Violence Reduction Alliance

Following a competitive tender process led by Stoke-on-Trent County Council, drug and alcohol recovery charities WithYou and BAC O’Connor will continue to run the Community Drug and Alcohol Service (CDAS) to local people.

WithYou and BAC O’Connor already work together to offer a number of CDAS’ services across Stoke-on-Trent, including drug and alcohol recovery treatments delivered through the Stoke Recovery Service, employment support, and rough sleepers services.

Explaining how the Stoke Recovery Service, which WithYou and BAC O’Connor jointly deliver, has supported her alcohol recovery, Susan says:

“My husband died in March and when the dark nights started coming back, I thought ‘it’s time I went wherever he is’. I didn’t want to be on this earth, and I just drank and drank.

“I attend Stoke Recovery Service two days a week and I get all the help I need. Going to Stoke Recovery Service has changed how I feel about my life – okay, I’m an elderly lady now, but I still have things to give. I’ve still got a life to live.”

WithYou and BAC have been working together to support local people across Stoke-on-Trent for the last six years. From 1 April 2024, WithYou and BAC O’Connor will run all of CDAS’ services and will be strengthening the support available to better meet the needs of local people. This includes enhancing the work CDAS do in the community, delivering further education sessions in schools around early intervention and prevention sessions, and continuing to work with local rough sleeper and homelessness services, Brighter Futures and Concrete.

WithYou interim Chief Executive, Hayley Savage, said:

“Working closely with our clients and their families, local people and our partners across Stoke-on-Trent, we will build on the foundations created by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust (NSCHT), the current lead provider, to continually develop and improve the service for local communities.

“We are incredibly proud of the difference that our teams make to the lives of local people, and we’re delighted that we can both continue and strengthen this into the future.”

Once supported by CDAS herself, Celeste Mountford has been a recovery worker at CDAS for the last seven months. Describing her journey, Celeste says:

“CDAS is where my heart lies. I always wanted to give back to the place that helped me – it’s where my journey began, and I was hoping I could be an inspiration to others to show them recovery is possible.”

“Addiction was the darkest place I’ve ever been. I did everything and anything to get my heroin – I lost everything. I didn’t see a way out until I got help from CDAS. I got support everyday from a recovery worker: I wasn’t alone anymore.

“I am forever grateful to CDAS. They saved my life – they’ve given me a whole new life – and I can’t believe I have the chance to work with them now.”

Kendra Gray, Strategic Director at BAC O’Connor said:

“We know that everyone’s recovery journey is different, so we provide a full range of services to meet the varied needs of our clients. From developing Recast, a recovery project that combines clay and creativity with drug and alcohol recovery, to offering walk and talk groups, breakfast clubs and support groups, we’ve worked with our clients and partners to ensure that there’s something here to support everyone to achieve their goals.”

Councillor Lynn Watkins, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Stoke City Council said:

“This collective effort will undoubtedly enhance support for residents regarding alcohol and drug treatment services in our city. At the same time, this reflects our commitment to supporting the well-being of our residents and local communities. From recovery projects, breakfast clubs, and support groups, together, we will strive to empower local individuals to help lead lives of the highest value and ensure that they receive the best treatment throughout their journey.”

If you’re experiencing challenges with drugs or alcohol, visit CDAS’ website for more information:


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