Swanswell offers bank holiday advice service

10 May 2011

People facing problems with alcohol in Coventry and Warwickshire can now get in touch with Swanswell on bank holidays.

Following a successful trial during the Easter weekend, Royal Wedding Day and early May bank holiday, alcohol workers will be available to give advice and information over the phone when many other services, such as GPs or pharmacists, are closed.    

Over the four bank holidays, Swanswell received more than 50 calls from people needing support, prompting the national charity to offer an extended service again for the next Spring break on Monday 30 May and beyond.              

It’s in addition to the regular support offered through drop-in sessions, referral appointments, GP surgeries, community venues and over the phone, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.    

Evening appointments are also available alongside a regular extended hours telephone service, offering advice until 8pm on selected nights of the week.

Swanswell has offices locally in Coventry, Rugby, Nuneaton and Leamington, where trained alcohol workers are available to answer any questions about alcohol misuse.

Last year, the charity provided face-to-face help to more than six thousand people with substance misuse problems nationally.            

Linda has been a Swanswell client in Leamington for a number of years and regularly attended sessions to talk and take part in auricular acupuncture.

She said: ‘Every couple of years or so I would slip into a brief alcoholic haze which was usually followed by a spell in detox.

Then I met Helen [Swanswell support worker]; an absolute ray of light that flooded through my dark despair. Helen made me believe she could really help me get out of the rut I had made for myself.

Swanswell helped me fill my life with positive things to do including sharing my experiences with others at conferences and events. I always feel appreciated and that what I’ve said has value, which gives me a warm feeling inside.’

Debbie Bannigan, Chief Executive of Swanswell, said: ‘It’s very easy for alcohol consumption to become excessive, and many people don’t realise when their drinking is becoming a problem.

Regularly having more than the recommended limit of 2-3 units a day for women or 3-4 units a day for men can be harmful – not only to your health but also to the wellbeing of others around you.

We recognise how important it is to have that support available whenever it’s needed. Bank holidays can be particularly difficult for people facing problems with alcohol because it can seem that everyone else is drinking around them.

‘So our extended hours service is designed to be there at a time it’s needed most, providing vital help when many other services are closed.’

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