Alcohol and Drugs Conference

East Ayrshire’s Alcohol and Drugs Partnership held its annual conference last week at the Park Hotel in Kilmarnock which looked at the social influences that contribute to problematic drug and alcohol use.

Neil Kerr, Chair of East Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership, opened the conference before introducing guest speaker Cash Carraway, a playwright, author and spoken word artist whose sell-out one-woman spoken word show ‘Refuge Woman’ won Editorial Innovation of the Year at The Drum Media Online Awards 2019. Cash's book ‘Skint Estate’ is a memoir about her life as a lone parent and the struggles she faced bringing up her daughter whilst living in a series of refuges after fleeing violence.

John McKendrick, a Professor in Social Justice at Glasgow Caledonian University then spoke to guests about poverty and inequalities. John provides support to Scottish local authorities as they rise to the challenge of meeting their statutory duties to eradicate child poverty in Scotland by 2030.

Workshops on addressing poverty and inequality and musical performances from Patchwork followed, before psychotherapist, consultant and trainer John McCormack gave a fascinating insight into the effect of trauma on behaviour and development and how we can support recovery. 

Lastly, Adrienne Hannah from the Scottish Drug Forum spoke about her work in the Harm Reduction and Sexual Health team, understanding the experiences of people actively using drugs, and inclusion and relationships.