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NEWS ROUNDUP: Covid teams deployed & remembering Len Gibson on VJ Day


VJ Day marked with memorial walk and covid teams have been encouraging people to get the vaccine. 

But first…

The drug problem in Middlesbrough has been described as a scourge as more people than ever across Teesside are dying from drug related deaths.

There are calls for the way addicts are treated to completely change, adopting a stance of empathy and compassion instead of treating them with contempt.

The CEO of the UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT), Eytan Alexander, said that there needs to be more help for people dealing with addiction.

He added: “People are dying and it is not necessary. Really, things need to be tackled two-fold.

“At UKAT we go into schools and we have a programme where we try to educate and look at what can happen and what is going on, there is that side of things.

“But on the other side, there are people in crisis who need services that they can access.

“What we had seen well before the pandemic was that we were full. We have close to 200 residential beds that can do detoxes.

“It’s difficult and if the support was there, people don’t have to die because each percentage that figure [drug-related deaths] goes up is people’s lives, so, therefore, something needs to be addressed.”

Remembering Len

On Sunday, people remembered war veteran Len Gibson during the VJ Day memorial walk for Prisoners of War.
Len, who endured forced labour and malnutrition as a Japanese POW, passed away last month, days before the re-launch of his book, A Wearside Lad in WWII.

The mammoth trek kicked off with fanfare at the cenotaph in Old Eldon Square before a bagpiper led the crowd down to the iconic Millennium Bridge and over the River Tyne.

The hike, held just weeks after the death of 101-year-old Len, also took in Souter Lighthouse before ending at Mowbray Park in Sunderland, the place of the great-grandfather's birth.

Covid staff deployed
People who have been double jabbed no longer need to self isolate if they come into close contact with a positive coronavirus case.
Jab response teams deployed across the region spent the weekend in Newcastle in an effort to bring down infection rates and answer questions about the vaccine.

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