Project Ahryzen (horizon)

Project Ahryzen (2017-2019) – Creating new beginnings

BAC-IN and Lankelly Chase worked together for over a year to establish a shared vision for a longer-term partnership. In April 2017 BAC-IN was awarded a two year grant by Lankelly Chase to deliver ground-breaking Project Ahryzen in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University to establish a ‘new paradigm’ for services for BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) people facing multiple disadvantage at an individual, family and community level in Nottingham.

“Ahryzen” describes a path of self-discovery, a journey of awakening from the struggle of addiction to creating new beginnings through the application of transformative recovery.

To bring lasting solutions Project Ahryzen aims to explore through the authentic voice of lived experience the lives of BAC-IN peers, hidden experiences of disadvantage and the development of a successful model for supporting BAME communities facing multiple disadvantage.

Project Ahryzen intends to impact policy, decision making and commissioning for culturally specific peer-led options in healthcare delivery of structured psychosocial interventions for BAME communities.  In partnership with Lankelly Chase and supported by Sheffield Hallam University, this project will look at individual experiences to recovery to create a model which can work elsewhere.

Sheffield Hallam University – Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) is working alongside BAC-IN & Lankelly Chase to examine the primary learning aims of:

    a) Exploring the lives of BAC-IN peers and hidden experiences of disadvantage

Our sense is that the experiences of BAC-IN peers are rarely voiced or amplified and that there may be some fundamental differences with other life trajectories – whether due to culture, background, values, faith or other themes – which mean these experiences are poorly understood.  We would therefore like to learn in-depth about the lives and experiences of BAC-IN’s network of friends and peers.

Provisional lines of enquiry include:

  • Experiences of disadvantage, including the impact of cultural identity
  • Experiences of seeking and accessing support services in both ‘specialist’ and ‘mainstream’ settings
  • Pathways into ‘recovery’ and conceptions of a rewarding life

  • b) Developing and learning about elements of a successful model for supporting BAME communities facing multiple disadvantage

This work begins with an examination of BAC-IN’s key activities and theory of change and to present an understanding of what impact BAC-IN have. CRESR is working alongside BAC-IN and Lankelly Chase to understand, develop and communicate their model through a collective learning. The aim is not to only question and identify whether BAC-IN’s approach ‘works’, but especially why and how, addressing both strengths and challenges.

Provisional lines of enquiry include:

  • The impact and importance of BAC-IN’s ‘peer-led’ approach
  • The role(s) of culture, faith and spirituality in supporting BAC-IN’s friends and peers
  • The role of specialist services in the context of a generic/mainstream system

Methodologies being used

Methodology for how the learning outcomes can be achieved are based on the principles of co-production, shared understanding, openness and reflection:

  • face-to-face in-depth interviews
  • focus groups
  • Case studies
  • biographical research

Using a co-produced approach, BAC-IN peers (having progressed significantly in their recovery) will be trained and supported themselves to explore in-depth the lived and hidden experiences of disadvantage of other BAC-IN peers, within a cultural context. Comprehensive training in interviewing skills, ethics, data collection and analysis would be provided.

The knowledge and understanding of the issues brought to this process by peers would serve to strengthen the research process and findings. The training would build the capacity of those individuals trained and that of the organisation and enable onward peer learning in the longer term.

BAC-IN peers who will conduct 10 face-to-face in depth interviews with BAC-IN’s network of friends and peers, using a biographical approach that roots discussion in a respondent’s recovery pathway but connects this to institutional engagement (service use), and life experiences, including, the impact of cultural identity. Peers could also opt for other methods (outlined earlier) which provide in depth insight into drug & alcohol dependency and issues related to disadvantage.
This approach allows correlations between different aspects of respondents’ lives to be revealed, and the consequences of (effective and ineffective) service engagement to be understood. The interviews could explore what makes a successful model for supporting BAME communities facing multiple disadvantage.

Data analysis (e.g. using Nvivo software), final output, and the presentation of findings would all be co-produced depending on the needs of the BAC-IN peers.

Learning to date

The design of the final output would be developed creatively and in conjunction with the peers to ensure they are engaged and the ‘voices’ of respondents are heard clearly by a variety of audiences.
We have produced a briefing paper and started in-depth x10 case studies, these are to be shared in the conference in December 2018. This conference is aimed at a range of stakeholders including Commissioners, Policy Makers, Service Managers, Healthcare Professionals, Academics, Clinicians, Mainstream Service Providers, Diversity & Equality Leads,  and Community Services.
We have created a Project Ahryzen brochure, flyer, poster as well as website pages and these can shared.

We have had a tailor made secure case management system (Lamplight) which has enabled us to revise our assessment tools now allowing us to capture more comprehensive data.

Lankelly Chase - a charitable foundation seeking to bring about change that will transform the quality of life of people who face severe and multiple disadvantage. We commission, co-design and grant fund a variety of practice, policy and research programmes which help us in this mission and help to tell us how change really happens for people living difficult lives at the margins of society.

Sheffield Hallam University - Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) is a leading UK policy research centre, which seeks to understand the impact of social and economic disadvantage on places and people, and assess critically the policies and interventions targeted at these issues.

Steering group

Project Ahryzen steering group