Features / #BristolCharityAdvent

Bristol Charity Advent Calendar 2019, day 12: Addiction Recovery Agency

By lowie trevena, Wednesday Dec 11, 2019

Formed in 1987, Addiction Recovery Agency (ARA) supports people with alcohol, drug, gambling and mental health issues.

Working with around 4,200 people a year in Bristol and across the South West, it’s estimated that the charity has supported more than 70,000 people since its creation.


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ARA provides a range of services to people in a vulnerable position, such as gambling counselling services for adults and young people and working with the Ministry of Justice and HMP Bristol to resettle prisoners into appropriate private sector accommodation on release.

Clients at one of the houses recently grew sunflowers

The charity also works with Recovery Orientated Alcohol and Drugs Service (ROADS) to provide stable housing and helps people access treatment services, as well as running several services throughout Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Step Together, based in Somerset, ARA works in partnership with mental health charity Second Step to support for those in the county with the most complex needs.

ARA also run Gloucestershire Drug and Alcohol Service in partnership with Change Grow Live to support those in the area with alcohol, drug and mental health difficulties.

Additionally, 2019 has been a big year for the charity’s growth, expanding their gambling services to cover the whole of Wales.

Within Bristol, as well as providing housing and support services, ARA also work with The Arc Café – run by people in recovery from addiction and mental health problems.

Brian, a volunteer and now employee, at The Arc Cafe

“ARA’s purpose is to make life better,” says Lindsey Taylor, who works for the charity. “We believe passionately that people can change and recover.”

Find out more and support the charity at ww.recovery4all.co.uk

Read more: ‘It had been impossible to break through the cycle of addiction’

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