SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Courtney Abud

Blog Feed Post

Eight cans of lager for £6? Not good news for everyone.

Tuesday 12 November, 2013
A young Plymouth woman whose alcohol addiction led to a period of trouble with the police is coming clean about her own experiences to ensure others don’t follow suit.

Sarah Whitcher, 26, started drinking at the age of 18. Coupled with a troubled home life, she soon found herself bingeing and causing trouble – actions often forgotten by the next morning.

After checking into a rehabilitation centre two years ago, Sarah was left unsupported on release, with no family and more importantly, local support services to turn to; something she wants changed.

Working with Fixers, a charity which supports young people to ‘fix’ the future, Sarah has created a short film, serialising her experiences to raise awareness of the dangers which alcohol can present.


Today, Sarah understands that her problem with alcohol is due to an addiction which changes her personality and leaves her unable to control her intake – something exacerbated by cheap offers found in local shops.

She said: “Alcohol to me is an addiction. There’s always going to be a craving there. For me, drinking leads to crime.

“The problem with alcohol is that it’s cheap and easy to get hold of. It turns me into a nasty person. I get very aggressive and horrible towards people but when I’m not drinking, I’m down to earth and kind.”

Sarah took the decision to enter rehab two years ago after finding herself too often in trouble with the police. However, on leaving, she found it difficult to control her addiction with little support available to her.

She said: “I’d just go out and I couldn’t say no. I’d have 10 pints maybe more and just get plastered. Sometimes I’d end up arrested and I’d end up on charges of assault, not recalling what I’d done the night before.

“It was two years ago I decided to sort myself out. When I left rehab I got back to Plymouth but there was no support there for me. I wanted to stay sober but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I was put in a B&B next to a pub and an off licence.

“The problem with rehab is, once you’re out you’re on your own, there’s still an everyday struggle and all you have to help you is willpower. You think to yourself one drink won’t hurt, but it will, because one drink leads to another.

“There needs to be a lot more support for people that get out of rehab.
I have to work hard every day to keep myself sober because if I don’t, I know where it’s going to lead me.”

To get her message across, Sarah held a screening of her film (click here to view) which was attended by local decision-makers including local Police Crime Commissioner, Tony Hogg and supported by Shirley Sinclair of Harbour Drug and Alcohol Services.

Shirley said: “The fact is, we have a very big and increasing alcohol problem in Plymouth and we don’t have the funding to produce all the resources that we’d like to.

“So, if we can help Sarah speak to the people who are funding services that will only be to the good.”

Sarah hopes her Fixers project has a lasting impact and improves support services available to young people. Now receiving support and working hard, Sarah wants others to be able to do the same.

She said: “I feel like you shouldn’t have to go off the rails to get help that you need. I’m on a construction course and it helps me keep my mind occupied and I’m out of trouble when I’m not drinking.

“I look back at my past and I do regret what I’ve done. I feel bad generally towards the police because they were the main people that I targeted and I wish that I hadn’t.

“I hope the film will make people sit up and listen, that there is a problem with alcohol in Plymouth, a severe problem, and that they do need to sort it out before it’s too late.”

Fixers is charity which supports young people across the UK to take action and change things for the better, addressing any issue they feel strongly about.

How each Fixer tackles their chosen issue is up to them – as long as they benefit someone else.

The award-winning Fixers project has already supported over 10,000 young people to have an authentic voice in their community.

Each Fixer is supported to create the resources they need - such as films, websites or print work - to make their chosen project a success.

Now, thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Fixers aims to work with a further 18,000 young people over the next three years.


Photo attached. Captions:
1. Fixer Sarah Whitcher

For more information please contact Jatin Patel in the Fixers Communications Team by email [email protected] or phone 01962 810970.

There are lots more stories about young people doing great things on the Fixers website, Twitter and Facebook pages:
www.fixers.org.uk
www.twitter.com/FixersUK
www.facebook.com/FixersUK

Notes to editors:

• Fixers started in England in 2008. Now with a £7.2 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Fixers is extending into Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. To date, over 10,000 young people across the UK have become Fixers and created 1,100 projects.
• The Public Service Broadcasting Trust is a charity that brings together mainstream broadcasters, public and voluntary sector services, and viewers.
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
• Margo Horsley, Chief Executive of Fixers says: “Fixers started in 2008 as just an idea… an idea given a voice by over 9,000 young people over the past five years. They have reached thousands of people with their work, on a national stage as well as in and around where they live. They choose the full array of social and health issues facing society today and set about making their mark. Fixers are always courageous and their ideas can be challenging and life-changing, not just for themselves.”
• Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund UK Chair, says: “The Big Lottery Fund is extremely happy to be supporting Fixers to engage with more young people to change things for the better. Thousands of public-spirited young people across the UK are campaigning to make improvements in their own communities. By providing a platform to highlight their voluntary work and many achievements, Fixers demonstrates the positive contribution thousands of committed young people are making at a local level and challenges negative stereotypes.”


Media:


Distributed by http://www.pressat.co.uk/

Read the original blog entry...

Latest Stories
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Using serverless computing has a number of obvious benefits over traditional application infrastructure - you pay only for what you use, scale up or down immediately to match supply with demand, and avoid operating any server infrastructure at all. However, implementing maintainable and scalable applications using serverless computing services like AWS Lambda poses a number of challenges. The absence of long-lived, user-managed servers means that states cannot be maintained by the service. Lo...
With the new Kubernetes offering, ClearDATA solves one of the largest challenges in healthcare IT around time-to-deployment. Using ClearDATA's Automated Safeguards for Kubernetes, healthcare organizations have access to the container orchestration to dynamically deploy new containers on demand, monitor the health of each container for threats and seamlessly roll back faulty application updates to a previous version, avoid system-wide downtime and ensure secure continuous access to patient data.
With the rise of Docker, Kubernetes, and other container technologies, the growth of microservices has skyrocketed among dev teams looking to innovate on a faster release cycle. This has enabled teams to finally realize their DevOps goals to ship and iterate quickly in a continuous delivery model. Why containers are growing in popularity is no surprise — they’re extremely easy to spin up or down, but come with an unforeseen issue. However, without the right foresight, DevOps and IT teams may lo...
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leadin...
Platform9, the open-source-as-a-service company making cloud infrastructure easy, today announced the general availability of its Managed Kubernetes service, the industry's first infrastructure-agnostic, SaaS-managed offering. Unlike legacy software distribution models, Managed Kubernetes is deployed and managed entirely as a SaaS solution, across on-premises and public cloud infrastructure. The company also introduced Fission, a new, open source, serverless framework built on Kubernetes. These ...
Emil Sayegh is an early pioneer of cloud computing and is recognized as one of the industry's true veterans. A cloud visionary, he is credited with launching and leading the cloud computing and hosting businesses for HP, Rackspace, and Codero. Emil built the Rackspace cloud business while serving as the company's GM of the Cloud Computing Division. Earlier at Rackspace he served as VP of the Product Group and launched the company's private cloud and hosted exchange services. He later moved o...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, will discuss how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galer...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
Cloud-Native thinking and Serverless Computing are now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that pro...
Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It's the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it's particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the "it works on my machine" phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side - in isolated containers - resulting in better compute density. It's something that many developer...
Technology has changed tremendously in the last 20 years. From onion architectures to APIs to microservices to cloud and containers, the technology artifacts shipped by teams has changed. And that's not all - roles have changed too. Functional silos have been replaced by cross-functional teams, the skill sets people need to have has been redefined and the tools and approaches for how software is developed and delivered has transformed. When we move from highly defined rigid roles and systems to ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It's clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Th...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...