who are also directors under company law, served during the year and up to the date of this report.
Senior Leadership Team:
Vicki Beere – Chief Executive
Caroline Britton – Director of Operations
Akram Ahmed – Director of Finance
Shaun Rafferty – Director of People
Registered office and operational address:
11/19 Temple Street
Lloyds Bank Ltd.
Leeds, LS1 1SB
Unity Trust Bank
4 Oozels Square
Birmingham, B1 2HB
Charity number – 1173006
Company number – 3430925
2 Rutland Park
Sheffield, S10 2PD
Our Outcomes and Impact
This report refers to our delivery, achievements and challenges in 2022 and 2023. Last year when I looked forward, we identified what a challenging period we were heading to in terms of the cost-of-living crisis.
We remain in that crisis; the people who use our services, and their communities are still facing significant struggles. Despite health and social care remaining in a precarious position, the initial funding from the investment in the drugs strategy has somewhat sheltered us.
We are absolutely delighted that we are now back part of the treatment system in Sheffield (as of 1st August 2023) and have an enhanced delivery model in Bradford (as of 1st April 2023) with our partners Humankind. This work developing partnerships, conducting needs assessments and nurturing relationships has really paid off for Project 6 and those who use our services. In addition, we are delighted to have developed a new recovery strategy, with significant investment into volunteers and recovery coaching, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Henry Smith Foundation.
This has been a year of consolidating our position as both a harm reduction/recovery provider and a creative organisation, helping to transform health and care by delivering innovative partnerships in prevention/early intervention and recovery spaces. We have secured new income, including a women’s service in Sheffield and a hospital peer mentoring project, as well as continued funding for our Fresh Start, ARC and Sober Social services. Most of all, we have continued to support and provide opportunities for some of the most vulnerable and stigmatised people in our community to make and sustain positive change in their wellbeing.
Our achievements and challenges this year are:
- We will put the needs of people and communities who use our services at the heart of our work
We have continued to support a fantastic 9250 individuals with 81% of people making sustained, positive changes to their wellbeing. Our new recovery strategy and associated funding means that there is light at the end of the tunnel, with significantly enhanced pathways into training and employment for the people who use our services. We also look forward to developing an innovative, creative and accessible harm reduction service across Keighley and Bradford as part of our New Vision Bradford partnership with Humankind.
2. We will position Project 6 as experts in the field
We have worked hard this year to develop our communications strategy and challenge stigma and stereotypes. The first series of our new podcast was released and focused on stigma. This received a positive reception and featured conversations with prominent voices including Professor Julia Buxton, Tim Renshaw from the Archer Project and Dr David Patton around stigma and how to challenge it. In this year we were nominated for several awards for our MAST project – winning the regional award for the NHS parliamentary awards and nominated for the Health Service Journals awards for multi-agency working supporting hospital discharges. Finally, we committed to the planning and marketing of our first conference in several years. This has been a massive success and has engaged new audiences, sparked debate around issues affecting our sector and offered alternative visions for the future of services.
3. We will strengthen and improve our internal systems and processes in order to provide the best possible services
As part of our ongoing drive to become a more sustainable organisation, the Business Improvement Team focused on reducing our energy usage. We will focus more on our response to the climate emergency in this coming year. During this period, following our second merger, we commissioned a safeguarding audit, delivered by Taye Training. We have worked on their recommendations, including setting up a trustee-led safeguarding committee and investing in training and systems to replace the significant training once offered by local safeguarding boards. Our internal systems and recording have considerably improved with the development of contemporaneous finance and performance dashboards and a substantial People data set, scrutinised by our Board Sub-Committees.
4. We will become a learning organisation
We refreshed Project 6’s focus on workforce development. Our Changing Futures and Training offer have become an established part of the wider Sheffield workforce development strategy, as well as providing high-quality training internally to the organisation. A significant amount of internal training was commissioned and delivered, including Harm Reduction, Drug and Alcohol Awareness, neurodiversity and Safeguarding.
We developed a comprehensive wellbeing strategy for staff, which is constantly reviewed as part of our response to the cost-of-living crisis.
5. We will provide a flexible funding structure
As outlined above, we have been extremely successful in developing new projects and income from the new drugs strategy investment. Our income this year is £2,524,370, a growth from £1,946,462 in 2022, and should be stable for the next 2 years, depending on the outcomes of any national funding reviews. We have worked hard to improve our finance reporting and now have access to monthly management accounts. We have plans to generate income this year to develop new systems for our central services as well as capital to invest in our premises.
Joanne Morley, Chair of Trustees
Having joined the board as a trustee during Covid in 2021, I took over the position of Chair from Quentin Marris at the start of this year. So, before I begin this introduction, I would just to like to thank Quentin for all the time, effort and support he has given to Project 6 both as Chair over the last three years and as a trustee and supporter of the organisation. He has used his strategic and clinical knowledge to provide strong leadership of the board in a time of financial and health uncertainty.
2022/2023 has been a year of change, not only for Project 6, but the whole of the UK as well. In the last few years, the Covid pandemic posed many logistical challenges, but as we progressed through 2022, we were able to get back to seeing the people who use our services and provide more and more face-to-face support. However, just as restrictions began to reduce, inflation began to increase and we were faced with the cost-of-living crisis. This affected both those who work for Project 6 as well as individuals and families accessing our services. In addition, a fire in the Coach House close to our Sheffield property, in which thankfully no one was hurt, meant further changes to delivery of our services.
We’ve had another set of challenges to address, but we’ve also had so many opportunities. Since the start of the year, the leadership and operational teams have bid for, and won, a range of grants and projects which has provided us with a more stable financial position than we experienced during Covid. This means the dip in reserves we had in 2021/22 remained brief and are now back at full strength as the board continues to keep a strong focus on ensuring Project 6 remains financially sound.
As a board we have agreed to ensure there is a focus, over the next two years, to roll out and stabilise around the substance use contracts in Bradford and Sheffield. This means teams can be focused on delivering, and our finances can remain in a good position. That doesn’t mean that nothing is happening; strategically we are planning for 2025 onwards. There will be a general election at some point in or before 2024, and it’s important that we work with Vicki and her team to agree our plans for when some key contracts come to an end after 2025.
2023 has also seen us continue to review the governance of the board with a new set of Terms of Reference, and we have added the position of Vice Chair, taken up by Kes Lewis, who has been a trustee for several years. This ensures that we have someone who can lead board meetings if for any reason I am unavailable, but more importantly provides a good challenge and sounding board for the Chair. In addition, we have made the decision to increase the number of trustees during 2023 to ensure that we have a fully inclusive and diverse board. We have been talking to some fantastic individuals who I hope will agree to become trustees in the near future.
We are committed to Project 6’s values and we constantly review how we are operating as a board against these, as well as against similar organisations. We will be undertaking an additional review this year on how we are performing, to ensure that we continue to be an effective board with Project 6, its values and mission at the heart of our decision making.
I know that Project 6 changes the lives of hundreds of people in the communities we serve each and every year, and we couldn’t do it without the amazing team at Project 6. They have ridden the waves of Covid, the cost-of-living crisis and the fire to make sure that support is always there for the people who need it most. I would like to thank the tireless efforts of our CEO Vicki, the senior and operational leadership teams, employees, and volunteers. They are what make Project 6 the strong and thriving organisation that it is.
To provide opportunities and choices for individuals, families and communities to create meaningful and sustainable change in their wellbeing.
We work with people with drug and alcohol problems and experiencing multiple disadvantage. These issues don’t just impact on the individual, they also affect families and communities.
To achieve this, we deliver services in 4 key areas:
- Support Services
- Harm Reduction
Our values are integral to how we do business and underpin every piece of work we undertake. Through them we aim to deliver compassionate and inclusive services as well as creating a great place to work where all members of Project 6 feel supported to achieve their potential.
- We instil hope
- We create safe caring spaces where people can flourish
- We trust each other
- We welcome difference and treat people equally, honestly and fairly
- We recognise and stand up for people’s rights
Everyone can change
- We help people to bring about positive change in their lives
- We don’t give up when things are difficult
- We help people to help themselves
We care about doing things well
- We say what we mean and we listen to what people tell us
- If we say we are going to do something we do it
- We are always working to do things better
Headline Achievements 2022
Through a turbulent few years of Covid and the health and political legacy which this has left us, we have continued to offer people a blended offer of support. Though the majority of our work is completed face-to-face, our digital support expands our offer to help us meet people’s needs.
Some of our achievements this year include:
- 9250 individuals received services, above our contracted target of 8217
- 81% of individuals demonstrated positive changes in one or more of our core outcome areas
- At Beat-Herder festival we provided support for over 199 individuals who visited our onsite yurt, completed 1000 outreach interventions and distributed over 600 party packs with harm reduction advice to festival goers
- The MAST Service was awarded an NHS Parliamentary Award for the North East & Yorkshire for Excellence in Emergency Care and was nominated and shortlisted for the Innovative Project @ Technology & Relationships Improving Flow at the 2022 HJS Awards
- Building a successful partnership bid with Humankind, Bridge & Create Strength to deliver the new substance use contract in Bradford & Keighley, New Vision Bradford
- The development of the VCS Links Service, a community, non-clinical service with the aim to reduce the urgent care use of identified individuals with complex social issues
- The creation of the LERO (Lived Experience Recovery Organisation) in Doncaster, an organisation of people with lived experience committed to recovery, focusing on personal autonomy
- Continued funding of Fresh Start in Sheffield and planned an evidence-based evaluation of the key impacts of the service in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University
- Continuing to support staff to cope through a range of wellbeing initiatives and staff support schemes
Our Support Services work within primary and secondary care services and provide open door access across the whole community. They offer crisis interventions, structured drug & alcohol treatment, health and wellness interventions and information and awareness.
Our Pathways Service operates in both West & South Yorkshire, working with local partners. We offer support with domestic abuse, welfare advice, food poverty, health and wellbeing, mental health and substance use. Keighley Pathways is a partnership project offering open access, specialist support to all the Keighley community at a time of crisis. Keighley Pathways Service has received 1066 visits, providing 1333 bespoke interventions. Sheffield Pathways works in partnership with the Primary Care Network, offering multiple sessions with people referred through the local practice. Sheffield Pathways has seen 154 individuals, providing 421 bespoke interventions. By offering the right support at the right time, we deflected people from the local health and social care services just as these services were under extreme pressure. 95% of people asked reported an improvement in health and wellbeing as the result of the intervention and 99% knew where to go in the future to deal with a crisis.
ASIST (Alcohol Specialist Interventions and Support Team) has worked in partnership with Airedale General Hospital for 10 years. Over the past year we have increased ASIST’s offer to be part of the alcohol pathway at Bradford Royal Infirmary. This year we worked with 155 people admitted to hospital due to alcohol related issues, supporting them from the ward back into their homes and in the community. The pandemic and restrictions meant that we were slightly below our target but, of those people we did see, 58% engaged in the service and went on to a positive discharge.
MAST (Multi-Agency Support Team)
MAST was an initiative piloted on winter pressures money to support the pressure points in the health systems, helping to reduce frequent attendance and admissions at the Emergency Department in AGH and BRI. MAST has now been fully funded to continue its current delivery, as well as additional investment to expand the service.
Project 6 has coordinated VCS partners to provide specialist alcohol liaison, mental health peer support, and frailty/older people’s support. This year the MAST has been able to offer social prescribing throughout Emergency Departments, Wards, key services in Airedale General Hospital and Bradford Royal Infirmary and out in the community through new project partners, HALE and Keighley Healthy Living. The team screened and assessed 3861 people. They also provided intensive case support for 1385 of the people referred, making 1675 onward referrals to access community support to help reduce readmissions.
The Third Place Project
Our Third Place project works with people engaged in street drinking and some of the most vulnerable and excluded groups in Keighley. This year we saw 86 individuals, providing a range of harm reduction interventions, food and pathways into treatment. 63% of participants showed improvements in mental and physical health through contact with the project.
Rough Sleeper Project (HAARP)
Funded through OHID, this partnership project targets people who experience the most barriers to treatment. We have developed an outreach service for those who are homeless and at risk of homelessness who are new to treatment services. The team are dynamic in the way they engage and wrap services around the person. This year the team have engaged 162 new people with 75% reporting improvements in physical and mental health and wellbeing, complementing the Third Place initiative.
Families and Young People’s Services
Our Families Services work with some of the most vulnerable families in Keighley and Sheffield. The interventions provide direct benefit to families, concerned others and grandparents/kin carers. By working with parents, children and other concerned family members, we achieve sustainable positive outcomes for the whole family. Our Fresh Start service (Sheffield) supports women who have had one or more children removed, to take time out from parenting, deal with loss and learn new skills for the future. This year the service worked with 23 mothers who have had children removed, providing over 2127 hours of contact.
In Keighley, our Family Support Service worked with 86 concerned others, to build skills in understanding and managing feelings, increase resilience and reduce risk. Our Maternity and Alcohol Service worked with 18 pregnant women to reduce the impact of drugs and alcohol on the unborn child.
We work with vulnerable young people to increase resilience and reduce risk, using evidence-based approaches which inspire individuals to take more responsibility for themselves and their own actions. In Keighley, our Young Persons Resilience Service – RISE worked with 192 young people, providing weekly one-to-one interventions to those experiencing mental health issues that are below the threshold for CAMHS. 93% showed an improvement in resilience.
Our vibrant Recovery Services in Doncaster, Sheffield and Keighley exist as a result of the ongoing support of the Lottery Community Fund and aim to provide long term and sustainable recovery from drug and alcohol problems. We achieve impressive results through a range of therapeutic groups, health and wellness activities, Active Citizens programmes, peer support, training and volunteering opportunities.
Over the year a total of 730 people were supported by our recovery services with 435 being new to services. Across all three areas we have delivered 1320 groups, with a focus on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, Increasing Skills and Recovery Capital, with 83% of people reporting improvements.
Recovery Services provide a pathway from the drug and alcohol treatment systems into sustainable recovery. Our skills projects & Skills House service provide support for people in recovery who are furthest from the labour market and experience significant barriers to employment.
We have made significant steps to retain and build on our volunteer capacity within our Recovery Services, delivering Peer Mentor & Volunteer Training. We have had 90 active volunteers across the organisation supporting our delivery.
Project 6 Training Services
The last year saw us rebrand Waypoint Training as Project 6 Training Services – a specialist training provider able to host a variety of training courses to improve knowledge and skills whilst challenging the stigma experienced by those Project 6 offers services to. Under new leadership and with the recruitment of trainers with lived experience, the team developed a package of vocational training for our sector, including a range of key areas for frontline workers including Trauma Informed Practice, Motivational Interviewing and Suicide Awareness.
We were successful in securing a contract to deliver the training offer for Changing Futures in Sheffield, a three-year system change project aiming to improve services for people experiencing multiple disadvantage. The team have worked to build networks across the city and deliver training to a wide range of workers and services. This has helped establish the Project 6 Training brand in Sheffield as an experienced and expert local provider.
The coming year
By April 2024 we will have a catalogue of work that is successfully being delivered across all Project 6 sites, and be moving into exploring digital and micro-learning capabilities. This will help us future proof material, enhance our reputation, and make the transition and development of our colleagues simpler and much more efficient.
Project 6 Training is well placed to adapt flexibly to the needs of our sector and wider market as we continue to move through uncertain times. We have already begun to build upon our reputation for providing high-quality training consultancy, and the next 12 months look full of opportunities both for our internal workforce development and in the external market.
Our Outcomes & Impact
‘Everyone can change’ is one of our core values – when individuals and families start to make positive changes the whole community benefits.
Our core purpose is to provide opportunities and choices for individuals, families and communities to create meaningful and sustainable change in their wellbeing.
Individuals: In our annual Satisfaction Survey 95% of individuals reported improvements in mental health and wellbeing and 94% reported improved physical health.
Families: Alcohol and other drug use and other challenges to wellbeing don’t only affect the person experiencing them; the harm can extend to the whole family. By adopting a family-focussed approach across our services we believe we achieve a greater impact. 92% of our service users in our annual Satisfaction Survey reported improved relationships with families and friends.
Communities: By being a visible and active presence in our local communities, we can reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by people using our services. A community where people have clear and open pathways to support reduces the cost to local services and helps rebuild social cohesion. 89% of people responding to our annual Satisfaction Survey felt more connected to their community and able to play a positive role, with 90% feeling optimistic about their ability to have a positive future.
Our services, activities and interventions are designed to facilitate positive changes, which lead to meaningful and sustained impact through our core outcomes.
Improved mental health and wellbeing
- 95% of individuals reported improvements in mental health and wellbeing in our annual Satisfaction Survey
- 90% of people using our ARC (Alcohol Recovery Community) project reported improvements in their mental health and wellbeing.
- 93% of young people using our RISE Service reported increases in resilience.
Improved physical health and wellbeing
- 94% of individuals reported improvements in physical health and wellbeing in our annual Satisfaction Survey
- 90% of people using the ARC report decreased drinking on Audit to below 8
- 94% of people using the ARC report improved physical health and wellbeing.
Delivering on our Values
This year we asked people who used our services how they feel about us:
- 95% feel respected and not judged
- 97% feel treated as an equal
- 97% feel that the service really believes in their ability to make changes
- 97% feel the service goes the extra mile when needed
- 98% feel that they’re learning how to help themselves
Improved relationships with family and friends
- 89% of people using our Recovery Services report increased recovery and social capital
- 85% of people attending our Progress Recovery Service reported they had developed more positive relationships with friends and family
- 92% of people in Doncaster reported improved relationships with family and friends since coming to our services
Greater Community Connectedness
- 89% of people in our annual Satisfaction Survey feel more accepted as part of their community and able to give something back
- 81% of people attending the Sober Social report an increase in recovery capital
- 88% of people using our Progress Recovery Services reported feeling more accepted by their communities
Improved Life Chances
- 90% of people responding to our annual Satisfaction Survey felt more optimistic about their ability to have a positive future
- 97% of people coming to Keighley Pathways feel that they know where in future to go to reduce the impact of any future crisis
- 97% of the children and young people we worked with reported improvements in both mental and physical health and wellbeing
Ada, Sheffield Pathways
Ada is a mother with three dependent children; she was referred to Sheffield Pathways by her GP. Her house has been severely smoke damaged and she was caught in a disagreement between Sheffield City Council and her insurance company. Ada was placed in a hotel but had asked to be moved to a hostel where she could cook, do laundry, and try and keep some routines for her school-aged children. She was feeling very isolated and alone in dealing with both organisations and was struggling financially to cover the bills she was still paying for both sets of accommodation. The children visited their father on alternate weekends and during this time Ada was drinking quite heavily. She is also one year free of an abusive relationship.
I gave her time and space to talk, she had a lot to share. We talked about her situation, she felt she needed to be strong for everyone else in her life and she had a little cry. She felt validated and reassured. At this first session she felt quite overwhelmed and emotional and I suggested we work together to get her correspondence in order the following week. Ada was unwilling to address her drinking and said it was not a problem.
The second session fell on her birthday and Ada said she had been looking forward to coming as she felt less alone. Ada had printed all her correspondence and she felt better for doing so. We had a look through this together. She talked about her birthday and family and had another little cry; Ada said she had not cried since her last visit with me. She said it was because she felt understood. Exploring her whole situation validated her emotions, built her self-esteem, and gave her confidence. I had prepared some options for her housing situation and she felt we made progress in the meeting.
By our final session we were looking at ways together to support Ada around her alcohol use. She now felt able to ask me to help her with that. We used some of the SMART Recovery tools as ways to develop alternative coping strategies. Ada also expressed a desire to return to education after completing a University Access course some years ago. We identified a number of courses she is considering applications for.
“Why do I only cry when I am in here with you? It feels like a weight lifted, not being on my own anymore. In a chaotic week Pathways is a point of stability, I am not totally on my own any more”
Ada, Sheffield Pathways
Ethical collaboration and partnership working is central to our approach to ensuring the best outcomes for the people who use our services.
This year, partnerships continued to be more important than ever, as organisations continued to meet the needs of their local communities during the cost-of-living crisis.
Most of our new and innovative work is conducted in partnerships with other local providers, providing access points to support to people across primary and secondary care. We continue to play a leading role in operational and strategic partnerships across all of our geographic areas. This includes the Combating Drugs Partnerships across South Yorkshire, the Healthy Minds Board in Bradford and Craven and VCS Leaders Networks across all of the patches.
MAST (Multi-Agency Support Team)
MAST is a VCS partnership project working in Airedale General Hospital, Bradford Royal Infirmary and the community to reduce hospital admissions.
- Screened and assessed 3667 patients
- Delivered 4565 interventions to patients attending hospital
- Referred 1545 patients to the Community MAST Team
- Completed 2529 community sessions
Sheffield Pathways delivers quality one off or multiple interventions to people attending their GP in crisis, to provide referral routes into appropriate services and reduce the demand on primary care. Working in partnership with local medical centres, Sheffield Pathways provides support around alcohol and other drugs, mental health, welfare, housing and domestic abuse.
Our results for the year show that our income has grown by 30% despite a challenging economic environment. The budget for the year was set at £50k deficit, which was agreed before knowing there would be an inflation rise to 10% and a cost-of-living crisis. Among all of these external factors, we have managed to slightly improve on the budgeted deficit by 15%.
The stability achieved in the year has allowed us to focus on winning big tenders with Humankind, being successful in the New Vision Bradford tender, Likewise Sheffield and the Hospital Mentoring.
Our Principal funding sources were as follows:
- City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
- Sheffield City Council
- Big Lottery Fund
- NHS West Yorkshire ICB
- CGL – Change Grow Live
- The VCS Alliance
In the year, our Sheffield premises suffered an arson attack. The attack was unrelated to Project 6 or any person associated with the organisation. The random attack happened at the outer coach house in the evening while nobody was present. The rebuild took over four months and was fully covered by our insurance.
Towards the end of the financial year, we began the process of moving our Sheffield premises from Abbeydale road to Cumberland Street. The long-term objective will be to accommodate the full building of Cumberland Street and some space at Portland House. We aim to have this completed in the current financial year.
Every year it seems when I comment on the future I note the challenging situation we continue to operate in. This year is no exception. The cost-of-living crisis, the turmoil of health and care services, and the new drive to see improvements as part of the drug strategy investment. All these factors laid on top of an ongoing recruitment crisis have created another perfect storm for the sector.
However we are delighted that this year we will be developing six new projects and partnerships, including working with Humankind across two of our areas, developing a new partnership with Together Women and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust. We are in a period of significant growth and, while this is welcomed, it creates challenges around our internal structures as, like most organisations, we have struggled with recruitment. Our next job is to onboard a significant number of staff to the organisation while ensuring our culture remains vibrant and our values continue to shine through. Our focus this year is on the quality of the services we develop and to deliver and create and deliver a robust workforce development plan.
We have internal plans to develop a strong methodology of co-design and production across Project 6, as well as continuing our journey to become a more inclusive organisation. Through our communications, podcasting and another conference scheduled for June 2024, we hope to continue to challenge stigma and create hope for people who need our services.
The political environment remains beyond turbulent. It is likely that in the run up to a general election it well become even more unpleasant. Project 6 stands ready to challenge any stigma experienced by the people who use our services, and we will stand shoulder to shoulder with those who are receiving the most hatred nationally, people who are seeking asylum and transpeople. We are an organisation rooted in social justice and believe that it’s our responsibility, as well as a value, to stand up for people’s rights.
We’d like to say thank you to our partners and stakeholders who have supported us in numerous ways throughout the year.
A special thanks to all our volunteers whose dedication, commitment and generosity allows Project 6 to continue to deliver our services to the people who most need us.
Thank you to our grant funders who continue to believe in what we’re doing.
And thank you to everyone who fundraised and donated to our work. Everything we receive is used to enhance the delivery of front-line services.