health figures from Bradford Council, up to 92,000 people across the district may be drinking at hazardous levels, with 17,000 said to be drinking at levels likely to result in physical or psychological harm.
In 2012-13, there were more than 40,000 screenings for alcohol problems within the district’s treatment systems, with 8,146 alcohol-related hospital admissions, down from 8,272 in 2011/12.
“The demand on our services is growing in line with a general increase in alcohol awareness,” said Mr Hafiz.
“People are looking at their alcohol intake and are considering the health options a lot more. There seems to be less of a stigma involved in alcohol services now. We work with a range of diverse communities across Bradford and we’re finding that if people feel as though they have an alcohol issue, they are no longer afraid to ask for help, which is a good thing.”
The new volunteers, who need to be keen and enthusiastic with a positive attitude and non-judgmental approach, are required for a variety of roles, including one-to-one support work, administration duties and help with the project’s drop-in sessions, which are regularly accessed by more than 100 people.
The recruitment week will run until Friday, February 21, at the project’s offices at Auburn House, Upper Piccadilly, Bradford, between 10am and noon. Volunteers will be expected to contribute at least four hours a week, and travel expenses will be reimbursed.
No experience is necessary as full training will be provided. For information, drop in to talk to a member of the team, or call (01274) 735775.