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Recovery Hub Ipswich

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 practitioner.

The Recovery Hub Ipswich is 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 also provides 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 only 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. Their ongoing support and guidance is still helping us shape our business,” Simon advises.

Recovery Hub's social impact goes far beyond creating employment, 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.”