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Posted on: 2nd October 2017

Annual Review 2016/17

We have come to the end of another busy, successful and challenging year.


The hard work and commitment of our staff and volunteers has paid off and we are delighted to have retained the main Essex contract and the Essex Appropriate Adult contract for a further seven and ve years respectively. Both contracts were secured in the face of fierce competition and winning them demonstrates the confidence that Essex’s Public Health Commissioners have in our services. There were plenty more achievements and successes too and we celebrate these on page 15. 

New Beginnings 

This year saw the launch of several new projects. From 1st April 2017, we commenced our AARCS contract (All Age Recovery Co-ordination Service).AARCS represents a new way of working and staff, volunteers and recovery champions are rising to the challenge with their characteristic desire to treat more people successfully on their road to recovery. So how are we doing this?

We are developing programmes for two distinct client groups through our new patient segmentation approach; those people who are really ready and willing to make changes, and those who need a safe service but who are not quite ready or willing to make changes YET.

We have long recognised that our services are not always easy to access. We cover wide geographical areas, some with poor transport links. And some clients experience psychological barriers to the idea of face to face treatments. So we have embraced and are encouraging the use of innovative online technology to allow our clients to access support where and when it suits them best.‘Breaking Free Online’ is one such tool we have adopted.

On pages 10 and 11 you can read about seven more New Beginnings. In particular, see our SWEAT project which targets the fast-growing trend in the use and abuse of steroids or ‘image and performance enhancement drugs’ (IPEDs). In April 2018, Open Road will host a major IPEDs conference – please contact us if you would like to attend.

Faces of Recovery 

We are passionate about what we do and the people featured in this Annual Review prove just how achievable recovery is, given the right support. Please look at our Faces of Recovery on pages 5 – 9 and read real-life stories from some very brave and remarkable people. Over 27 years Open Road has built up an impressive reputation by successfully helping not only individuals like these, but also their families and other dependants, making a really positive difference in people’s lives. Some of these stories might sound familiar because drug and alcohol addiction is classless and has no boundaries. Many of us can relate to the devastation caused to an ordinary person living an ordinary life who has been or is being affected by substance misuse.

Everybody Knows Someone

Our ‘Everybody knows Somebody’ campaign seeks to build on our success by reaching out to even more people. If you know someone who is having or has had challenges with their drug and/or alcohol use, please put them in touch with us and, who knows, next year they might be one of our “Faces of Recovery.”

Whilst we at Open Road are proud of what we do, we could do so much more. We could build more roads and journeys to recovery BUT our resources are limited and we need the help of grants, charitable trust funding, local communities and individual donors to help us make a difference.You can be part of that positive difference! Support us and those who access our services by making a donation at www. - it’s that easy. No matter what form your donation takes, it could save a life and it will definitely make a positive impact on someone’s quality of life. All donations large and small are always welcome and will keep us going longer and stronger.You can also watch our new ‘Everybody knows Somebody’ lm, launching in October 2017. 

Thank you 

Finally, a very big thank you to all our clients, staff, volunteers, recovery champions, funders and individual donors - without you Open Road would not be where
it is today. Our challenge for the coming year is to gain even more supporters and funders to help us do what we do best - supporting people on their journey through treatment to recovery. Help us to be the best we can be and remember, everybody knows somebody.