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Hi there, I’m Alison. I’m a Service Manager for Hillcrest Futures and I currently manage three teams within our Drug and Alcohol services. I was formally a Prison Officer, and volunteered to be the Detox Officer, and this led me to want to support people with substance use to work towards recovery.
I started with Hillcrest as a Co-ordinator and I have been given lots of training and support – enabling me to manage three teams.
My teams help people with problematic drug and alcohol use to find the support they need to move towards recovery. We offer one-to-one sessions, group work, education sessions and drop-ins. As well as providing support for drug and alcohol use, we are able to signpost people to support for housing, debts, benefits and health, which all supports their recovery. We also work with family and friends affected by someone else’s substance use, giving them advice and tools to support their loved one.
Our services work hard to help people find their own path to recovery, empowering them to work towards the life they want to lead in a person-centred way. Once people have achieved abstinence, we are able to offer volunteering opportunities within our services, which is a great introduction for people into the world of work.
In Perth we have lived experience workers who are employed within Perth Prison by Hillcrest, sharing their knowledge and insight with the residents and running a Recovery Hub within the prison.
I find that Hillcrest Futures has quite a “family feel” about it. Everyone will support each other within a team, and if your particular team has a challenging situation, then you can always gain support from other teams and managers. People will go out of their way to share useful information and good practice, and signpost people to information and training.
My advice for anyone wanting to join Hillcrest Futures, would be to show your enthusiasm to support people to improve their lives, and to not be afraid to bring new ideas. There are lots of opportunities to broaden your knowledge and find a specialism that you have a passion for.
Hillcrest Futures also has many different rotas and hours available from as little as three a month, to a full time 39 hour post, so you can work around family life/personal needs. There is also a generous holiday entitlement, and I find the management to be flexible in their approach, and always have a listening ear should you need to take time for an important matter.
It is always memorable when I see someone who came into the drug and alcohol services overcome by their substance use, and they work hard to achieve abstinence. We now have a number of our former service users working within drug and alcohol services, sharing their lived experience with others and living a meaningful life themselves.