Local health and social care provider calls for objects to include in Kensington Palace exhibition

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Social enterprise, Turning Point, is celebrating 60 years of supporting people with drug and alcohol or mental health issues and people with a learning disability.

The health and social care provider is calling for anyone who has worked with, or has been supported by the organisation to suggest an object to include in the exhibition ‘A History of Turning Point in 60 Objects’ which will take place in the summer.

Established by London philanthropist Barry Richards as the Helping Hand Organisation, in 1964, with the first service the Camberwell Alcohol Project, the organisation took the name Turning Point in 1979.

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It now supports over 171,000 people each year at its 283 services across the country.

Tiles created by Turning Point service users will be one of the objects on display at the exhibitionTiles created by Turning Point service users will be one of the objects on display at the exhibition
Tiles created by Turning Point service users will be one of the objects on display at the exhibition

Turning Point launched services in Oxfordshire in 2015 and provides comprehensive treatment and care for adults experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol.

There are currently four Turning Point hubs across Oxfordshire, in Oxford, Banbury, Didcot and Witney.

Andy Symons, senior operations manager at Turning Point, said:

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“For almost a decade, Turning Point has been supporting people in Oxfordshire to recover from drug and alcohol issues.

Turning Point will be 60 years old in 2024Turning Point will be 60 years old in 2024
Turning Point will be 60 years old in 2024

“Our experienced staff combine their expertise with a compassionate approach to helping every single person that comes to our services. We have seen so many people’s lives transformed, and we look forward to helping many more people in the future”.

One of the people supported by the Oxfordshire service is Pagan Watt, who says she was “killing herself” through her use of Ketamine, which resulted in her battling sepsis four times and issues with her bladder and kidneys.

She had been a client of Turning Point on and off for eight years.

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“I grew-up around addiction. My mother was addicted to cocaine, cannabis and alcohol. My siblings also used drugs,” said Pagan.

“I used Ketamine for 13 years, inhaling it for 10 years and injecting for 3 years. I lost my daughter to adoption as a result of it.

Last year, whilst in hospital with sepsis, pneumonia and TB, I told staff to take her to rehab. I didn’t want that lifestyle anymore. I wanted to be able to see my daughter.”

Today, Pagan, 30, hasn’t used ketamine for over a year. She is working as a peer mentor at the Oxfordshire service. Her goal is to help remove the stigma around drug problems and support those people struggling with it.

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Many more inspiring stories of people impacted by the work of Turning Point will be shared at a week-long exhibition featuring 60 objects at Kensington Palace, in June, to mark Turning Point’s 60th anniversary. The exhibition will also be displayed online.

Turning Point’s connection with the Royal Family goes back to the late princess Diana who was a patron from 1985 until 1996.

Each object represents the recovery journey of those who have been supported by Turning Point and others who have been impacted by the organisation in different ways.

They provide an accessible and vital way to learn and share stories of hope and inspiration, while also marking the significant societal changes during sixty years of Turning Point.

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The public are being asked to take part in this campaign, titled Turning Point 60: Finding hope in the most unexpected of places.

People can share their experience with Turning Point by submitting an object that reflects their story on the website www.tp60.co.uk.

By sharing their stories, people can make a positive impact by giving others the courage and belief that they too can change their lives for the better.

Furthermore, insights from all the stories will be used to improve services at Turning Point and also be shared with influencers and policy makers to help make positive societal change.

Julie Bass, chief executive at Turning Point, said:

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“Turning Point’s longevity speaks volumes for the level of service that every centre across the country provides to our clients.

“We would love to hear of the inspirational stories of the journeys that people have gone through over the last six decades – it is the reason why we continue to strive to be the best at what we do.

“The exhibition will be a highlight for everyone who has ever been associated with Turning Point.”

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