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Tackling Drugs Changing Lives Awards: And the winners are…

Monday, December 14th, 2009 Tackling Drugs Changing Lives Awards: And the winners are…

The forth annual Tackling Drugs Changing Lives Awards has taken part in London

The awards aim to recognise people who have made an outstanding contribution to tackling drugs, reward people who have changed lives and communities through their work and recognise individuals and teams that have carried out inspirational work at a local level.

The two overall winners in this year’s Tackling Drugs Changing Lives Awards were announced by Home Office Minister, Alan Campbell, at an awards ceremony in London.

The winner of the prestigious Drug Worker of the Year was Detective Inspector Stephen Holme from the Derbyshire Constabulary. Steve ran the Drug Market Project which improved treatment for drug users by improving partnership working between the police and drug treatment workers between 2001 – 2004. It also led to the arrest of over 200 drug dealers.

Stephen has since retired but still maintains, runs, chairs, trains and supports numerous adult education boards, drug treatment initiatives and police officers. Stephen is widely praised amongst key figures across Derbyshire for the experience he has gained throughout his career which he now provides unconditionally. Stephen’s contribution to improving the lives of families affected by drug use is vast which can be seen through the comprehensive list of services that he has supported and developed.

The winner of the Drug Team of the Year was the New Horizon Youth Centre Women’s Open Space Programme. The centre, which is situated in Kings Cross, London, operates an outreach team form homeless women under the age of 25, female sex workers and any other vulnerable women.

The programme aims to reduce risk taking behaviour amongst service users, increase awareness of personal safety and empower female sex workers to break the cycle of sex, drugs and violence and to increase users understanding of the criminal justice process. Recent research from the Kings Cross Community Project and Lancaster University ranked this service as the highest against all other similar agencies in the same area.

Home Office Minister, Alan Campbell said: “I want to congratulate both the winners for their hard work and dedication. These awards show just how many hard working volunteers and professional work tirelessly within our communities to help individuals overcome drug addiction, support those affected by it and reduce the harm it can cause to our society.

“Latest statistics show that overall drug remains historically low demonstrating that our efforts to tackle drugs and get them off our streets are delivering results. However we are not complacent, we continue to focus our efforts on reducing the harm caused by illegal drugs through enforcement, education and treatment.”

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