Welcome to the next in our series of profiles on the winners and highly commended of the Anglicare Australia 2014 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence. These profiles are also be featured in the 2016 Anglicare Australia Review.
The EXCELLENCE category is for a particular service or project or for the overall service provided by an agency.
Service with respect and dignity
People who inject drugs are often on the receiving end of stigma and discrimination, and their only contact with health and community support services might be through a Needle and Syringe Program.
Anglicare Tasmania’s Needle and Syringe Program is acutely aware of this, so it ensures its services are accessible, welcoming and client-friendly, above all else.
Anglicare Tasmania has operated a Needle and Syringe Program in Hobart and Glenorchy since 2011. The program provides a non-judgmental, confidential, friendly service with a range of sterile injecting equipment, disposal facilities and resources for people who inject drugs. It also makes available to clients, fresh and nutritious food.
The program works within a harm reduction model, to increase the capacity of people who inject drugs to initiate solutions for their own health and social support. The program’s clients are able to provide feedback and consequently determine the services they receive, giving them options about their care and support.
One Anglicare Tasmania worker, providing an unsolicited impression of the impact of the program said, “It is the way in which people are treated that most impresses me. People are treated just like that – as people. They are given the utmost respect, privacy, dignity and confidentiality.”
Clients echo these same sentiments: “Thanks so much for helping me out the other day. I was impressed that you remembered my name and who I was and everything – and you helped me out straight away! I know you’ve been around for a lot of years - but you’ve never become bitter or jaded about working with us – you’re just as passionate as ever! Thanks heaps for what you do!”
Additional to the day-to-day services of the Needle and Syringe Program, staff contribute to the development of skills and attitudes of a broad range of health and community service workers, providing advice and strategies on non-judgmental support.
Award judges were impressed with the program’s emphasis on respect and dignity, and that clients were able to voice opinions about its operation.
Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo (left) with Excellence Highly Commended winner, Daryl Lamb from Anglicare Tasmania. Photo: Josh Selleck, End Vision Photography.