For BDP, 2020 has been a year of both doing things differently and doing different things to make sure that we continued to support people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs against the harsh reality of Covid-19.

Doing things differently –we moved our support out of buildings; through expanded street outreach; by supporting people who were rough sleeping moving into hotels as part of ‘Everyone In’ with our range of services, including innovative alcohol detoxes and Blood-borne Virus testing; by risk assessing 1900 people in 42 GP Practices to ensure that the changes to methadone/buprenorphine dispensing to support self-isolation were safe; and by making socially distanced home visits to our most vulnerable service users, children and young people and our older population, now almost 1 in 10 of the adults we see are aged over 55.

Doing different things - we designed & distributed 1,544 Distraction Activity packs to help people to self-isolate; delivered medication to people shielding, isolating or ill; launched New Leaf to support young people who identify their cannabis use as problematic; and, in the absence of a night-time economy and festivals, ran the ‘All about Drugs’ campaign with Bristol University and Bristol SU, providing reagent drug testing kits to students as part of a brief harm reduction intervention.

As BDP moves into our 35th year, it is clear that the challenges presented by Covid-19 for the people we support, and for our staff and volunteers, will continue well into 2021. As ever, we will draw on the expertise of our magnificent staff and volunteers, our deep roots in Bristol’s communities, our creativity and our resilience to make sure that the support we provide to people experiencing problems with alcohol or drugs, who are some of Bristol’s most vulnerable citizens, living in some of our City’s most vulnerable families, is the very best it can be.