Background vision & context
BAC-IN was created in 2003 as a small service user/peer-led self-help support group. The group was founded by its current Service Director, Sohan Sahota and two peer colleagues - Gladstone Hibbert & 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.
There are a number of cultural barriers and significant cultural factors why many individuals from Black and Minority Ethnic communities seeking help are not accessing, engaging or completing treatment in mainstream services; the 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;
• Shortfall of culturally reflective peer led workforce;
• Lack of options for culturally focused pathways to personalised recovery;
• No recovery programs tailoring to cultural specificity, beliefs, and values.
Through the voices of service users BAC-IN have recognised that there is a need for BME people seeking recovery to have cultural identification, empathic understanding and an openness to explore broader recovery needs related to abstinence, culture, faith and spirituality.
BAC-IN offers an alternative to mainstream service provision which acknowledges diversity, values difference and embraces a choice of cultural, faith-based and spiritual perspectives to addiction recovery and rehabilitation.
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 has established a unique profile and forged strong links within BME communities and continue to raise awareness, challenge stigma and shame associated with substance misuse through community outreach, local radio, TV networks, newspapers and community magazines.
BAC-IN over the past 13 years have had a positive impact on many lives and played a special and distinct role in specialist service provision in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.