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Saol Project

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Saol Project

Mission Statement
Saol is a community project focused on improving the lives of women affected by addiction and poverty

Vision Statement
Saol is working towards transforming the way in which Ireland responds to addiction and poverty.

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Click here to link to the BRIO video 'Wounded Healers Welcome Here'

Why BRIO Works Booklet         PEER Support guidelines     

Engagement Depth and Challenge: Peers becoming Peer Workers

Click on booklet title to download more BRIO information

Strengthening each other’s recovery, reducing each other’s recidivism,

supporting each other’s hope. 

Brio Newsletter December 2018:  Click on the image to download



Click here to go straight to the BRIO Launch


"It is comforting to be able to sit with someone that can have genuine empathy and truely understand where you are coming from and respect where you are in your journey.  This is why BRIO is important to me." Paula

BRIO is a two year education and training programme for women who have the dual issues of criminality and addiction. Building on initial recovery and recidivism interventions, BRIO will guide 12 women through a journey of inner awareness building and ‘outer’, skills based training so that they can become expert peer workers and trainers. They will join with professional staff in delivering (initially) programmes like Reduce the Use, Solas sa SAOL, IC2 and RecoverMe to women and men who themselves are struggling with drug and alcohol recovery and reducing their recidivism.

After 2 years, all participants will be competent trainers and, should they desire, active peer workers. They will also have completed a two-year ‘case management based set of 1-1 supports, so that key issues in their lives have been addressed. ‘Giving back’ through ‘peer work’ has been central to Fellowships for over 80 years and is a model that is supported in many fields in establishing and maintaining significant change. After 2 years, it is envisaged that BRIO will have cemented the participating women’s decision to stop any involvement in crime and aim for a drug-free lifestyle.
Funded by the Probation Service, the BRIO programme will have the following outcomes:
  • 12 months on-site experiential training in education, facilitation skills and delivery

  • 6 months process working developing the appropriate classroom or groups based content

  • Development of specific materials on the topics of recidivism and addiction recovery

  • Development of peer training resources, dvd, ebook, posters, programme – with manual, written up for other groups. All material will be social class and ethnic specific, women friendly, literacy friendly

  • A team of active and skilled peer educators

BRIO will work with women who have a  worked with Probation and/or the Prison Services as well as Addiction Services

The work in BRIO will be to help women to strengthen their plans to stay away from  re-offending, to support them in their continued efforts in keeping drug stability going and preparing for going even further in their journey towards a drug free lifestyle; and to move forward with more confidence in giving back to their community by becoming Peer Trainers who can work with others who have been on similar journeys.

No programme like BRIO exists in Ireland.  Similar programmes are usually focused on addiction recovery only and tend not to be for women only.

Research shows us that women, as ‘wounded healers’ best know the struggles of their own addiction and recovery, the pain of fractured relationships, the experience of     domestic violence and possible separation from children due to care issues. The strength of this knowledge and experience makes them ideal candidates to work others who are dealing with the same issues as part of their recovery journey.

The programme will  involve lots of group work and training that will be fun and easy to understand and  a bit challenging too!  But it will also involve a good bit of individual work in order to make sure that the individual problems that you are facing don’t get in the way of you being a brilliant peer worker. 

What will happen in BRIO?

There will be:        

A six week introduction to group work and peer education—getting to know each other, getting to know our  selves

A 12 months training group in SAOL: Building inner awareness, building outer skills and training in education and facilitation

Working with SAOL staff in co-delivering SAOL programmes, specifically:

6 months developing BRIO based content for working with other groups on the topics of recidivism and addiction recovery - in other words, creating a training manual of their own - which will include the development of peer training resources, posters, training programme and manual

Delivery of BRIO workshops:  In conjunction with other services and workers, BRIO Peer Workers will go out and co-facilitate in the delivery of addiction and justice-focused programmes for men and women.  they will be supervised and guided throughout this work, so that they can embed their learning and transition successfully into active peer workers and a fantastic resource for their community.

The commitment will require participants to be open to discuss and work on their personal journey.

All participants will have 1:1 support for addressing ongoing issues in their lives (either as a new key worker, or as support to their current key worker from services other than SAOL). 

And particpants will be asked to comiit to the whole programme - and that's 2 years (and that's before you start working as a peer worker!).

Participants will be welcomed and included as part of all other activities going on in SAOL. 

Please Note:  Participants will change if they embark on this course! 

Application Form:

Click here for a PDF version of the application form.  

Steering Committee:

SAOL  is very fortunate to have a steering committee to assist us in the development of this new initiative.  Members come from Probation, SAOL, community projects and education.  We hope to add service users to the committee in the near future.


Official Launch of BRIO

14th October 2016

All the gang celebrating together - congratulations to one and all!

Rose introduces the purpose and focus of BRIO, casting a spell on the audience!

"I decided to join BRIO because I really believe in peer led education around addiction, recidivism and recovery and I also believe that if more services support peer training that the Probation and Prison services might not have a revolving door system that it does seem to have.

I came to SAOL years ago and as much as it worked for some people, back then it didn't work so well for me.  This time around I was given more opportunities to learn about how to work in the community; I was given the chance to become a peer trainer and I grabbed it.  And I absolutely loved everything about it.  And now with BRIO I can actually gain the proper skills and training to go into the Probation and Prison Services and facilitate groups with such courses as 'Reduce the Use' and 'Solas sa SAOL', 'RecoverMe' and 'IC2'.  These courses have helped me to get my recovery from addiction and keep it, but, as I have already said, the peer training part is what's really important here.  

I know in my own journey that I found that coming and talking to someone that I knew had walked somewhat in my shoes  made a huge difference for my recovery.  I have been to projects where almost everyone that worked there had no personal history with addiction and Courts.  These people have a huge amount of knowledge around it but it is comforting to be able to sit with someone that can have genuine empathy and truely understand where you are coming from and respect where you are in your journey.  This is why BRIO is important to me".  Paula

Sabrina takes the room by storm!

Ailish Glennon, Senior Probation Officer and Regional Manager West/NthWest/Westmeath officially launches BRIO











Corina with Gary and Jane

Ailish, Gary, Tracy and Seanie

Listening to Cathleen

Cathleen - the essence of SAOL

Gary and cake

Rachel gets there first!  Cutting SAOL's 21st birthday cake - and yes, it was delicious!

Congratulations to BRIO on a very successful launch.

Ilikecake Ltd