Michelle Scamps: President of Joynt
Michele Scamps is one of a group of people who are actively doing something about the drug problems on the Highlands.
Granted, we would all like to believe that we don’t have a problem but that is not the reality.
We are not isolated from the woes of the world here on the Highlands.
Just under 12 months ago an association was formed in response to the community concerns about the issue of youth drug and alcohol use and abuse.
A Steering Committee was formed and is representative of people concerned with the issues and the association is also a recognised Community Drug Action Team under the auspices of the Premier’s Department.
The Joynt Youth Action Group came into being after two “Staying Alive” evenings that were attended by over 200 highlighted the community’s concern.
Under the guidance of Lisa Allen they developed a strong working relationship with local schools looking at ways in which to improve drug education and they have developed strong links with the Macarthur Drug and Alcohol Youth Project.
Michele, who has now taken on the role as president of Joynt, said, “we were the first community drug action team in NSW to be recognised by the Premier’s Department”.
They are encouraging communities and education facilitators to work together from the ground up.
They were concerned at the lack of a drug and alcohol councillor for over 12 months.
Essential Crossings is a detox and rehabilitation programme that is a unique residential and outreach programme that was developed in the Netherlands and is being set up in the highlands. Joynt also work closely with the local mental Health Councillor.
Michele and her committee at Joynt are looking at setting up a youth forum inviting ten students from each of the six local high schools to attend. This requires considerable funding and that is another major project for Joynt.
They have had open gardens, a dance at Burrawang, an exhibition at Sturt and the next fundraising venture is a “Tongue Lashing with Jean Kittson” which will be held at The Bowral Golf Club this Friday night at 7:30. The fundraiser includes a three-course dinner and an open bar and all proceeds will go to Joynt Youth Action thus helping the youth of the Wingecarribee.
Although the RSVP deadline has passed you can still make enquiries to Jane Kooros on 48623783.
They are aiming to raise $25,000 to cover the Youth Drug Forum.
Michele is also responsible for putting out a regular newsletter and is disturbed by the calls she gets from members of the community advising her of some of the problems in the local area like the young mother who could not get access to any counselling services for her daughter and the mother in Colo Vale disturbed about the number of used syringes found in the local park near the children’s play area.
Michele has made presentations to local service groups and they are only too happy to do so to help increase the awareness of the work they do to the community and also to generate interest from the service groups to help fund the forum which is planned for June next year.
“It takes courage to care” and this is the name of a programme that Ruth Wilson runs in tandem with a moving exhibition of the same name. Ruth takes “heroes”, people who have suffered and overcome, or who have made contributions to society and gets them to tell their story to groups of year 5 and up students thus training the students not only in interviewing skills but also letting them hear first hand how people face different problems.
Joynt also works hand in hand with The Family Drug Support Group that has been set up in the Southern Highlands by Karmen Hill.
There are many areas of involvement when it comes to drug and alcohol education and Michele and the members of Joynt are dedicated to raising the awareness of the community.
“There is no doubt that for and effective action to be taken in relationship to the long list of issues relating to drug and alcohol use and abuse that it must come from the whole community”.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.