Solas

Our residents serve up bistro night for social services minister

by solas

Residents of our vital lifeline service providing specialist accommodation and support for homeless people with alcohol or substance misuse problems in Cardiff, hosted a Bistro evening for Minister for Social Services and Public Health Rebecca Evans AM and special guests.

Dyfrig House residents treated guests which included; Councillor Darren Williams, Sarah Germaine of Fare Share Cymru and Kate Hustler of Cardiff City Council to an  Italian feast, prepped, cooked and served by the residents at the recently refurbished accommodation in Riverside.

Naomi Dhillon, Manager at Dyfrig House regularly witnesses the devastating impact alcohol and substance misuse can have on individuals, families and communities and the positive affect occasions such as the Bistro Evening can have on the residents involved.  “Meticulous planning and trial runs have taken place in the lead up to our Bistro evening, with residents eager to perfect their chosen menu.

It’s been extremely rewarding seeing residents enthusiastically working together as a team with staff, and relishing the opportunity to talk about their own personal journeys.  Hopefully the guests have had a belissimo evening!”

Dyfrig House is an example of a modern, high standard service which is making a real life-changing difference to the people supported there.  As one resident remarked ‘this is not a hostel, this is therapy’.” Dyfrig House comprises 21 self-contained bedrooms with private en-suite toilet and shower facilities, which encourages and supports residents’ progression to independent living

Nick, a resident at Dyfrig House, owes his life to Dyfrig House: “I was always the black sheep of my family. Before I came to Dyfrig House I was injecting heroin, smoking crack cocaine and drinking alcohol heavily. I’m now receiving support to remain abstinent from these substances and this has given me a chance to think about my future. At Dyfrig House they believe in me, and this makes me believe that I can be a part of the community and achieve great things in my life that I never thought possible, like being accepted to study History at Cardiff University. Now my family are proud of me”.

One of the few ‘dry’ homeless services in Cardiff, Dyfrig House has enabled thousands of people to tackle their addictions, since opening in 1967. Dyfrig House offers first class accommodation, care and treatment, supporting individuals in a comfortable environment where they feel safe in the knowledge they share a mutual goal of alcohol and substance abstinence.

Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans said: “We know that substance misuse can have a devastating impact on individuals of all ages, gender and social class – not forgetting their families and the wider community.

“Tackling substance misuse is really important to us and we invest almost £50m annually in addressing the issue. Since our strategy ‘Working Together to Reduce Harm’ was launched we have seen sustained improvements in waiting times for drug and alcohol treatment and other outcomes for this vulnerable and hard to reach group. It is vital that we maintain this momentum, but we cannot make the progress we want without the support and expertise of others.

“Dyfrig House is a great example of the hard work being undertaken to address the complex needs of homeless people with drug and alcohol related issues, offering a lifeline for people in greatest need.  They’re doing a great job and I’d like to thank everyone involved in this scheme and wish them well for the future.”

In an environment with pressures on the social care budget and potential reduction in the Supporting People Programme, Dyfrig House offers a vital lifeline for people in greatest need whilst reducing the financial impact on health and social services budgets.

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