Welcome to Red Rose Recovery’s Annual Review for 2022/2023.
Red Rose Recovery was established as a charity in 2012 and has become nationally recognised as a pioneering organisation in developing recovery systems and creating opportunities for people affected by substance misuse, mental health and offending behaviours.
As a Lived Experience Recovery Organisation, our staff’s personal and relatable experience provides inspiration and hope to people who are struggling to find a way forward. We work with a wide range of partner organisations in many different settings to build accessible and inclusive pathways for personal development and recovery.
As we all continue to navigate through incredibly uncertain times, it is important to reflect on what sustains us. For Red Rose Recovery, it is the power of visible hope and transformation that allows us to connect and collaborate in enhancing people’s lives.
Our motivators are the inspirational individuals empowered and united by our charity. They inform our services, shape our future and are also part of the charities most exceptional recent chapter.
We have created significant growth and positive change within our charity throughout 2022/23, supporting more than 4,000 people across our now multiple yet complimentary peer support services and have officially opened three new community hubs in Lancaster, Preston and Blackburn with the invaluable support of our funders.
The charity has gained national recognition this year from the likes of the HSJ Awards for our mental health service, the Criminal Justice Alliance for our work within the criminal justice sector, the North West SME Growth and Innovation Awards for our commitment to upskilling people into employment and most humbly being named winners of the Kings Fund GSK Impact Award, a mark of excellence in the charity sector, designed to recognise the outstanding work of small and medium sized charities working to improve people’s health and wellbeing in the UK.
While this has been a pioneering period for the charity, we have been establishing a legacy for over a decade, celebrating our 10 year anniversary in November 2022. The work we do has only ever been made possible thanks to our passionate and committed staff, dedicated Board of Trustees and the incredible support and the generosity of our partners and funders – Thank you.
We are proud to share with you the outstanding achievements made by the charity in 2022 and the personal successes of the people and communities we serve in our latest annual review.
Managing Director, Red Rose Recovery
In 2022/2023, we’ve…
times with individuals in our communities
(COMPARED TO 21,063
Project and group sessions
(COMPARED TO 1,695
attendances at our groups, Projects & Events
(COMPARED TO 15,304
Outcomes for the Indivuduals working with us
(COMPARED TO 35,247
times with telephone calls & texts to service users
(COMPARED TO 5,758
times to other services & organisations
(COMPARED TO 2,649
Our work in engaging service users struggling with addiction in our communities, has saved up to £6 million, by reducing the burden on other related services.
Based on research into costings on the public purse in 2019, by The University of Sheffield and CFE Research, which showed the average cost savings of a service user receiving face to face support with addiction services is £90 per quarter.
We’ve seen some incredible outcomes from our work this year, with…
Individuals hitting their 5 Ways to Wellbeing this many times…
thousands of the people we work with achieving life-changing & meaningful hard outcomes, such as…
Reporting stopping, or a reduction in substance intake
supported with access to housing or independent living
Reporting improved access to family, such as through social care
Helped into employment or self-employment
Reducing contact and attendance with A&E and emergency services
Did you know that a visit to A&E costs on average £225, which increases to £985 for an inpatient short stay, and £4,974 for an inpatient long stay?
Our work in reducing contact with A&E alone, saved up to a quarter of a million pounds on the public purse throughout 2022/23.
Our volunteers contributed over
Hours of their time, providing peer support, group facilitation, helping out at community projects, and much more.
Using the minimum wage a baseline, at £9.50 per hour during 2022/23, our volunteers contributed over £47,500 into our communities.
At Red Rose Recovery, we believe in…
don’t just take our word for our impact…
I have struggled with alcohol addiction for the past 20 years, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized how much it had taken over my life. I had attempted to quit using willpower and had tried various programs, such as Inspire, Alcoholics Anonymous, and rehab, but I had always failed. It wasn’t until I found Red Rose that I began to see some real progress.
After self-referring to Red Rose, I was contacted by Emily almost immediately and introduced to the women’s zoom group hosted by Lynne. From my very first meeting, I felt a sense of connection with the other women in the group. We talk about everything, and even though we have our ups and downs, we always manage to support each other through it all. In fact, I missed the group so much one week that I joined a meeting I don’t usually attend, just to be back with everyone.
Red Rose has become my lifeline. It has given me the confidence to believe that I can overcome my addiction and in those difficult times, I know help is just a phone call away. Even though we are all very different women, we share a common goal of helping each other, and that has made all the difference for me. I have been sober now for 2 months, and I know that with the help and support of Red Rose, I have the strength to continue on this path.
Seven months ago, I was struggling with a severe alcohol addiction that had completely taken over my life. I thought I was going to hit rock bottom until I met Lisa, my recovery worker from Red Rose. She was by my side from the beginning and helped me overcome my addiction. Thanks to her, I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in 7 months.
It wasn’t easy at first, especially when my brother continued to drink in front of me. But Lisa was always there to support me and helped me build my confidence back up. I feel 100% better than when I started my journey to sobriety, and I owe it all to her.
Lisa went above and beyond to help me with any issues I had, including sorting out my Personal Independence Payment and getting Together Housing to quickly repair any damages in my home. She even visited me when I was bedridden and always answered my texts promptly, despite dealing with her own challenges.
I know I can count on Lisa to help me stay on the right path and prevent relapse. If you’re struggling with addiction, I highly recommend contacting Red Rose and asking for Lisa’s help. She is truly amazing and will find the time to support you on your journey towards a better future.
I have been working with a family member now for over a year, who’s loved one is in addiction. Her mental health was suffering as a result.
She couldn’t understand why he could not stop drinking and he was being verbally abusive to her when he was drinking. He continually asked her for money when he had spent all his on drink and made her feel guilty if she did not help him.
She could not do anything and could not enjoy anything as she was always worried about him. Her life revolved around him even though they didn’t live together. She had no time for herself, as all she was focused on was getting him help and making sure he was ok.
We started working with her by encouraging her to put boundaries in place that would help her try and get some of her time and life back.
One of the boundaries was not to answer the phone or let him in her house when he was drunk as this was causing her real distress.
She couldn’t understand why he was like this and why couldn’t he stop, and she always used to say, “if he cared for her, he would not drink anymore”.
We talked about addiction. How it was an illness and how no matter how much she tried to help him, nothing would change unless he wanted to make changes
Through working with her, she began to realise that she had no control over his addiction. That she could not control him. That he was the one responsible for his actions and no matter how many times she would make appointments for him that he didn’t attend, it was because he did not want to.
Going forward, she realised that he was the one who had to make the appointments and responsibility was on him to attend them.
She realised that she can only do so much as its out of her control, but she can be there and help him when he is sober and wanting the help.
She is learning to take one day at a time, trying to get her life back and enjoying the things that she wants to do without worrying about him, and that she is not responsible for his actions only her own.
She regularly attends the family groups to be with other families that are in similar situations. She now knows that she is not the only one going through this and takes strength from the group. She knows that within the group space, she can speak freely about her situation with like-minded people as they all help each other through their own difficulties.
We celebrated our 10 Year Anniversary…
Recognising all of those who have supported or in some way been a part of the organisation, and all the staff and volunteers, both past and present, for all their hard work and dedication, as we’ve built communities by believing in people, been a part of pioneering and helping to shape the lived experience movement, and supported and created opportunities for thousands of people along the way.
Recovery Infrastructure Organisation
Lancashire county council
Red Rose are commissioned by Lancashire County Council’s Public Health Team to deliver a Recovery Infrastructure Organisation (RIO).
For us this means that we:
- Demonstrate visible recovery, and the various routes to this.
- Build and maintain a vibrant recovery community in Lancashire.
- Provide groups, projects, community events and volunteering opportunities for people in recovery to participate in.
- Support the Lancashire User Forum to provide service users in Lancashire a voice and use this to influence service design, to celebrate recovery, to educate the community and to reduce stigma.
- To manage the Building Recovery in Communities (BRiC) fund to enable projects, for and/or supporting those in recovery to bid for public funds to kickstart their business.
In 2022-23 we had…
Sarah O'Mara, North Locality Team Leader
"This year, the North locality has gone from strength to strength, increasing its engagements and support offerings with 11 face-to-face groups running from our newly opened offices on Penny Street in the city centre. Our hub is a hive of activity with staff and volunteers always on hand to lend a listening ear and serve tea or coffee.
Our group offerings range from Risk of Relapse, 5 Ways to Wellbeing, Here and Now, Cooking on a Budget, and Wednesday Wellness, to groups specifically designed to increase connection and an individual's recovery community, such as Connection Lounge, Music Therapy, and our breakfast club, Tea and Toast. Our Women’s group attends weekly Pilates sessions, and our Men’s group activities change every week.
This year, the North has recruited three of its volunteers into paid employment, one of whom is our newly appointed Veterans Champion. Being a veteran of the armed forces himself, this position allows us to provide specialist support around the issues faced by our ex-servicemen and women.
Our Pride events this year were a huge hit in the community, and the North team threw themselves into both the parades and spreading the word of recovery from our stalls. We attended the National Recovery Walk alongside Walter Lyon House in Newcastle, which included not only a parade and mutual aid meetings but also dancing and crafts for all.
The North team celebrated Halloween and Christmas in the office with parties for all our volunteers and service users. One of our lead volunteers won the fancy dress competition with his take on a zombie nurse, and the team leader's Christmas elf outfit will go down in North history!
Outreach is something close to the hearts of the North team, and they have continued to attend sessions in the local homeless shelter and have given talks in both detoxes and rehabs. They have also continued to break down stigma with lived experience talks to student nurses and doctors. The LUF has played a significant role in this year's North calendar, with the team not only transporting beneficiaries to other localities but also facilitating four successful events across Lancaster and Morecambe."
Bev Webster, East Locality Team Leader
"We are delighted to report that we have had a successful year, having started several new groups. We are particularly proud to have welcomed two new Community Engagers who have progressed from service users to Lead Volunteers and then Staff members through the Red Rose program.
Two of our new groups, Crafting and Creative Writing, are led by individuals who have identified a need for purpose and support due to their mental health issues. We have between 10 and 15 people attending each week. Our most popular group is Snooker Loopy, which is held in partnership with John's Snooker Club, with around 30 people attending each week. This group provides a fun way for our service users to connect and engage in activities.
We have also launched a new boxing group, which runs twice a week and provides an excellent way for our clients to stay fit for free. In addition, we run a Women’s group at the Lancashire Women’s Centre, a Men’s group at our offices, and offer a range of other programs including Music for the Soul, Here and Now, Community Café, and Hope and Beyond.
We also had some other highlights this year. For example, we held a Hot Chocolate wellbeing afternoon, which had a turnout of 45 people. This event provided an opportunity for people to connect with each other and speak to our staff about any concerns they had. We also visited the Nelson Fire station to deliver a talk to the Princes Trust attendees about volunteering and job opportunities. Additionally, we supported Inspire by having a stall at their event, and attended Job Fairs at the Accrington Job Centre."
The Lancashire user forum
The Lancashire User Forum was originally set up in 2006 and is a county wide group for individuals, family, friends and carers who have been affected by addiction. In its infancy it was made up of a handful of service users supporting each other. Now the LUF is made up and led by service users supported by their friends, families and RRR locality workers. This gives the service users a voice in how recovery should be accessible and what is best practice. Through action and attraction it has now become the largest user forum in the UK that regularly attracts interest on an a national level from a diverse range of individuals and services who have visited one of our forums.
The Lancashire User Forum continues to draw huge crowds, seeing upwards of 200 people attending on multiple occasions throughout this year.
Our LUF events have been well attended this year. The Bacup event had a turnout of 191 people, while our most recent LUF in Oswaldtwistle had 217 attendees.”
Over 2022/2023, we’ve had a record…
People attending the Lancashire User Forum, from a wide range of backgrounds.
2022/23 saw us nominated for various awards, including…
GSK - King's Fund Award
Annual NW SME Growth & Innovation Awards 2022
Criminal Justice Alliance Awards
Building Recovery in Communities (Bric)
The Building Recovery in Communities (BRiC) Fund managed by Red Rose Recovery, is a community asset fund providing grants across the 12 district authorities of Lancashire to social enterprises, organisations and community projects supporting individuals and their families in recovery from substance misuse.
Awards of up to £4999 are available alongside Stepping Stone grants of £1000 to help a wide range of projects which have been inspired by the recovery community.
In 2022/23, there were…
Applications received for BRIC funding
Successful Applicants who passed the interview stages to receive their funding
£'s Given in funding to help start & support community projects & organisations
Stepping Stones provides funding of up to £1000 to support local projects which benefit the recovery and wider community.
The introduction of the funding was in response to feedback from members who felt being able to access smaller grants with a simplified process compared to the main BRiC programme, would really help projects which otherwise might not be able to get funding and provide access to a diverse range of peer led activities for the community.
In 2022/23, there were…
Applications received for Stepping Stones funding
Successful Applicants who passed the interview stages to receive their Stepping Stones funding
£'s Given in funding to help start & support community projects & organisations with Stepping Stones
Some of the stand out successful applicants this year included…
- Flamingo AF is our Alcohol-free events Brand.
- Provide fun opportunities and experiences for anyone who wants to give an alcohol-free event a go
- Create a space to empower people to feel confident to make new friendships after getting sober.
- Create a safe space that people can enjoy themselves without a pressure to drink.
- Absolutely, and we are gaining momentum.
- We aim to have one Alcohol-Free event every month, ranging from Sober raves, mindfulness events, creative workshops, and Market places. Not only the events, but we also have a community group on Facebook Flamingo AF.
- We provide an online haven for anyone who wants to make new sober friends, we have non official Flamingo AF meet ups which include, cold water dips, hiking, coffee dates. It’s a forum for Flamingos to mingle, meet, share any news, and surround themselves with positivity and inspiration.
- We also host our Monthly Check ins: Flamingo Friday Check in. These are meetings we provide on zoom, it’s an informal chat with snacks and drinks. We theme the talks each month. We open by discussing the theme and then open the room to other people to talk and share. We don’t offer any official advice; it’s just a space likeminded people can chat without judgement or fear.
- Without the BRIAC funding, it would have been impossible to provide a fun Launch party to 80 guests.
Reviewing our metrics on social media, BRIAC and Red Rose logo were seen by upwards 10k people.
Steve Downie was asking for funding to help continue an already existing project. His project is now established, and he wanted to grow it bigger to encompass all of Lancashire and spread the word of Recovery to everyone. It will assist people with any type of addiction including alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, porn, shopping, mobile phones etc. It will have the support off Sir Lyndsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons and he has already been involved in supporting SMART recovery Chorley. Steve already have strong links to Chorley Football Club as well ( he is a steward) and he has also raised awareness of our groups through them. Steve also has two social media accounts SMART Recovery Chorley FB group and SMART Recovery Chorley LinkedIn group.
Since receiving his funding Steve has given us this feedback:
“The project was a massive success. We now deliver 3 groups per week to over 100 individuals per month. We are well established now as a recovery group.
We also have approximately 480 members of SMART Recovery Chorley/Clayton Brook and Preston.”
“Without the help and support off BRiC funding, we wouldn’t be able to afford the current equipment. What you have done for SMART RECOVERY CHORLEY is fantastic and I am eternally grateful. I would like to go on record, to say, without the help and support off Rebecca Charlson, then this wouldn’t be possible. Her enthusiasm and encouragement for me and SMART is fantastic. She is an absolute credit to BRiC Funding and the Recovery Community, as a whole. She is an asset to your business.”
Phase 1 (Jan – April) Our aim is to:
- Create a weekly support group that uses music therapy to improve participants mental health, wellbeing, team building skills, and confidence.
- Raise awareness of the recovery/LUF community
- Study multiple instruments during sessions and give multi complex individuals access to the arts and clinical/music therapy.
- Work as a group ensemble to set realistic study, ensemble rehearsal and performance goals.
- Perform as a live ensemble together after three months of weekly music therapy sessions.
- Document outcomes and progression
Basic aims for phase 1 were to get the group up and running in one locality and then consolidate the group to be running smoothly. To do this we needed to promote the group within Red Rose until we had enough weekly participants to form a live ensemble band. I also applied to the BRIC fund through the charity “Therapy through music”, to receive a grant that allowed us to purchase the basic equipment needed to get this phase up and running. For most of this phase, we have had 7-10 participants attending the weekly music session, 5 of which formed the first Red Rose band. The band has since gone on to perform at the 10th anniversary bash, LUF central, and have recently been offered gigs outside of red rose at recovery themed events. There have been some unbelievable positive outcomes that the participants have been sharing and we have been documenting these throughout the phase. One of the participants told us his participation in the group helped him become abstinent, whilst another told us the group had saved his life.
The BRiC fund also gave us the opportunity to purchase our own equipment which in turn allows the project to achieve sustainability and keep running. We almost have all the equipment needed now to expand this program and reach our targets for phases 2 and 3.
- Phase 1 has been a real success and we already have 5 more people ready to form a second central based ensemble group. This would take the weekly participants for the session up to around 12-15. I am now working on phase 2 and hope to have this up and running within the next few weeks.
Mental Health Work
We are commissioned to deliver several Mental Health based contracts throughout Lancashire & South Cumbria, which includes, amongst others, MHICC, Long-Covid Support, Dual Diagnosis and Harm Reduction.
some brief updates from the Team Leaders….
Peer Support Worker Contract
The PSW contract was initiated in August 2022 and the East team now comprises 12 full-time workers, all of whom have lived experience of mental health. Our befriending service allows us to offer personalized support to clients during our visits. Referrals are received from six different teams within the East CMHT, and we have received a total of 340 referrals with diverse needs. We are proud of several of our accomplishments, including supporting some clients in receiving rehab for alcohol addiction, referring others to a bereavement counseling service, and assisting a client in regaining their job following a mental health breakdown. Additionally, four of our clients participated in the East Lancashire User Forum, and we established a creative writing group. One client was helped to relocate from a house to a bungalow that was better suited to their needs, and several others received counseling via Open Door. We also provided 119 referrals to different services, resulting in 9236 outcomes.
Mental Health Work in the North
The North's mental health team has employed four full-time Peer Support Workers, all of whom have lived experience and collaborate with the CMHT and NHS. These workers provide one-on-one support to individuals who may be struggling with their mental health, drawing on their own experiences to help them move forward. They attend appointments and groups with their beneficiaries, work through anxieties, and help them develop their skills within the community. The team has also taught individuals how to cook, increased their overall confidence, and advocated for them within other services. Additionally, there is a Post-Covid Mental Health Team operating in the Fylde area as well as Lancaster and Morecambe, which offers both individual and group support. The newly appointed Dual Diagnosis worker is currently providing one-on-one support to beneficiaries with co-occurring mental health and addiction issues, which has proven to be highly effective in supporting them within their appointments and working towards various goals.
Post Covid Contract
The Post Covid Contract was initiated in March 2022 and was initially for six months but was extended till December 2022, and then again for a further three months till March 2023. We are delighted that the contract has now been extended till March 2024. We have two part-time workers in this area, and we receive our referrals from the Long Covid NHS service. Currently, we are working with 23 clients in the East.
Our process for referrals involves contacting the referrer to gain a better understanding of the client and to discuss any potential risks. We then contact the client, arrange an initial engagement session, and develop a plan with them to ensure that we offer appropriate support. We maintain regular contact with the client either face-to-face or via phone/messages. Additionally, we run an online weekly support group for individuals experiencing Long Covid.
We have signposted our clients to various services, including Lancashire Women’s Centre, Open Door, and Inspire, among others.
Dual Diagnosis Contract
In the East, we are pleased to announce that we have recently appointed a dedicated Dual Diagnosis worker who began their role in December. As we have a significant number of clients with co-occurring mental health and addiction issues, this worker will provide invaluable support to them on a one-to-one basis. This worker will use their expertise to assess the individual's needs and work with them to develop an effective care plan that addresses their specific requirements.
The Dual Diagnosis worker will also serve as an advocate for system change, highlighting the challenges and barriers that individuals with co-occurring disorders face when seeking support. By collaborating with other services and stakeholders, the worker will work towards improving the overall provision of care and support for individuals with Dual Diagnosis in the East.
We are confident that this new addition to our team will help us continue to deliver high-quality, person-centred support to our clients, ensuring that they receive the necessary resources to improve their quality of life and wellbeing.
And a couple of case studies from our Mental Health work…
The client experienced a major nervous breakdown after his dismissal from from his job, where he worked for 12 years. He was unsure of the reason for his dismissal but believed it was unfair, and it coincided with the arrival of a new manager. Despite seeking help from his union, He felt dissatisfied with how his case was handled. He heavily relied on his elderly parents for support until he attempted suicide and was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He received excellent treatment at a Health Care Centre and was later referred to Red Rose Recovery for peer support and help with applying for benefits.
He applied for new style ESA with the help of Red Rose Recovery, which he was successful in receiving due to his previous work contributions. He expressed gratitude for the support provided.
Red Rose Recovery also assisted the individual in claiming PIP. However, despite a 2.5-hour telephone consultation, the claim was zero-pointed, which was inexplicable and disappointing for him.
He recently contacted Red Rose Recovery to share that he had been reinstated at Tesco’s without knowing the reason for his reinstatement. He would confirm with the union later. He was excited about his refresher training scheduled for Saturday and was hopeful that it would lead to 29.5 hours of work per week. This news brought positivity back into his life after a challenging year. He requested to remain on Red Rose Recovery’s books until he was sure about continuous employment.
The client, a young mother, was referred to Red Rose Recovery in October 2022 due to her long-standing mental health issues, particularly Bipolar with mania. At the time of referral, she was dealing with a one-week-old newborn and managing two dogs, making it challenging for her to establish a routine and maintain a tidy home. Despite the difficulties, she consistently engaged with her support worker and was always present for appointments.
Over the course of several months, her support worker helped her organize her home, provided support with her baby and dogs, and assisted her in returning to self-employment through her online crafts business. The individual reported feeling more motivated and recently obtained a stall at a local market twice a week.
The support worker established a positive rapport with her, and their communication was always open, which made it easier for the individual to make progress towards her goals. The support worker did mention that they wished they had more time to devote to helping her organise her home, but she hired a cleaner to assist with this issue.
Overall, her consistent engagement with her support worker and their open communication helped her make significant progress towards her goals. She gained confidence and took steps towards self-sufficiency, thanks to the support provided by Red Rose Recovery.
Peer Support Worker Contract
The client was referred to Red Rose Recovery – Peer Support with a request for assistance in dealing with social isolation, emotional support, and support for appointments as a non-English speaker. During the first meeting, communication was challenging due to the lack of a suitable interpreter, but we were able to use Google Translate and body language to overcome this. Despite being partially sighted and experiencing dental pain and other physical issues, the client and I were able to establish a rapport through humour and exaggerated hand movements.
As a former dental nurse, I was able to assist the client in finding an NHS dentist who was willing to use Google Translate to communicate. We worked together to develop a comprehensive dental treatment plan that included extractions, aftercare, and the fitting of a denture. Additionally, I helped the client access medical appointments and will continue to support her in accessing consultation appointments regarding the possibility of getting a false eye.
To aid in the client’s social isolation, I researched non-english support and friendship groups, and she is now participating in English speaking classes at College. Her finances are currently sufficient, and after being in the UK for three years, she is now applying for PIP.
While I feel that our support has been successful overall, I recognize that there were some challenges due to poor internet signal and my dyslexia, which at times made it difficult to communicate effectively using Google Translate. Nevertheless, working with this client has given me a better understanding of the challenges faced by non-English speaking clients and has increased my confidence in using tools like Google Translate, body language, humor, and diplomacy to communicate more effectively.
Digital Platforms & Social Media
With social media and and digital platforms playing such a huge role in today’s world, we have ensured that we keep ahead of the curve.
We’ve seen large increases in our numbers across the board, with over 13,300 people now following us on Social Media and reaching over a quarter of a million people throughout this last year with our content on Facebook & Twitter. This means that we have the largest following of any Lancashire-focused charity in the recovery sector.
We’ve kept up our innovation, retaining and improving offers such as our online groups and activities after the pandemic and are leading the way with our interactive calendar on the website, making it even easier for people to find us and explore what they can get involved in, to help their recovery.
The continuation of our quarterly newsletter allows us to highlight more regularly the ongoing work at the organisation, bringing to the forefront, the achievements of both the staff and some of the successive stories from the people we work with, and the introduction of a new blog has allowed for even more engaging content.
by the end of 2022/23, we had…
Followers across our social media platforms (FROM 7,579 IN 2020-21)
people with our content on social media
times with our content on facebook
Visitors on our website
a total of
Hits on our website
Service user and professionals installs of our Smartphone App
We expanded our digital portfolio and now cover…
Our quarterly newsletter continues to roll out, providing regular coverage and highlights of a selection of our activities throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria
And did we mention, we started a blog…
What is Changing Futures?
Nationally, Changing Futures is a government initiative led by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, who have allocated £64 million over the 3 years of the project. The aim is to improve outcomes for adults experiencing multiple disadvantages, as well as delivering long-term system change.
Throughout Lancashire, it will support people with multiple and complex needs to make lasting positive change – through multi agency, trauma informed and ACEs approaches facilitated by lived experience navigators, associate navigators and peer mentors.
Navigators use their lived-experience to build trust and confidence in the system, connecting beneficiaries to Services and advocating on their behalf.
Changing Futures is a learning pilot to inform future working and drive system change across the Lancashire footprint, with an emphasis on sharing our learning with partners.
Our (Red Rose Recovery’s) Role in Changing Futures
Red Rose Recovery’s role within Changing Futures is to provide a team of lived experience staff in both Central and East Lancashire, consisting of Navigators, Associate Navigators and Peer Mentors, supporting individuals with multiple disadvantage.
The team work intensively for up to 12 months with these ‘beneficiaries’ and seek to use a trauma informed, person-centred approach to gain the trust of people who usually feel that they have been let down by services and have a mis-trust or fear of them. The team can engage with the beneficiaries on a different level to most services.
We are pleased to report that the programme has been highly successful in effecting positive change in the lives of our beneficiaries. We have achieved outcomes that other services have struggled to attain over several years of working with the same individuals. Our success can be attributed to the lived experience approach taken by our navigators, and the focused and dedicated efforts that we make towards supporting our beneficiaries.
A Case Study – Domestic Violence & Probation
RG was referred to CF on 25th January 2022 by a support worker at the Salvation Army. She was a 38 year old, WB female. RG spent her time staying between the Salvation Army and her partners address. The partner’s property seemed clean and well maintained when staff visit however, there were often periods of reported alleged domestic violence and RG will be brought back to Salvation Army by police.
RG was open to Wish but her engagement was often sporadic due to her chaotic lifestyle and vulnerabilities. Staff had given RG a mobile phone and were able to communicate with her over the phone to try and safeguard her.
RG had a diagnoses of Anxiety and Depression and was prescribed Sertraline 40mg one tablet to be taken at night. RG often forget to take this medication. She was not working with any mental health services.
RG often used alcohol and amphetamines, mainly around her payment dates. She was also on a methadone prescription of 30ml but had not taken this for the past few months. In recent support meetings, RG discussed getting back her prescription as she felt that she has been struggling without it. A telephone appointment was made with her key worker at Inspire to discuss this.
It was suggested that RG was a victim of DV from her current partner, JM although suggestions had also been made that on occasion, she could also be the perpetrator of DV against JM.
Although RG was physically well at present, it was noted she has learning difficulties but no diagnosis. This often made her vulnerable to abuse from others and she appeared childlike.
The referee noted that RG was a very chaotic young lady who has experienced domestic violence / abuse from several partners and that she leans towards relationships that impact on her mental health and substance use. The referee requested the support of CF to provide additional support to RG and with support to safeguard her whist she is in relationships.
Initial enquiries with services revealed that RG was closed to Inspire and WISH due to lack of engagement. WISH also noted that physical violence was a concern. Following enquiries with the Salvation Army, RG’s whereabouts were unknown. Numerous attempts were made to find her and engage her. Following a missing persons report being submitted, RG was found at JM’s address. It was reported by the Salvation Army that her room there was going to be closed as she had advised she was intending to remain at her partners address.
Contact was finally made by CF with RG on 7th February 2022. She reported feeling low in mood and anxious. She requested support to engage with MH services. She disclosed she had come off her script. We asked how best to contact her and she advised she would ask her partner if we could visit her at his address.
Information was later obtained on 8th February 2022 that RG was due to appear in court on 10th Feb (charges unknown). We attended court on 10th Feb but the case had already been heard and no further information could be provided. Contact with Police was made for information. Various further attempts were made to contact RG without any joy.
RG finally made contact with her navigator on 7th March 2022. A transcript of which is below:
Hi, it’s me, Rachel. Lauren can you help me? Can you ring me tomorrow? Please he wants to chuck me out, I’ve got nowhere to go. He’s a c**t. Ring me tomorrow. He’s a b*****d, he wants to chuck me out and everything, He’s a c**t you hear me, he’s just a violent man. (Man in the background: you can go stay somewhere else) He’s a c**t. Can you ring me tomorrow please? Don’t shout at me! (Said as she was ending the call)
Contact was made with RG the following day in which she expressed a decline in her MH, stating she had twice been to hospital after self-harming but left prior to an assessment. JM could be heard in the background again stating he was drunk and the Police had been called. RG became very distressed, not wishing to stay at that address. Contact was made with Salvation Army asking if RG could return there to which they agreed.
On 10th February 2022 RG made a call to her navigator. She did not speak to the navigator but a male, suspected to be JM could be heard in the background. RG was heard to call that male a bully before the call was ended.
We attempted to find RG, visiting various addresses. She was eventually located at her partner’s house. JM answered the door with visible scratch marks to his cheek. He stated RG was there but could not come to the door and he would ask her to call us.
We managed to make f2f contact with RG on 11th March outside her partners address. She had visible injuries including a bruised eye, bust lip, marks to her neck and what appeared to be bruising to her foot. She was very quiet and visibly anxious. She showed her navigator lacerations to her arm which she advised where self-inflicted. She reported to drinking heavily. She advised she stays with JM as she fear being lonely.
The next few weeks were spent engaging RG, taking her to planned appts with substance misuse services and MH.
On 25th March 2022, RG contacted her navigator sounding distressed. We collected her from her partners address and took her to a place of safety. She disclosed that there had been numerous arguments and outbursts between the two following the use of substances and JM had made false claims to the Police. We asked her if she would prefer we source alternative accommodation for her which she agreed to. We returned her to her partners to collect belongings but whilst there, JM was abusive to us so we waited outside. RG then emerged saying she had changed her mind and was staying with JM.
On 28th March 2022, we received a VM from JM stating we had told RG to accuse him of rape. In the VM he made threats to harm us. RG could be heard asking for help in the background. We called Police who attended the address and removed RG, taking her to a hostel.
Police called back to advise that had seen no visible injuries to RG and she denied any DV. They advised they were happy for RG to return to JM’s address.
On 4th April 2022 we received a call from police stating they were with RG as she had called the police after her partner threw an ashtray at her head. Police asked if we could help her find emergency accommodation. We organized her move to the Salvation Army. RG was quite badly bruised around her torso and lower back and lifted her top enough to show these bruises. RG disclosed that her current partner had given her these bruises by kicking her. During this time RG mentioned several past incidents of violence with JM, including an incident where RG had a black eye and JM would not let her leave the house for a week in case someone saw it. RG also reports an incident where he hit her on the head with a rock. She advised she will not report these incidents as it is a mixture of not wanting JM to get in trouble and mistrust of police. RG returned to stay with JM a few days later.
Information was shared with partners and a MARRAC meeting was arranged for 14th March
CF was able to remove RG out of area and place her at a Refuge in Lancaster where she is now being supported with her Mental Health, substance misuse and social developments. RG continues to thrive and her now ex-partner is in custody which has ensured the community and she are safe from harm.
Training & Development
Our training package has developed significantly over the last year, and consisted of 8 core courses;
Introduction to ABCD & CHIME
Drug Awareness Training
Asset Based Community Development
Train the Trainer
Service User Involvement & Community Group Development
We’ve trained a record number of individuals throughout the year.
In 2022/23, we had….
individuals Completing various training courses such as Speaker Bootcamp, Drug Awareness Training, Asset Based Community Development, Service User Involvement & Community Group Development and more.
Roots Community is a newly convened forum advocating for recovery in the Blackburn-with-Darwen area. By bringing together individuals who have been affected by addiction alongside partner organisations in the recovery sector, the Community seeks to:
- empower and amplify the voices of people accessing services through the maxim ‘nothing about us without us’;
- build recovery capital through the creation of training, development, volunteering and employment opportunities;
- develop positive, practical solutions to the systemic challenges faced by Community members.
Roots Community is a sister organisation to the Lancashire User Forum, a pioneering collective which has grown since its inception in 2006 to become one of the largest forums of its kind in the UK.
Roots Community Team Leader
From its initial conception at a few planning meetings attended by approximately 20/30 people in the CVS building Blackburn in April/May of 22, Roots has grown exponentially. Its development has been led by local members of the recovery community and it continues to be a constant advocate of local people in recovery’s wants and needs. Now (mid-April), we are about to deliver our 11th monthly forum and membership and attendance at forums has grown consistently and steadily. Our last forum had at least 70 attendees, which is a small increase on February.
During the year, we’ve developed several successful initiatives. These include our community clean-ups, which have been a great opportunity for members to Connect, Take Notice and Give back to their community. Average attendance now stands at 10 people and sometimes is as many as 15. We travel around the BwD area and have done collaborative clean-ups with other community groups, including St Lukes church and the Crossfit 180 project. The clean-up also provides a great opportunity to speak to curious members of the public, which in turn reduces stigma and improves knowledge/awareness of services and recovery options locally.
Our good work has been recognised with additional funding being awarded for 2 new roles which will be filled by mid-May. This is a doubling of our original workforce. We also run two weekly drop-in sessions, one of which is outside of office hours at a potentially vulnerable time for those in early recovery (Friday 6-8pm) and the other during office hours. These provide an informal space for people in recovery to Connect and offer each other support whilst socialising. Alongside the above weekly activities, we have a weekly planning meeting for our members to plan the monthly forum and discuss the business of Roots.
Roots members are prominent regular attendees at numerous multi-agency meetings and are having valuable input into the delivery of services locally. Roots has been recognised in the wider North West as a good example of representing and conveying ‘service user voice’, and our guidance has been sought by operators in other areas. Roots members have been consulted by the NHS, Probation, Spark and other agencies.
We have had several of our members clearly and vocally benefit from being involved with Roots: we’ve supported people as they approached and completed detoxes, into paid employment whilst volunteering with us and have supported people into numerous training opportunities.
Roots continues to have a clear and lasting impact on the lives and recovery of BwD residents, which in turn reduces crime, health problems, and emotional damage to the wider community.
AP, a 34-year-old male, is a long-term resident of Blackburn with Darwen who has accessed multiple services within the district, such as substance misuse services, and homeless hostels, whilst also being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He became known to the Roots Community when he attended the initial consultation and planning meetings that were held during the formation of the forum. At the time, AP was residing in the local Tier 4 rehab, the “Thomas Project,” and was approaching the latter phase of his treatment there.
AP continued to attend Roots Forums, and as he progressed into the second stage of supported housing, he increased his attendance and became an ad-hoc volunteer for Roots. This included supporting the forum in a variety of activities such as meeting and greeting people, attending planning meetings, liaising with professionals, serving food and drinks at forums, sharing his lived experience publicly, and interviewing other lived experience shares.
He reports that he has grown in confidence as a direct result of working with Roots and felt positive when he received encouragement and praise from professionals and Roots attendees following his public speaking and sharing his lived experience. He also attended Speaker Bootcamp training provided by Red Rose Recovery, which, among other Roots activities, further improved his confidence and social skills.
AP has improved his network of social connections both personally and professionally, has more structure in his life, and feels his reliability has improved. He will be one year clean on the 2nd of February. He has attained part-time employment through volunteering at Bonum Court and has been a valuable asset there. He actively participates in 180 CrossFit in Darwen, the Shad Chefs ‘Man Hub’ and attends mutual aid meetings. He is now contributing financially and emotionally to the upbringing of his 2-year-old son.
AP has grown visibly and has demonstrated that with hard work, those previously considered a drain on public resources can become positive contributors to the wider community. In his own words, he states that ‘Roots Community has been a large part of his growth’.
Liaison & Diversion
Almost half of the people using probation services have a drug and/or alcohol misuse need (HMIP, 2021).
Substance use interventions are vital given that drug-related deaths have increased by 80% since 2012, and the harms from drug misuse cost £19.3 billion per year (DHSC, 2021)
Liaison & Diversion is funded by the NHS who have contracted us to employ Peer Support Workers to provide lived experience in Preston custody suite. This is to be able to relate to people coming through the criminal justice system with identified vulnerabilities. The Peer Support Workers build relationships with the individuals and empower, support, and signpost them into services that have been identified in the community.
Reconnect is new a sister service to Liaison & Diversion and we have been commissioned as a key part, to deliver this to 6 prisons: Preston, Lancaster, Kirkham, Wymott, Garth and Haverigg.
“We will be working with identified vulnerable prisoners, both pre and post release, for up to 6 months. We will be looking to identify unmet needs and refer and support the clients into other services, with the aim of preventing reoffending and supporting their return to the wider community.”
Glenn Ireland – Criminal Justice Operations Manager
Digital Skills Project
Our Digital Skills Project, in partnership with NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, started in December 2022.
The aim of the project is to support people in our communities to become digitally enabled, and give them the opportunity to develop skills to access online services, and be able to:
Book and keep track of GP appointments.
Manage their prescriptions.
Use the NHS App.
Manage their benefits.
Learn employability skills.
Increase digital communication.
To date, over 250 people have benefitted from the Digital Skills Project being delivered through:
Creating a bespoke training programme focused on developing digital skills to use the identified apps, delivered alongside our existing training offerings.
Utilising the many existing groups that Red Rose Recovery already delivers throughout Lancashire & South Cumbria, to our target audience, as drop-in delivery points.
Developing a new Digital Skills drop-in group, led by one of our Digital Champions.
Workshops at our Lancashire User Forums events.
1 to 1 training and support as required, both in person and remotely.
Development of 3 – 5 bitesize videos to improve knowledge of digital diversity.
we’ve built, forged & strengthened both new & existing partnerships…
Now more than ever, we recognise the importance of partnership working as we’ve developed and innovated new strategies to find new ways of working and delivering support to the most vulnerable in our communities.
a few more Success Stories & Testimonials…
I started out, like many people, experimenting with alcohol and other drugs. The difference with me was that right from the beginning any substance changed me, from someone who was pretty insecure, full of self-loathing and self-conscious to someone who just didn’t care. It wasn’t so much that using gave me confidence that was authentic, more that the numbness created, within me, a very convincing bravado. Instantly, I wanted more. From a young age, drugs and acquiring more drugs became top priority in my life. It affected my school life, in later years my work life, but most importantly it affected my relationships with others. Over time, I wreaked devastation around me, hurting those I loved more than any others.
I became a criminal, I became an incompetent mother. I ended up going to prison and my child was removed from my care.
I became so low and depressed that I attempted to take my own life, several times. I put myself into dangerous situations and was unable to protect myself from predators. As the years went on (over 40 years of active addiction) things got steadily worse. I had no hope, as in despair and prayed for death.
By chance, or a miracle some would say, I bumped into someone I had used with six months previously. She looked healthy, happy and confident. A new woman. I wanted to know how she did it and there began the recovery journey.
I started to go to mutual aid groups and signed up at the local drug and alcohol service. I had done this before, but this time I willingly admitted I needed help and accepted it. I did everything possible to get clean and stay clean.
After 12 weeks of being abstinent, I began volunteering as a Peer Mentor. I received a lot of training, support and my well being improved because it feels good to carry the candle of hope to another suffering addict. I then got a job at the local drug and alcohol service I had attended, on reception. I loved it, I was busy, I was useful and I was able to offer a smile and a kind word to all who walked through the door.
Then, I got the opportunity to work for red Rose Recovery (RRR), seconded to the Liaison & Diversion team at Blackpool Custody. (I can tell you, I still get a kick being able to freely walk around a police station!) The best part of this was being to directly support vulnerable people towards their own recovery journey. I received massive support from RRR and needed it too. This really boosted my confidence and my skillset. I again received a great training package, learned a lot and met some amazing people. After a time, an opportunity arose to join the NHS side of the job, still working for the Liaison and Diversion team but as a member of the NHS – with a bit of an increase in income too. I went for it, RRR supported me through the process – big thank you to them – and I was fortunate enough to be offered the post. And that’s where I am now. Is the story over? No, it is just the beginning.
I hope this brief synopsis of my story will inspire others to take their first step and begin their own adventure.
Can I call myself a champion? Darn right, I believe I’ve earned it!
I would like to pass a compliment on to your service please.
A father and his son were full of praise for Kirsty, one of your staff, and the relationship she has managed to build with the father.
The first Red Rose support person didn’t work out but I was really impressed at your willingness to persevere to get a good fit.
For my chap it has worked brilliantly. The words that I’ve written down that both father and son have used about Kirsty are; Lovely, Easy-going, Flexible, “I trust her”, Easy to get along with.
So, a big thank you to Red Rose and particularly Kirsty.
I have been an alcoholic for the past 20 years. Something that crept up on me gradually. I had a rough few years and used alcohol as a crutch, it took over my life and I couldn’t function. I managed periods of sobriety using will power. I have tried Inspire, Alcoholics Anonymous also stayed in rehab but have failed every time.
This time I self referred to Red Rose after being given a leaflet at the hospital. This was followed up by a phone call from Emily almost straight away and an introduction to the women’s zoom group hosted by Lynne. I was hooked after my first meeting. We talk about everything, how we are feeling now positives and negatives, we cry but most importantly we laugh too and we are there for each other. I recently didn’t attend for 2 weeks and missed the group so much I jumped on a meeting that I don’t usually, just to be back. I am also attending my group this evening.
Red Rose has become my life line. It has given me confidence that I can do it and in those down times help is just a phone call away. We are all very different women but with one important thing in common and we are there to help each other which in turn helps us. I have been sober now for 2 months and feel I have the help and strength to carry on.
Please can I just say how happy and impressed I am with your service so far!
I referred someone last week and within just over an hour they had been contacted and an appointment made. This is a very isolated lady who has now already seen one of your staff and will be going to a café with them this Monday.
more 2022/23 Highlights
We now employ over 100 people across Lancashire & South Cumbria, through a mixture of full time and part time roles.
Were nominated for several awards throughout the year, including winning the GSK King’s Fund Award.
Officially opened new Red Rose Recovery Hubs in both Preston and Lancaster.
Having been incorporated in 2012, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary in November.
Opened a new office in Blackburn with Darwen for our Changing Futures and Roots Community teams to work out of.
Launched a new community forum in Blackburn with Darwen called Roots Community.