BAC-IN was developed in 2003 as a small user led self-help support group, founded by its current service director Sohan Sahota, Gladstone Hibbert and Manjit Singh Johal.
The need to form BAC-IN support group was driven in response to an ‘unmet need’ within the existing support services in Nottingham.
This support group is distinctive and one of a kind. It offers a unique, culturally responsive, peer centred environment where service users can connect, be a part of and share their concerns and experiences as they relate to their culture, faith, ethnicity, beliefs, values and spirituality with peers from similar backgrounds. The support group has always provided a culturally specific, peer led forum that acknowledges diversity, values difference and embraces a choice of cultural, faith-based and spiritual perspectives to addiction recovery and rehabilitation.
BAC-IN has always aimed to provide for a set of BAME (Black Asian & Minority Ethnic) experiences and perspectives which are poorly catered for in ‘mainstream’ service provision.
Many individuals from BAME communities needing help are not engaging or completing treatment with mainstream services; reasons commonly expressed are;
• The lack of culturally sensitive support
• Concerns related to trust and confidentiality
• Problems with language barriers
• Issues linked to shame, stigma & denial
• Fear of prejudice & discrimination
• The absence of cultural empathy & cultural identification
• Lack of culturally reflective peer led workforce
• Zero options for culturally focused pathways to personalised recovery
• No recovery programs tailoring to cultural specificity, beliefs, and values
Through the shared voices of service users complied through feedback, direct engagement, consultations and focus groups BAC-IN have recognised that there is a need for BME people seeking recovery to have a service that meets and responds to their complex needs.
BAC-IN’s peer led engagement is rooted in:
• Offering warmth, welcome and a non-judgemental approach;
• Respect for human dignity, autonomy and empowerment of personal responsibility;
• Shared equality within the therapeutic relationship;
• Openness and complete honesty;
• A willingness to peer challenge and be challenged.
The underpinning principles of BAC-IN philosophy and unique model include:
• Cultural awareness, expertise and understanding:
• A Peer-Led Service; with the emphasis on peer support and peer learning;
• A Transformative Recovery Focus; with an emphasis on achieving and sustaining abstinence and making the best of life potential;
• Whole Person Approach; with an emphasis on working with the whole person taking account of their personal, social, cultural, psychological and spiritual needs;
• Never turning anyone away who needs help from BAC-IN regardless of their ethnicity or background;
• ‘Going the extra mile’ and never giving up on anyone.
BAC-IN during the past 15 years have had a positive impact on many lives and played a special and distinct role in specialist service provision in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
BAC-IN has experienced periods of expansion and contraction over time, including significant grant funded successful projects and partnership participation in statutory-funded consortia.
BAC-IN over years has established a unique profile and forged strong links within BME communities and continues to raise awareness, challenge stigma and shame associated with substance misuse through community outreach, local radio, TV networks, newspapers and community magazines.
BAC-IN have been given many awards for positively impacting communities, transforming lives and recognition for being authentic champions of recovery for the ‘hard to reach’ and underserved communities.
“Recovery - a noble journey, a gift of life, a gate way to abstinence and beyond, a connecting bridge to the authentic power within”. Sunray Sage