A dedicated team of professionals who rehabilitate some of the most ‘vulnerable and broken’ people in North Wales have been recognised by a police boss.
The staff at ARCH-Kaleidoscope, an organisation which works with people who misuse drugs and alcohol, won the Drug Intervention Award at Community Awards event organised by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones.
ARCH-Kaleidoscope have offices in Wrexham, Shotton, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Bangor and Llangefni, and employ 38 people.
Arfon Jones said the team won the award because they go above and beyond to ensure the people they are dealing with get the best possible care – working through lunch hours, taking clients to meetings in their own time or spending their own time and money making packed lunches for group outings.
Peter Moorhouse, regional manager of ARCH-Kaleidoscope, said: “It’s been impossible to select one or two people to nominate for the award so we were over the moon to find out the award was given to the service in North Wales as a whole as that’s really, really well deserved.”
ARCH-Kaleidoscope’s main focus is on reducing offending and reoffending and reducing or stopping substance abuse.
Mr Moorhouse said: “I see the work they do every day and they are dealing with some of the most vulnerable and broken people in the criminal justice system.
“They deal with them with so much compassion and care, and I’m extremely proud to say I know the staff of ARCH-Kaleidoscope and they all equally deserve this award.”
“Some staff with take people to support meetings in their own lunch hours or with permissions outside their own working hours. They will put things on hold to attend to an individual if that individual is in crisis.
“Quite often, we receive a phone call at 4.30pm on a Friday to say somebody is being unexpectedly released from prison and needs help finding accommodation or needs help getting substitute prescribing in place, but the staff here just get on and do it.”
Speaking at the event at the Kinmel Manor Hotel in Abergele, Commissioner Jones said: “The ARCH team work tirelessly to support service users during their recovery.
“They are hardworking and dedicated to the clients they serve and the work they do and there are many examples of team members going above and beyond their regular duties to ensure their clients are not faced with unnecessary barriers during their recovery.”
Examples of this were highlighted at the event and included a Flintshire-based member of the team, Mark Craig, who persuaded a reluctant client to agree to attend a narcotics anonymous meeting, drove him there after work, waited for him to finish and gave him a lift home. It was the start of a successful recovery for the individual concerned.
On another occasion a group trip to Snowdon saw staff turn up two hours early to make packed lunches – which they paid for themselves – for everyone on the outing.
Individuals come to ARCH-Kaleidoscope via four ‘gateways’ with workers based at police stations in Wrexham, St Asaph and Caernarfon and at courts where staff assess individuals for the suitability of community orders and help with their rehabilitation.
Staff work with prisoners across North Wales and provide a service for them upon their release and the team also do work aimed at steering people away from crime, helping people who come to them having been issued with cautions by North Wales Police.
Of this fourth gateway, Mr Moorhouse said: “This is where we usually see a quick turnaround. It’s people with very little involvement with substances – so it’s easier to steer them away from the criminal justice system. We have a lot of success from this.”
As well as its six offices in the ‘six counties’, ARCH-Kaleidoscope also has outreach offices in Caernarfon and south Gwynedd, as well as drop-in premises in Denbigh and Holywell.
They engage with a whole host of organisations including North Wales Police, thee National Probation Service, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and housing providers.
Mr Moorhouse added: “I’m really, really grateful to be in such a privileged position where I see the effects of the work staff are doing. It’s lovely to share that with others.”
Commissioner Jones, a former police inspector, felt it was important to recognise the efforts of often unsung heroes in the community.
He said: “One thing all our winners have in common is that they make North Wales a better and safer place to live and work.
“There are many selfless people who do a lot of good in the community by helping North Wales Police and these silent workers go way beyond anybody else to make a contribution and ensure their communities are safe.
“In the overwhelming number of cases, this a personal commitment made without expectation of any kind of reward or recognition.
“This awards ceremony is an opportunity to recognise the unstinting efforts these unsung heroes and heroines and to encourage others to follow their good example.”