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Supporting the sector during COVID-19: Collective Voice re-launches “Making a Difference Together” Slack community

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The systems we work in are large and complex, with lots of different organisations, each with their own approach, tools and priorities. Too often it can feel like we are trapped within our corner of that system and that collaboration with colleagues and peers across the field is simply too hard. Yet we are all united by a single goal – we want to work together to bring about positive change for people who have drug or alcohol problems.

That’s why today we are relaunching the “Making a Difference Together” Slack community. Slack is a multi-function collaboration tool that brings together a community with a common purpose to share ideas, support and resources. You can take a virtual tour here.

Slack cuts through all those tricky boundaries and structures: it’s an open and non-hierarchical platform which is accessible to any interested party regardless of who employs them or the nature of their system vantage point. Making a Difference Together allows those with lived experience, frontline workers, service managers, commissioners and researchers to come together and forge shared ways forward on the issues that matter that most to us.

Slack enables you to easily message colleagues across the field. It enables you to create channels to discuss specific topics such as alcohol, peer-led recovery communities, mental health or procurement. It allows you to upload resources and guides. And best of all, the structure is shaped by you, the community members. So if you want to troubleshoot a particular issue you can call in support from across the field to do just that.

The COVID-19 crisis has galvanised our field like never before. Slack seems like the perfect tool to further this collaboration and innovation. Please join the community and share news of its relaunch. I would like to see this community flourish not just during the current emergency but well beyond it.

We have produced a plain English guide on how to use and get the most out of Slack.

Please remember that any interested party can join the community and that the channels in Slack are available for any member of the community to see (unless specifically designated at private) and sensitive details should not be shared. If you have any ideas on how we can get the most from Slack please drop me a line.

Join the community here!

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Collective Voice is the national charity working to improve England’s drug and alcohol treatment and recovery systems