Gemma and Elise met back in 2008 when Gemma delivered some drugs and alcohol training to a group of young people Elise was working with at a pupil referral unit. Soon after, Elise joined Gemma working at Manchesters young peoples drugs and alcohol service. They quickly realised they both had the same passions, shared mutual friends and both had a great sense of energy and have remained the best of friends ever since.
Gemma has over 20 years experience working with young people, families and professionals in a range of capacities, including substance misuse services (Addiction, Lifeline), Manchester Youth Offending Team and within alternative educational settings for Manchester City Council. From all this experience Gemma has gained a massive insight into the issues and difficulties that a lot of young people face today and the risky situations they may place them selves in.
Gemma is a fully qualified drugs and alcohol counsellor, alongside being a fully qualified and experienced trainer and group work practitioner. She has delivered many training and educational programs to groups such as the NHS, various local authorities, Greater Manchester Police, Salford, Manchester and Liverpool youth services, Her Majesty’s prison service and other statutory and third sector youth providers, alongside participating in government advisor groups to develop new substance misuse and youth and community strategies.
Elise comes from a family of youth and community workers, so it is in her blood. Elise started volunteering at a young age and worked at festivals projects and events, youth organisations, voluntary sector, corporate businesses and council projects, which has given her a range of experiences in assessing and responding to identified needs, providing people of all ages with support and advice with day to day difficulties and enabling them to find solutions in overcoming barriers to their education, employment and other life issues as they arise. Elise is a fully qualified youth and community worker, mental health first aider and trained drugs and alcohol worker. With over 20 years experience of working in a variety of settings, she has had lots of positive experiences and met people who have helped influence ideas and widen her horizons.
W.E.L.Safe CIC is a not for profit organisation that provides confidential and non-judgemental information and support around issues such as drugs and alcohol, mental health and wellbeing and sexual health at festivals and events across the UK and Europe.
Our aim is to enable festival/party goers to stay safe in the night time economy and to offer support to people who may be experiencing problems as a result of their use of drugs and/or alcohol, as well as helping to reduce harm and risk taking behaviour for each individual and into the wider society. We work to a harm reduction model in drugs, alcohol, tobacco, NPS, sexual health, mental health and well-being.
We offer support to people who are attending events and may need a space to recuperate, relax and chat in confidential space away from the full impact of the event.
We rely on volunteers who have a passion for helping people. We have ongoing opportunities throughout the year at events and have delivered welfare at events such as - The Warehouse Project, The Albert Hall Manchester, Parklife, YNOT Festival, Fabric London, Outlook Festival, Dimensions, Hideout all in Croatia, Lost and Found in Malta and Snowbombing in Austria as well as some private events.
W.E.L.Safe delivers fun, interactive and educational sessions to young people around a host of social care topics such as substance misuse, sexual health, mental health and how to stay safe in the communities we live in. These sessions are bespoke to the needs of our target audience and can be amended to cover any specific issue in detail. If you are a youth and community group, school, college or university or any group that works with young people, please get in touch.
We also deliver training and other learning experiences to volunteers, parents and professionals. We can create bespoke training to suit your needs or the needs of your organisation, with the most up to date and relevant information around the issues affecting young people and vulnerable adults around substance misuse, mental health and sexual health.
We also deliver full training for all our volunteers in festival welfare, which can also be adapted for event and festival staff.
W.E.L.Safe also delivers accredited training Level 1 in Safeguarding and Substance Misuse, awarded by Open Awards