Change, grow, live (cgl) is not only our name, it is also what we strive for with our service users. We provide a range of services across england and wales and champion people who have faced hardships like abuse, homelessness and addiction. We empower them to lead the lives they want, on their terms.
We have over 160 services across England and Wales, with access to medical professionals, recovery workers, counsellors, volunteers and peer mentors. Our peer mentors are one of our greatest successes, people who have been through treatment themselves and now give something back to the community by supporting our work. Our experience has helped us to design and develop services to meet a wide range of needs, building on relationships with other professionals, local community groups and our service users. All of our services work with individuals and the community to ensure recovery is at the heart of what we do.
We are delighted to be a part of Pride in London as we truly value the support of the LGBT+ community and actively seek to ensure all of our services are inclusive and accessible to whoever needs them. We are also very happy to support the theme of this year’s Pride, #nofilter, and encourage you all to be true to who you are. We have been proud to support LGBT History Month within our services and have celebrated changes in the recognition of equal rights for same sex marriage. Through open discussions with staff, service users and local community groups our organisation has continued to grow and develop within the LGBT+ community and we are excited to continue enhancing the work we do.
One of the areas we have continued to focus on is the emergence of new substances, known as “legal highs” or more accurately New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). These are new drugs that have been developed to offer alternatives to illegal pills, powders and cannabis. They can also include drugs finding new markets or audiences (such as MDMA or ketamine). There are a number of risks associated with this, not to mention the recent change in the law introducing a blanket ban on all NPS.
We are seeing an increase in the number of people using NPS as part of sex parties, also known as “chemsex”. Some of the drugs used to enhance sex include GHB/GBL, mephedrone and crystal meth (Tina). They can make you feel extra horny and kinky, resulting in you taking risks such as unprotected sex or injecting (slamming). CGL has developed a toolkit to support our work with NPS users and you can find out more about this by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting your local service (www.changegrowlive.org).
Beyond our work increasing awareness of the effects of substances and supporting people into treatment to achieve recovery, CGL also supports individuals and families who have been affected by domestic abuse, homelessness and mental health issues. We also work within a number of criminal justice settings, including prisons, police custody and probation offices. We work closely with other agencies to ensure our service users can gain support holistically, addressing a range of needs and gaining the appropriate support to regain control, change their lives, grow as a person and live life to its full potential.
We look forward to continuing to support the LGBT+ community through our services, developing greater awareness of inclusion and gladly welcome every opportunity to help you achieve recovery, enhance your wellbeing and ensure you can live your life with #nofilter!
For more information about our services, please visit www.changegrowlive.org.