A BARROW-BASED drug and alcohol rehabilitation service received a national award for their work in conjunction with Cumbria County Council to help reduce drug deaths.

The Well Communities are a Live Experience Recovery Organisation (LERO) who worked with the county council in identifying those most at risk of dying whilst in the drug addiction recovery services.

This saw them recognised nationally for Public Health Improvement in the MJ Awards (local council awards) at the weekend.

The organisation focused on Egerton Court in Barrow Island to help residents addicted to drugs engage better with the services available to them and their GPs in order to better aid their recovery.

"It was a brilliant evening for us," Dave Higham, founder of The Well, said.

"We won one and received a special mention for great work as well out of seven.

"We were working with Cumbria County Council to help in reducing blue light services to Egerton Court.

"One of our staff members working in Egerton Court was shouted over and she employed CPR in order to actually save a life."

He explained that the service helped create significant impact on that area and the award highlighted that the learning from the project is being used across the county to develop services and the council are participating in learning programmes nationally and internationally to share best practice.

One section of a presentation delivered by Mr Higham was even shared by the United Nations.

Speaking on why LEROs has been such a success with these communities hit by drug addiction, Mr Higham explained that "this has greatly impacted on helping to build better relationships and change".

"We have a particular way of working at The Well," he continued.

"We run our service by creating conditions that help support people.

"But LEROs work because people identify with them.

"People see and engage because they have walked in their shoes.

"We identify as we say, 'I felt the same and this is how I got through it'.

"If you have not taken crack cocaine or you have not taken heroin to the brink of death, you just won't get it."