Swanswell takes drug advice into the digital age

27 January 2016

National alcohol and drug recovery charity Swanswell teamed up with Loughborough University Students’ Union to answer questions about drugs live via the internet on Monday 25 January. Along with Richard Taylor from the University, Deborah Durdey and Emily Fisher, two of Swanswell’s Substance Misuse Workers, were on hand to answer questions from students, and anyone else living in the Loughborough area.

The question and answer session was streamed live through the Students’ Union’s website between 6.30 and 7.30pm. Using a social media website called www.yikyak.com viewers were able to send in questions anonymously for the panel to answer.

Swanswell delivers the Adult and Young Persons Substance Misuse Service in Leicestershire and Rutland and this event was organised as part of a wider partnership with the Students’ Union.

The online format was developed to make it easier for people to come forward and ask questions. Many students were too nervous or embarrassed to take part in previous face to face drop in sessions organised by Swanswell and the Students’ Union.

Speaking after the event, Jennifer Hames Swanswell’s Assistant Director said; ‘Enabling people to take part in an online question and answer session anonymously is a great way for us to speak to even more people, and also to reach out to those who may have reasons not to access support in more conventional ways. We’re determined to reach out into the community and take our services to anyone who may need them. We have established relationships with other organisations and community groups in the area, such as Loughborough University and the Students’ Union. This latest event is just one of the ways we’re joining up so we can help even more people to change and be happy.’

Alison Barlow, Stakeholder Relations Manager at Loughborough University, said; 'The University takes the issue of student welfare very seriously.  The confidential drugs question and answer session is part of an ongoing programme to provide advice and information to students on a whole range of health and wellbeing issues. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Students’ Union and colleagues from Swanswell to deliver it.'

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