Acorn AcademyACORN Academy

The ACORN Academy provides quality training around drug and alcohol addiction for professionals, other organisations, and our own staff.

The Academy is recognised as a centre for learning by the National Open College Network (NOCN), and we are also able to develop bespoke training packages upon request. It is currently developing rapidly, with more courses and projects being created.

Our current courses:

Group facilitation

  • Bolton, funded for 48 learners.
  • Rochdale, funded for 75 learners.
  • Various one and two day training being delivered to other services.

Introduction to Counselling Concepts

10 week course currently being delivered in Burnley and Oldham.

Recovery Coaching and Peer Mentoring

This endorsed training programme has been running for four years, and has proved to be valuable for new clients and volunteers.

Apprentices Personal Development Programme (PDP)

Constructing the Future (CtF) is The Calico Group’s innovative apprenticeship scheme, delivered in partnership with CITB. Since 2010, CtF has employed over 150 apprentices. For a long time, it’s been  a major challenge for CtF to help young people make the transition from full-time education to starting and sustaining their apprenticeship. It is one of CtF’s key objectives to not only develop the technical skills of the apprentice, but to also develop their personal skills.

We have worked with CtF to deliver a short four-week personal development programme which focused on behaviour, self awareness, resilience and emotional intelligence. The pilot project was a huge success, with apprentice performance improving overnight. Going forward, it is planned to make this a mandatory element for all apprentices across The Calico Group.


Volunteering with ACORN is an exciting and rewarding opportunity.

We match compassionate and committed people with the service or patient care programme, helping clients to meet their recovery goals.

We have volunteers from all backgrounds, all of whom have been given a wonderful opportunity to use existing skills, develop new ones, meet new people, and truly make a difference to people’s lives.

Our volunteers are a committed team focussed on delivering an exceptional service across ACORN. Their contributions matter – each and every one helps to improve the lives of other clients, families and friends who are all affected by substance misuse.

Volunteers are an integral part of our work, and we rely on their dedication and compassion.