Ian Block founder and CEO of Recover had previously volunteered and then worked as a Practitioner in a drug rehabilitation setting. During this time he saw people supported and doing well in treatment but he also saw that for many people this was only part of their recovery journey. Once their drug and alcohol problems were sorted out other issues came to light. He often saw people return to the project in a worse state than when they left. Ian could see that most support was needed when the treatment had finished.
“I was aware that there was a real need for something more intensive, available every day, something not treatment-based but giving life skill and specific work related skills” Ian Block, Founder.
“Up-cycling Furniture & Lives” – Providing a safe, therapeutic, work focused environment where vulnerable adults are supported to transform unwanted furniture into desirable and saleable items of value.
To empower isolated and hard to reach vulnerable adults throughout Hertfordshire to acquire the skills they need to reintegrate with communities and find sustainable, satisfying and worthwhile employment.
Recover launched as a subsidiary of Change Grow Live (CGL), a national charity, in 2013 and since 2018 has been operating as fully independent, local charity which secures 50% of its income from trading. Other funding comes from grants and contracts with statutory organisations. It has a turnover in the region of £200,000.
As a small social enterprise Recover employs three people, however they support 50 to 60 individuals each year from a range of backgrounds such as prolific offenders, those with poor mental health and those in recovery from addictions. These individuals acquire new skills whilst up-cycling furniture to make high quality unique pieces of furniture which are sold from Recover’s workshop in Welwyn Garden City, at Alexandra Place and the Antiques and Vintage Market in St Albans.
The Difference Recover Makes
Recover is about much more than the acquisition of specialist skills. Their ethos is to take a holistic approach to improving people’s wellbeing and increasing self – esteem to ensure that they achieve sustained recovery, enabling them to lead independent lives, make positive choices and fulfil their potential.
It is estimate that 75% of the 50-60 participants who attend Recover each year can progress with no further treatment and 30% move into full-time employment and are no longer claiming benefits.
Some clients from Recover have offered the following endorsements of the service:
“I never believed I was capable of being truly happy until Recover. Now I work here and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and feel like the luckiest person in the world.” Client M.
“Recover has given me something productive and creative to focus on. I think it’s kept me out of trouble. And when I got my own place Recover sorted me out with all the items I needed. I really feel part of something good.” Client M
The outcomes for individuals result in significant savings to statutory services, such as: lower relapse rates, which results in reduced crime and anti-social behaviour; making the local community safer and reducing the cost of social services, policing and healthcare including mental health services.
Recover creates additional benefits to the community – by taking donations of unwanted furniture they reduce the volume of waste to landfill by average of 1 tonne per week. Recover also makes donations of furniture to assist vulnerable individuals, or other charities.