An introduction to our new service Ambition Portsmouth

Think Pieces

By Jade Lawton · January 30, 2024

Ambition Portsmouth is our new service here at Intuitive Thinking Skills. Based within the community in the heart of Portsmouth Town Centre, Ambition Portsmouth’s role is to compliment the Local Drug and Alcohol Service (SSJ) and the wider partnership with a service and provision that helps people with education and skills to move forward in life, having come through treatment services.

The Ambition Portsmouth Team is currently made up of 6 members of staff:

  • Fran Brooker (Service Manager)
  • David Bremner (Ambassador Programme Lead)
  • Darcy Hart (Life Skills and Ambassador Co-Ordinator)
  • Michelle Oak (Community Engagement Navigator/Harm Reduction Lead)
  • Clare Naili (Community Engagement Navigator/Service User Involvement Lead)
  • Jason Pickles (Community Engagement Navigator/Criminal Justice Lead)

The service has been up and running now for just over 5 months and in this time the team has:

  • Launched our first Ambassador programme (Level 2 – Information, Advice & Guidance) with 9 learners completing. We are now supporting the learners with applications into Ambassador roles which will provide volunteering experience in and around the local Drug and Alcohol partnership for these successful learners.
  • Started delivering harm reduction Clinics across the partnership with local hostels several times a week, reaching those who may otherwise be reluctant to engage, helping to reduce the influx of people using the needle exchange programme at local Pharmacies, which in turn is allowing them to concentrate on dispensing.
  • Set up Group programmes for people who require extra support:

    • The Moving Forward Project – Group for people with current or past substance misuse issues who are engaged with Probation, this helps with integration back into the community following prison release.
    • Menz Group – Group that empowers men with the education and skills to thrive in the community, maintain independence with a focus on creating a healthy future.
    • Recovery Around Women (RAW) Group – Group that empowers women with the education and skills to thrive in the community, maintain independence and focus on creating a healthy future.
      A number of the women who attend RAW have also set up their own peer groups in skilling other attendees with creative writing skills – how to write poetry and another is skilling others on how to crochet as part of our ‘Knitter & Natter’ group.

As well as the above groups the service will soon be launching a new Life Skills sessions and starting some Co-Production Engagement Clinics, ensuring that the voices of Service Users, Families and Carers are involved in the design, planning, delivery and evaluation of services.

We are thrilled to have a team in the heart of the Portsmouth community that gives back and benefits the local community.