The Forward Trust started life in 1991 and was previously known as RAPt. It specialises in drug and alcohol support and recovery services in both community and prison settings but also delivers employment and mental health services. Mike Trace, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We are pleased to be part of Collective Voice, especially at this pivotal, challenging time of the global pandemic when innovation and joined-up thinking is particularly vital. Forward is committed to sharing knowledge and experience widely in order to support discussion and progress and thus achieve transformational change in the lives of as many people as possible. I am proud of how our staff have risen to the challenge during Covid-19 and coped with changing our models of service delivery and administration almost overnight. I hope to be able to share examples of the creativity and resilience out on the frontline, as well as to learn from the work other Collective Voice members have done, in order to better empower people to break the often interlinked cycles of crime and addiction to move forward with their lives.”
WDP, which is well regarded for the quality of its services across London, North West, South East and East of England, has been around for over 30 years. Known for its innovative and dynamic approach, WDP provides high quality care to those who are affected by substance misuse, focusing on improving the health, wellbeing and social integration of their service users. Yasmin Batliwala, Chair, said:
“We are delighted to have joined colleagues in the sector in order to provide a strong unifying voice to support the cause and share best practice. There is so much more we can achieve together than we can do alone. The resilience of the entire sector post-pandemic is of concern, and we need to work together – as well as with partners in government – to ensure that in 2021 we not only have an Addictions Strategy which is fit for purpose but that the future of all such services remain secure.”
Paul Townsley, chair of Collective Voice, said:
“Collective Voice and myself believe that by working together our service achieve much more for our beneficiaries. Covid-19 has shown that real collaboration is possible, but it has also revealed the fault lines of inequality in our society and the communities we serve. The effects of the pandemic have left us at a crossroads. I therefore look forward to welcoming both The Forward Trust and WDP at this important time. Both charities bring extensive history and experience to our alliance – Collective Voice will be the stronger for it.”
Read our submission The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has issued a call for evidence around drug use in ethnic minority groups.
National Audit Office report highlights need to build upon the Drug Strategy and develop a long term, funded plan for full delivery.
Read the report “The government will only achieve value for money if it builds on the initial momentum of the new strategy and develops a