Service user involvement at its very best

Materials co-designed by Bristol Drugs Project’s service users to promote the benefits of low dead space injecting equipment for people who inject drugs, alongside broader harm reduction messages, will be launched at a special event on 24 January at the Kitchen, the Station, Silver Street, Bristol BS1 2AG.

At the event a spectacular animation will have its premier and there will be an opportunity to hear from those involved in the project, including the service users, alongside an exhibition of the materials which will be on public display from 8-31 January in the Station’s gallery.

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Deborah Hussey, Assertive Engagement Worker with BDP, joined the CLAHRC West team for this project. Deborah visited needle and syringe programmes around the UK, from Glasgow to London, to understand barriers to the uptake of low dead space equipment, and how different programmes operate and share harm reduction messages.

The project worked with Michael Linnell of Linnell Communications co-designing these materials with BDP service users who shaped the messages, language and look and feel of the materials. The final products are available to download from Exchange Supplies’ website. Exchange Supplies is a social enterprise that has pioneered the use of detachable low dead space equipment among people who inject drugs.

Deborah Hussey, Knowledge Mobilisation Fellow on the project, said:

It has been a privilege to work on this project. It’s given me the opportunity to find out how other needle and syringe programmes operate, through shadowing and talking to staff. It’s been fascinating to compare how different places tackle things.

I’ve valued the opportunity to help the service users on the project feel a real part of the team. We’ve had wonderful feedback about how empowered the process has made them feel, and how they felt their views were not only listened to, but were integral to the design process. It was an honour to enable this positive experience for them. I’m very proud of what we’ve produced together.