Inspiring Leader 2017 – joint winner Suzi Thomas, SIAS

Written by Cassie Simpson on .

Inspiring Leader Suzi Thomas SIASSuzi Thomas has worked with addicted persons in Solihull and their families for nearly 10 years. She is a team manager at Solihull Integrated Addictions Service (SIAS) – a multi-disciplinary partnership of organisations working together to offer crucial addiction support services.
Suzi’s role requires good working relationships between numerous local health and social care agencies and specialised teams but she ensures that a comprehensive service is provided and that there aren’t any gaps that clients could fall through.


Photo caption: Suzi Thomas, SIAS (right) with Helen Kelly, Solihull Together Programme Director

Suzi strives to ensure SIAS is providing the best services for the people of Solihull and is very proud of the options available including Clarity House detox and rehabilitation unit which provides the best 24 hour care and recovery packages in the local area. “The service is unique in its approach and we are really lucky to have this facility in Solihull,” says Suzi. “Being on-site means we are able to run the service with minimal cost to the taxpayer, making the most of our resources and we can support more people. It is particularly powerful to offer peer support from people who have been through treatment and into recovery themselves.”

An important part of the team’s work is around education and prevention. Urban Heard is another element of the SIAS partnership who train young people as peer project managers to talk about the dangers of substance misuse with other young people in a way that means something to them. Service options include tailor-made treatment packages, prescribing options, structured group work programmes, drop-in support, specialist family support and education, recovery support and reintegration into the community, volunteering opportunities, links to local agencies such as education and training, specialist physical health assessments and housing support.

In a period of economic uncertainty, Suzi has shown commitment to her team – making the most of each individual’s strengths and backgrounds. Her door is always open and she makes time to build relationships with clients and colleagues. Her presence is always reassuring and uplifting.
Suzi said: “It was a shock to be nominated but of course it was lovely to feel appreciated and a real honour to win. The whole team works together towards the same goals so I feel that I have accepted the award for the team.”

Reflecting on the awards ceremony, she said: “It was a good opportunity to network with other nominees who are all doing great work for the people of Solihull. Winning this award has been a chance to share some of the many success stories – we always say there is hope for recovery from any form of addiction, and SIAS are here to help.”

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