Cabinet Minister visits Swanswell

08 October 2010

Swanswell, a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, welcomed prominent members of the  Conservative party to their offices in Birmingham this week.

Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset and Minister for Government Policy in the Cabinet Office, and David Burrowes, MP for Enfield, Southgate and Oliver Letwin’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, took time out from the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham to visit Swanswell and to discover how they are embracing the flagship policy of the 2010 general election manifesto – the Big Society.

The aim of the Big Society policy is to create a climate that empowers local people and communities, building a society that takes power away from politicians and gives it to people.

During the visit, the MPs met several practitioners, project leads and service users, who demonstrated how Swanswell is making a difference with their innovative treatment services and empowering local people to change their lives for the better.

Swanswell takes an active role in the community and provided drug and/or alcohol treatment for 6,095 people in 2009/10. Swanswell also has significant impact in the shape of savings for the local and national economy. The money Swanswell invested in drug and alcohol treatment last year alone saved the public purse over £38,000,000.

Oliver Letwin, Minister for Government Policy, commented on the visit: Swanswell demonstrated excellent examples of high quality and effective services delivered in partnership with other agencies and the community.

'Their ability to develop new solutions and provide evidence of the outcomes they achieve is impressive and their team members are clearly both highly skilled and very committed to their work. My visit to Swanswell confirmed that our Big Society vision is not only achievable, it's already happening.’

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