The Donore Community Drug & Alcohol Team (DCD&AT) operates a harm reduction and health promotion service for Donore Avenue and surrounding neighbourhoods. The team assists those affected by addiction problems to promote health and wellbeing and, to improve the quality-of-life for the community.
The approach is non-judgemental and supportive to ensure that the DCD&AT continues to reach-out and provide a responsive service to those most in need through individual care plans. Founded twenty years ago, DCD&AT has established a strong reputation based ona positive track record of advocacy and in assisting clients to realise their individual care plans.
The service is currently delivered from a purpose built premises at the Donore Youth & Community Centre. Within this facility, the team has been able to provide a range of services including a low threshold drop-in facility, referrals, advice, case management, key working and family support. Additionally, daily programmes are delivered which include arts and crafts, and drama. The purpose built building means that clients can also avail of hot meals and shower facilities therein.
The DCD&AT develops community-based addiction services, implements prevention and education strategies and, provides support systems for drug users, families and the wider community. This is a flexible response providing access to social, cultural and medical services for clients and their families.
In 1994 a number of community and voluntary groups from across the south inner city area of Dublin came together and created the South Inner City Treatment Services Group. The group identified the need for three community drug teams to be established in the south inner city area, including one in the locality of Donore Avenue. There was increasing concern amongst local residents living on Donore Avenue that an addiction service needed to be established.
The Donore Community Drug Team was founded in 1994 as an unincorporated association. In 1998 the service became known as Donore Community Drug Team Limited. More recently, the team added to the title to reflect the extent to which alcohol had become a problem and issue of concern in the locality. It is now known as The Donore Community Drug and Alcohol Team.
The DCD&AT is a limited liability company with charitable status. The membership elects a board of directors at the annual general meeting of the company. The board consists of five volunteers and local organisations can nominate two representatives each. DCD&AT employs a manager, two community drug workers, an administrator and one counsellor. The board has also established a sub-committee, the Staff Management Liaison Committee comprising two board members, a staff representative and the service manager.
Catchment Area and Target Group
The DCD&AT serves the geographical area in and aroundDonore Avenue. The catchment area includes Saint Teresa’s Gardens, Chamber Street, Cork Street, Maryland, Blackpitts, The Tenters and the South Circular Road.
The majority of clients have a connection with the adjacent flats complex, Saint Teresa’s Gardens. St Teresa’s Gardens once accommodated over 300 families. The community demonstrates persistent high levels of unemployment, low education attainment rates and high levels of lone parenthood, all indicators of social deprivation and poverty. There has been a significant drug problem in the complex for more than three decades. This means that the DCD&AT see some cases of families with addiction problems persisting into their third generation.
St Teresa’s Gardens is undergoing a regeneration project which is due for substantial completion by the end of 2016. The physical regeneration will eventually accommodate 50 households in houses and apartments on the same geographical site.
The former Chamber Street/Weaver Square complex was similar to the Saint Teresa’s Gardens complex but smaller. This complex was not planned for regeneration but instead all blocks were demolished in 2006.
Alongside regeneration and demolition works, a programme of detenanting is common to both areas. The detenanting programme has resulted in tenants moving to nearby apartments and houses inCork Street, Maryland, Crumlin and Drimnagh. Most clients who have moved from these two complexes continue to use the DCD&AT as it provides them with the services they need while maintaining links with the community.
The DCD&AT’s client profile has changed somewhat more recently, with an increase in younger people and people who are experiencing homelessness accessing the services more frequently.
STRATEGIC PLAN 2017-2020