Task­force se­cures co-or­di­na­tor

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Wim­mera Drug Ac­tion Task­force lead­ers have wel­comed a fund­ing boost that will al­low the not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion to em­ploy a co-or­di­na­tor for an­other year.

Sally Pymer will re­main in the role, two days a week.

Mrs Pymer said the task­force would fo­cus on re­vis­ing its KIP, Knowl­edge Is Power, pro­gram in the next 12 months.

The drug-ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram is for pri­mary school stu­dents in grades five and six.

“We re­ceived a Lo­cal Drug Ac­tion Team grant of $21,000 to re­vise the pro­gram, cre­ate a train­ing pack­age and be able to train fa­cil­i­ta­tors in other ar­eas to be able to run the ses­sions,” Mrs Pymer said. The task­force does not re­ceive gov­ern­ment fund­ing and re­lies solely on do­na­tions from or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­ter­ested com­mu­nity mem­bers.

“This places pres­sure on task­force mem­bers to con­tin­u­ally knock on doors and seek fund­ing to con­tinue,” Mrs Pymer said.

“Al­though the WDAT was suc­cess­ful in re­ceiv­ing fund­ing from or­gan­i­sa­tions in 2016, there was no guarantee it would be able to again in 2017.

“With or­gan­i­sa­tions un­der in­creas­ing fi­nan­cial pres­sure there was risk the task­force would be without a co-or­di­na­tor, which would have se­verely lim­ited the work we could do.”

Mrs Pymer said it was great to see Wim­mera or­gan­i­sa­tions see­ing the value of the task­force’s work and sup­port­ing it fi­nan­cially.

Grampians Com­mu­nity Health, Wim­mera Unit­ing Care, Wim­mera Health Care Group, Hor­sham Sports and Com­mu­nity Club, Hill­ross and Mer­i­tum have pro­vided fund­ing for the co-or­di­na­tor’s po­si­tion.

Wim­mera Drug Ac­tion Task­force com­prises rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Wim­mera agen­cies and com­mu­nity mem­bers who work to­gether to re­duce harms caused by al­co­hol and other drugs in the com­mu­nity, through ed­u­ca­tion, preven­tion and early in­ter­ven­tion strate­gies.

Work since 2010 has in­cluded ac­tiv­i­ties such as crys­tal metham­phetamine fo­rums, me­dia ar­ti­cles, ad­vo­cat­ing for real-time pre­scrip­tion mon­i­tor­ing and the KIP pro­gram.

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