Barka UK pilot project with Alcohol Change UK and Westminster City launching on 1st of May 2024

On 1st of May Barka UK is starting a Blue Light focused pilot project with Alcohol Change UK and City of Westminster to support Central & Eastern Europeans with no recourse to public funds, to reconnect & offer support in their home countries. Barka’s leader Andrzej Ratajczak is back in London to be a part of Barka UK outreach team.

The pilot project seeks to develop alternative approaches and care pathways for a group of change resistant, alcohol dependent drinkers. The central message is that change is possible and the manual details positive strategies from health screening peer support for Eastern European Blue Light clients with a focus on people with no recourse to public funds.

Barka’s approach is centred on building a trusting relationship between clients and workers, to encourage them to take steps to start a life away from the streets of London by returning to support networks within their native country, either amongst family and friends or specialist support organisations such Barka Poland, so ensuring a sustained reconnection. The charity has a range of projects that provide accommodation and support called the Barka Balkan and European (BEN) Network of Supported Living Communities in Europe.

Key services and venues meeting the target group will include:

  • street outreach teams
  • substance misuse services
  • hostels, particularly accommodating people with NRPF
  • the Blue Light Outreach worker
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