Steps2Recovery was set up as a charity in 2010 with the aim of providing help for ex-offenders caught in the merry go round of short prison sentences as a result of drug and alcohol addiction and its consequences, often including homelessness. The only requirement for admission to S2R is the motivation and commitment to turn one’s life around by learning how to live happily while remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol.

Since July 2014 we have run a rolling 12-week abstinence-based day programme in Stoke Newington at our house provided by St Mungo’s. There are six beds for resident clients, both male and female and, in addition, we take up to six-day clients. On the 1st November 2022 Steps has relocated to a larger house in Notting Hill.

Our primary objective at S2R is to offer our clients treatment based on their need rather than their ability to access funding. There are numerous rehabs available for those with money but hardly any available for those with none. We at S2R believe that everyone should have the opportunity to turn their lives around, regardless of financial circumstance. We raise all our own funds privately without recourse to government funding – this means our clients can access treatment at ‘point of need’ rather than following weeks of community based funding assessments.

Steps2Recovery gives hope to people who are trapped in the nightmare of addiction, crime and short prison sentences – people who desperately want to change their lives and become fulfilled members of the community. As a result of our work individuals’ lives are improved, broken families and relationships are healed and the wider community is a safer place. Everybody benefits.

Our Programme

Steps2Recovery’s treatment programme includes group therapy, one-to-one counselling, Steps 1-3 of the 12 Step programme, workshops, lectures, alternative therapies, mentoring and group outings. As it’s an abstinence-based programme, regular drug and alcohol testing takes place to ensure the safety of the house.

Our programme is updated regularly to make certain it’s current and relevant to the needs of our clients. They are, in turn, required to take personal responsibility by regularly engaging in local community mutual aid meetings and, in doing so, creating their own support networks. On graduation from S2R we guarantee our clients abstinence based ‘move on’ accommodation and, in addition, offer them unlimited aftercare. They continue to be part of the Steps2Recovery family long after treatment completion.

What do we do?

Steps2Recovery is the UK’s only truly independent provider of treatment for ex-offenders with addiction issues. Our treatment model is unique: all Steps2Recovery’s trustees and highly qualified staff are in abstinence based recovery from addiction – many of us share experiences of the criminal justice system with our clients.

We run a 12 week abstinence-based treatment programme at our house in Stoke Newington. The Steps2Recovery house has six beds for residential clients (people who would otherwise be homeless) and, in addition, we work with up to six day clients.

Prison and addiction 

So many people, maybe someone you know, end up in prison because of their addiction or alcoholism. In fact, according to Government figures 55,000 prisoners reported having used drugs in the four weeks before starting their sentence – that’s around 60% of the entire prison population.

60% of them then go on to be re-convicted within months of release. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that people return so quickly to prison when you consider that many people are immediately homeless on leaving. It’s possible you remember the news story a couple of years ago of a women’s prison in Surrey issuing tents and sleeping bags to homeless prisoners on release. Nothing much has changed.

People leave prison with a government discharge grant for £46 (fixed since 1997) and face lengthy delays in getting the financial support they need to stand any chance at all of a stable start to their life outside.

So, if your only choice is to return to a hostel full of using addicts, to the crack house you lived in before prison or to sleep on the streets it’s not too difficult to understand why, for so many people, the revolving door of addiction and conviction is almost impossible to break.

At Steps2Recovery we break the cycle

Our ethos and treatment programme has genuinely remarkable results.

Over 50% of Steps2Recovery’s clients are still abstinent from drugs and alcohol six months following completing their treatment.

This compares with a Government figure (via the National Drug Treatment Monitoring Service) of only 7%.

And we’re not only effective, we’re cost-effective. The cost of keeping an addict in prison for 12 weeks is approximately £10,000. The average cost of rehab is in excess of £15,000

Treatment is delivered entirely free of charge at Steps2Recovery. It costs us £5,000 to fund a client through our 12-week treatment programme which we fund privately. When the programme is complete we guarantee abstinence-based move on accommodation to our clients via our relationships with community-based housing organisations.

What do we do that’s different and why are we so effective?

As explained, and this can’t be emphasised enough, we offer places to people based on need rather than their ability to pay – we fund every place ourselves and don’t depend on Government funding. This means that we can work with clients at the point they’re ready and motivated to make changes rather than when statutory services get around to assessing them. It also means that we have to raise every penny for the cost of treatment ourselves.

We know from our own experience that if people can access the help they need at exactly the point they need it, they have the very best chance of returning to a productive and fulfilling life.

Unlike many people, our clients can’t afford to pay for treatment and, without Steps2Recovery, their only option is to apply for Government funding. The funding process can take months of community-based assessments with no guarantees of success. It’s a demoralising process to have to go through and it’s no surprise that many people return to addiction, homelessness, criminal behaviour and that the seemingly inescapable cycle begins again.

At Steps2Recovery we’re committed to breaking this cycle.