Homeless charity to use student’s dissertation to help vulnerable people

Adalaine Bryson and Pete Glen
Adalaine Bryson and Pete Glen

The dissertation of a University of Dundee Community Learning and Development student could soon be used to help improve the lives of vulnerable drug users.

43-year-old Adalaine Bryson will collect her degree on Friday. In her final year, she explored the experiences and views of adults accessing a community hub to address their drug misuse. Adalaine chose to focus her research project on people receiving Methadone, as she believed their views needed to be heard.

During the research, she started to notice a trend with service users.

Adalaine said: “Almost all participants reported experiencing poor mental health with some participants suggesting that they had been sent to the community hub for support.”

Adalaine found there was a lack of mental health care to support these people. Some of the participants reported that methadone maintenance treatment was not the answer and that they needed psychiatric help before they had any chance of recovery.

She said: “These people are being stigmatised and discriminated against and live in fear that one false move would get them suspended from collecting their prescription, or moved to another chemist. Some of them are being banned from their chemist and made to go to Perth.”

At the University’s annual Community Learning Symposium, Adalaine presented her findings which caught the attention of Homeless Action Scotland. The charity is now looking over her dissertation and is in the early stages of planning to take it forward.

Community Learning and Development lecturer at the University, Pete Glen, said:n“Adalaine has been able to carry out research which identifies and clarifies complex social issues and gaps, this can make a difference for individuals and communities and hopefully Homeless Action Scotland can also take this forward to improve lives.

“This study and her academic work has confirmed that Adalaine has and will make the most of her degree. Although she says this has been the hardest year of her life, we hope this is not the last we see of Adalaine.”

One person who will be beaming with pride when she collects her degree will be her son Jamie. He encouraged Adalaine to apply for university. He also graced the Caird Hall stage in 2014 when he collected his Maths and Physics degree. It will be his turn to cheer his mum on.

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