Extern agrees interim arrangement with FASA to continue Charity services.

Extern agrees interim arrangement with FASA to continue Charity services.

Extern, the leading social justice Charity, has today announced that it will take responsibility for the Public Health Agency-commissioned services that were previously provided by FASA (Forum for Action on Substance Abuse). From today, Monday 11 April 2016, Extern will take responsibility for a total of six PHA-funded contracts covering youth, mental health and suicide support and drug and alcohol support services, and 27 former staff members who had been previously employed by FASA to deliver these services. The Extern Charity which supports young people, adults and families, will start to deliver services to clients this week.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Extern Group Chief Executive, Charlie Mack, said:
“Like many, we were saddened to see FASA close its doors to hundreds of service users, staff, volunteers and the local community, in March. Following detailed discussions, the FASA Board endorsed a proposal from Extern to take on the services provided. Whilst Extern had hoped to secure all 59 jobs and service delivery to clients, the complexity of some contracts meant this was not possible. However, we are thrilled to be able to deliver on the PHA-commissioned service contracts, secure 27 jobs, and, most important of all ensure continuity of service to clients.

We remain hopeful that the remaining contracts held by other funders including the Department for Social Development can be considered for procurement as soon as possible to ensure service provision is available to those who are most vulnerable at the point where they need support,” Charlie added.

As a result of today’s announcement, Extern will now provide support services related to early and crisis intervention focussing on people who are at risk of suicide or mental ill health in Belfast. There will also be additional work which builds on Extern’s existing addiction contracts, such as early family interventions and counselling provision (particularly within the Northern area), community and stakeholder support (particularly within the Belfast area) and information and support services for young people (in the Belfast and South Eastern areas). To find out further information or to avail of any of these services please contact Extern on 028 9084 0555 or email fasa@extern.org

ENDS

Notes to Editors
An all-Ireland Charity, Extern works with young people, families and adults, providing support and meeting people at their point of need. The Charity works with a broad number of communities across 40 sites in Ireland employing over 400 staff and with a turnover of £17m. Extern provides a unique mixture of therapeutic and practical support to those with severe addiction and mental ill health.
Since 2010, Extern has successfully delivered over £1million of PHA funded projects which have operated using a flexible approach to service delivery. Extern provides professional support to marginalised service user groups, especially those who find difficulty in accessing traditional services.

Extern offers support to marginalised service user groups especially those who find difficulty in accessing traditional services. For nearly 20 years, Extern has been providing support and intervention for over 7,000 people with alcohol, drug and mental health issues.

In addition to 40 years of expertise across young people, families and adults, Extern delivers high quality professional training to newly qualified social workers under contract with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, ensuring we are at the forefront of best practice in social care.

In Belfast, the Drug Accommodation Support Project (DASP) works in conjunction with two local housing providers to provide support to injecting drug users who are homeless. This service targets a highly marginalised and stigmatised group of individuals whose drug use has led to homelessness and who often find it difficult to access mainstream hostel accommodation.

In the Southern and Northern Health and Social Care Trusts, Extern has a PHA-funded Low Threshold Drug and Alcohol Harm reduction team offering assertive outreach to those chaotically using high levels of drugs and/or alcohol. The service covers the whole region and provides harm reduction strategies to reduce the impact of drug use on the individual.

Extern in Northern Ireland
Company Registration No: NI 16083
Registered Charity Number: XN 48714
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern in the Republic of Ireland
Company Registration No: 383201
Registered Charity Number: CHY15770
Tel: +353 (0) 1 563 9402
Extern Group
Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC103226
Company No. NI 618684
Charity Number: NI00263
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern Supporting Communities
Company No. NI 637561
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333