SALVATION ARMY TALK – Craig Farrell, Salvation Army Berwick – Colin Gould, Operations Manager.

START’ AOD (Alcohol and Other Drugs) Program
START = Salvo, Treatment, Assessment, Recovery, Therapeutic.

START is a weekday addictive behaviours program that aims to address a growing need within Berwick, Narre Warren, Hallam and surrounding areas that have seen an increase in the impact of drug and alcohol misuse. 



The program runs classes that focus on specific AOD concerns, a community lunch, provides access to Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous services, and advocates for community members who are in need of ongoing and more intensive clinical services. It also includes ‘12 step’ groups and information and teaching for parents of addicts.
The combination of individual counselling, groups, spiritual awareness, life skills training and staff role modelling are designed to encourage the participant to make significant life changing decisions. The program operates under a Harm Minimization framework whilst recognizing that for some participants the program is directed towards total abstinence. The program includes individual counselling and personal development, group therapy and recreation activities.
Working with youths at risk 
The Centre aims to create a place of safety and acceptance, focusing on reducing the harm that can impact the young people and children of this community, including gangs, drugs and petty crime. Having said that, anyone is welcome to participate in any of our programs and there are children and adults from several different cultural backgrounds represented.
Sports Program
Five basketball teams have been entered in normal competition – 3 boy’s teams and 2 girl’s teams, and 2 teams playing at representative level. After several years of hard work, all teams are consistently making grand finals and most are winning. Seven boys have been accepted into high school and college teams in the USA. The sports program aims to positively impact and influence the lives of young people through sport, irrespective of family, school or community circumstances. The youth learn discipline through skills training, team work through playing together and self-esteem through their success as individuals and as a group. Anyone with expertise in basketball would be welcomed to mentor the youth, especially the girl’s teams.
Welfare/Community Services
The centre offers various community services for people requesting assistance, such as food parcels, clothing, advocacy, Christmas toys for under privileged families, referrals for financial counselling, help with official documents such as birth certificates, passports, tertiary applications, resumes and job applications, etc. These services are not funded sothere is a reliance on donations. The centre at Berwick receives many requests from the public in general for food assistance.
Positive Lifestyle Program
This program is designed to enhance participant’s self-awareness, so that they will gain a better understanding of personal life skills. It consists of 10 one on one sessions covering Self-awareness, Anger, Depression, Stress, Loneliness, Grief and Loss, Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution, Assertiveness, Self Esteem and Goal Setting. The Courts like this program and often refer offenders this option as part of an alternative to prison (if they complete the course). The centre does not receive any funds to supply this service.
English Classes
English is taught to people from non-English speaking backgrounds. As well as English skills, classes also include the practical areas of job seeking (resumes, applications, interview skills and applying for real jobs), financial counselling (creating and managing a household budget, reading and understanding bills, etc, with some one on one follow up where necessary).
Homework group
The homework study group runs Monday to Thursday after school, during school terms and provides an environment for high school students to study, where they can have access to computers and the internet. There is some assistance available and tutors are sourced as required.
Thursday Night Kids Club
A kids and and youth club (Jnr Soldiers & Corps Cadets) is run on Thursday evenings at 7pm, and a meal is provided to participants.
Youth Group
On Friday evenings a youth program is run for High School aged children. It consists of games, outings, mentoring and life skills.