Recovery Hub Ipswich
In Ipswich alone it’s estimated there are 700 Class A drug
users and 2180 binge drinkers. If you add to these the statistics regarding gambling,
gaming, food, shopping and sexual addictions the cost of these to the state (healthcare,
community, policing, education) is huge.
Simon Aalders and Daniel Farnham are passionate about making
change, through inclusion and community support, and together came up with the
idea to create a Recovery Hub based in the heart of the Ipswich Community. Simon
has had extensive experience in addiction recovery including leading the
Reducing the Strength campaign (reduced street drinking and disorder in Ipswich);
developing the Suffolk Prostitution Strategy 2006 – 2012 (removal of street
prostitution in Ipswich) and was the pioneer of Crossroads, a day treatment
centre in Ipswich that supports offenders into treatment and employment. Daniel
has established a treatment centre in another part of the UK, has been the Chief
Executive and registered manager of a drug recovery unit and is a qualified re-hab
The Recovery Hub will be a Community Hub that provides residential
accommodation to recovering addicts who require ongoing support with their issues
once they have completed an intensive rehabilitation programme. Key to the success of the Recovery Hub programme
is mutual aid and peer mentor principles. The Recovery Hub will be the focus of
recovery in Ipswich, establishing a community of people in the town to support each
other, building resilience, inspiring others to recovery, and to demonstrate that
people can, and do, recover from addiction and lead fulfilling lives.
As well as quality residential care and expert support, Recovery
Hub will also provide much needed community recreation space in Ipswich including
an alcohol free café, music venue, function suite and a community garden.
Thanks to the generosity of The East of England
Co-Operative, who agreed to grant a lease on a disused former pub at a
reasonable rent with the first year rent free, the business partnership needed
to raise funds to undertake renovations, purchase equipment, stock, furnishing,
IT as well as to provide some working capital during the renovation period.
“We approached a lot of funders to raise the finance needed
to make the Recovery Hub idea a reality and were successful with a few small grants,
but despite understanding and appreciating the social and health impact our
scheme would create, the statutory and large grant making bodies weren’t able
to provide the seed money we needed. Thankfully, Foundation East was prepared
to support the venture without the need for us to provide security, so long as
we had a solid business case and had a business support package with Social
Incubator East in place.
“We heard about Foundation East through our relationship with
The East of England Co-Operative.
The East of England Co-Operative are members of Foundation East. Working
with Foundation East to develop our application was really useful. Our loans manager,
Valerie Jarrett challenged our business plan, our thinking and our model to
help us firm up our application. Valerie’s ongoing support and guidance is still
helping us shape our business,” Simon advises.
Recovery Hub is currently employing 6 staff and within six
months expects to be employing the equivalent of 13 fulltime staff. Its social
impact goes far beyond creating employment though, as Simon explains. “This is
a unique model for a sustainable social franchise, with those going through the
hub becoming recovery assets in their own right. It’s different to other
recovery approaches because it’s set up to be part of, not separate to, the
community from the outset.”