Our Rochdale-based supported accommodation project, Redwood House is celebrating its third anniversary – helping over 80 individuals successfully move away from offending behaviour and toward independent living.
Redwood House in Rochdale is our eight-bed project that supports individuals trapped in cycles of offending behaviour linked to addiction. Already abstinent prior to admission, our residents receive support to stay on track and maintain the progress they have made. We also give residents support to help change old behaviours and move away from chaotic lifestyles and offending.
Redwood House provides access to a holistic range of services giving residents the greatest opportunity to succeed following their stay. We provide training courses to help residents upskill and get back into education, employment, and independent living. Of the 75 clients that have moved on, 65 have gone on to secure training, voluntary work, paid employment, apprenticeships, or educational placements. Over a quarter move on to live independently either with family, friends or sustaining their own tenancy.
Currently, several residents are volunteering with the Rochdale-based homelessness service, Sanctuary Trust, working in the charity shop and helping deliver furniture to customers who have recently acquired tenancies. Another resident works at the Trust’s cafe where vulnerable individuals can get advice on support services in Rochdale. At Christmas, three Redwood residents also helped serve and deliver 120 Christmas dinners in partnership with Angie’s Angels CIC.
Our staff bring their own lived experiences to aid others facing similar challenges. Acorn counsellor Sean Horan uses his own experiences to build trust with the people he supports. Former Redwood House resident Phil calls his interactions with Sean a ‘big turning point’. Phil recalls, ‘I could open up to him [Sean], I felt I could trust him and that was a big turning point for me. Because I didn’t trust many people. I didn’t trust myself’.
Phil continues, ‘I got that little bit of hope because I was seeing it – people were staying clean. And I just thought ‘if they can do it, maybe I can do it’’. Since leaving Redwood House, Phil has remained drug and alcohol-free and has successfully secured employment within Acorn.
The Governments recent 10 years’ drug plan highlights the importance of stable accommodation such as Redwood house in reducing reoffending stating, ‘Accommodation, education and employment are vital to both support recovery from drug misuse and reduce reoffending. Without stable accommodation, prison leavers are almost 50% more likely to reoffend.’