Jasmine Rocks – Humankind

‘Helping others help’ – International Volunteer Managers Day 2023

Jasmine Rocks

If you’ve never heard of International Volunteer Managers Day, it’s a celebration of the profession of volunteer leadership. 

When I took on a Volunteer Coordinator role at Humankind over ten years ago, I often felt like I was working alone. Now, there is easy access to a diverse network of people locally, nationally and internationally who are directly or indirectly involved with volunteers and willing to talk, share and learn. 

In line with this year’s theme, ‘Helping others help’, the focus of our volunteering team is to enable people to make a difference to themselves and others.   

“I really enjoyed my time volunteering. All staff were extremely helpful and kind. Being a volunteer, my confidence has grown significantly, and I have found the experience very rewarding.” – a Humankind volunteer 

Many of us across Humankind have had our own experience of volunteering. At one point I was doing five voluntary roles for various organisations, on top of my position here, and I really wouldn’t recommend that! But when I took a step back and focussed on one role that really filled my heart with joy, I knew that’s where I wanted to invest my personal time. 

That’s what our volunteers are doing: investing their time, and we need to ensure that they benefit from that precious investment. My volunteering experiences have guided me in my role as Head of Volunteering, to continually listen to volunteers and develop our offer, so that we can ‘help others help’. 

So far this year, 78% of volunteers said that their main motivation to start volunteering with us was ‘to help others’. For them to achieve this, we need people who can support and mentor them along the way. 

We asked colleagues in our Volunteering team to nominate people across Humankind who they saw as real ambassadors for volunteering. You can read how they feel about this nomination, and volunteering, below. 

Ann Hall, Head of Volunteering 


Since being with Humankind I have supported many volunteers through our service. They have enriched the Greens and its residents so much, and many projects would never have got off the ground if it were not for their support. Many of our volunteers bring their own lived experience and are looking at giving back now they are in a better place. I feel so lucky to be able to give them this chance and see them flourish. I always have time and space for volunteers and thank them all for selflessly giving their time to us. 

Louise Morley – The Greens  


I just want to say that working in my role has been extremely challenging at times. But I must say this has been the most rewarding role I have ever had. To work within the team here at Enable in Enfield is a joy, where we work so well together to support people and volunteers. 

To see them change and grow is a privilege that I get to witness daily. The dedication and commitment of my volunteers and peer mentors is truly inspiring and I look forward to coming to work, which is not something that I have experienced in any role previously! 

Mark Owen – Enable 


Volunteering is something that is close to my heart, having started out as a volunteer myself 22 years ago. 

I am now in the fortunate position of working with volunteers daily. I line manage the Ambassador, Apprentice and Volunteer Lead within CDDARS, and I have the pleasure of interviewing candidates for our Ambassador Programme, as well as celebrating with them at their graduations. 

Volunteers bring so much to our service, supporting people and our colleagues, as valued members of our team. I truly believe we would not be as successful a service without their support. 

Vicky Haughey – County Durham Drug & Alcohol Recovery Service (CDDARS) 


I truly value the work of volunteers and I always try to encourage the wider team to recruit and support them. I started in this sector as a volunteer.  

Volunteering helped me realise the type of work we do in this sector was something I wanted to pursue as a longer-term career. My next opportunity took me to London as a Criminal Justice Worker for a drug and alcohol charity in Hackney. That experience after my studies provided me with the skills, experience and knowledge that I needed to apply for roles. 

I like to see us recruit more volunteers in Forward Leeds to help people access opportunities to guide their future career choices. The volunteers are an added value to any service and a real bonus, more than they may realise. They can support the team around them, become part of the team and be part of our wider succession planning strategy. It’s a win for everyone. I love to hear about volunteers who have secured a permanent role with us and see them flourish and progress. It’s exciting to see all the different passions they bring and the added value they contribute to our service delivery. 

Helen Cook – Forward Leeds 


Although my role within the Community Development Team is mostly administrative, in my two years of involvement with Flourish in Nature, I have been the main contact for most of the people we support who have gone on to become Activity Lead Volunteers for Flourish in Nature. 

The role of Activity Lead is so important to the continuation of Flourish in Nature, as we provide training to enable these Volunteers to lead groups in outdoor and sports activities, which we could not possibly provide without them. 

They are the backbone of Flourish in Nature and an important part of people’s recovery. All our Activity Leads have provided positive feedback about the opportunities they have been involved in and have enjoyed their journey with Flourish in Nature, which I always find so gratifying.   

Lynne Cirasuolo – Together, Devon 

Humankind opens its first employment focussed drug and alcohol support service in South London

Jasmine Rocks

An image of Humankind's Individual Placement & Support team in front of Humankind's London regional office

We have launched our first-ever London employment-focused drug and alcohol support service in the boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham, and Southwark.

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services work with people recovering from drug or alcohol dependence and local employers to help those in need of support back into work at the start of their recovery. In addition to a wage, work can support recovery and can give people purpose and the opportunity to build new friendships and connections that can help them move away from drug and alcohol use.

IPS provides intensive, personalised support, starting with a rapid job search to help people find and choose the right job for them and stay in the role. By using a personalised approach to support, IPS helps people find paid jobs that suit their skills and interests within just weeks of being referred to the service. A key component of our IPS model is the ongoing support provided to ensure that once a service user enters the workforce, they are supported to stay in their role and build a life around it. Our IPS staff also work alongside employers, helping them to meet their recruitment needs and offering ongoing support throughout the employment period.

Cllr Jim Dickson and Cllr Marcia Cameron, Lambeth’s Cabinet Members for Healthier Communities, said:
“We are pleased to welcome the Individual Placement Support initiative to Lambeth. It is an important investment in our communities and we believe is the right way to make a real difference in the lives of those suffering the often hugely damaging impacts of addiction.
“Substance abuse not only damages individuals’ lives but also harms families and our wider communities. With specialist and trained workers in place, we will be able to now support some of our most vulnerable residents into employment which will help sustain their recovery and make positive change in their lives.”

Christine, one of our service users who was supported through the IPS scheme said:
“All of this has changed my life for the better. I’m busy now and I’m making my own money and learning new skills. I love interacting with the residents in the care home and I feel good knowing that I’m helping others. The support I received once I started work was really useful as without it, I may have ended up quitting because of any small stress factor. I’d definitely tell anyone to get help from IPS as the support is ongoing and so you’ll be more likely to get and keep a job.”

Now district councils from Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham have all teamed up to tackle drug use and alcoholism in South London by commissioning us to provide a new service. We have extensive experience and a track record of producing excellent long-term results through other IPS schemes in various areas of the country including Leeds, Gateshead, and Cumbria.

Our Director of Operations for London, Lyndsey Morris, said:
This is an exciting new opportunity for people that use our services in Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. Having employment can be a key part of the recovery process, providing a reason to get out of bed in the morning and boosting confidence, motivation, and financial independence. We have seen the transformative effect that IPS has had in other areas and our own fantastic team of trained employment specialists are looking forward to delivering this programme as part of an integrated approach to people’s recovery journey.”

Seamus Costello the borough Lead for Lambeth Addictions Consortium for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said:
“As part of our Consortium’s ongoing commitment to deliver excellent treatment and support for our clients, we are delighted to share Humankind’s ambition to ensure all service users have the opportunity to flourish in their communities, with help from Humankind’s introduction of an exciting new IPS programme across three South London boroughs.”

Volunteer Survey 2023 shows enthusiasm from Humankind Volunteers

Jasmine Rocks

Across Humankind, we value all our volunteers. We offer a variety of roles and opportunities, ranging from advocate to researcher, admin support to peer mentor, group facilitator to data entry and fundraiser to complimentary therapist. All of which are diverse, fulfilling and rewarding, and often lead to employment with us or elsewhere.

Throughout June, volunteers across our organisation completed the Annual Volunteer Survey. The survey provides the opportunity for feedback and suggestions for improvement around volunteering experiences and opportunities.

Survey results outlined that 95% of respondents said that volunteering with Humankind has made a positive difference to them and their lives.

“Everyone I have met seems to be an authentic and kind human.”

“I spend up to 7.5 hours a week with clients and I know I AM making a difference.”

Furthermore, 99% of respondents fed back that they would recommend volunteering with us to others.

“Welcomed as part of a team, treated as part of the team, trusted & empowered, the opportunities are endless.”

We are always keen to support our volunteers in achieving their end goal, whether that is to gain skills and experience or to be ready for paid employment.

Respondents rated the enjoyment they get from volunteering at Humankind at an average of 4.6 out of 5. They also rated the feeling of being valued at 4.7 out of 5. These ratings both stand as an increase on the previous year.

Where volunteers have used our Volunteer Skills Record, they rated the resource at 4.2 out of 5. This resource is intended to help track progress and development in a way that can be easily referred to in future, such as when updating a CV or preparing for an interview.

“Seeing service users improve their health, quality of life & relationships is priceless.”

“I have really enjoyed slowly gaining responsibilities as I was not thrown in the deep end but began by shadowing and I am now completing assessments”.

The survey also returned a high standard of feedback about our learning and development offer, with 92% saying Humankind’s training effectively prepares them for their role.

In some areas, however, volunteers suggested that training could be more streamlined. As a result, have committed to reviewing the amount of training material required.

“Very thorough training, lots to remember but it gets easier with time and lots of support from other staff members.”

“The quality and delivery of the training that I have received as a volunteer has been exceptional, the workshops are always interactive, thought-provoking & informative. In addition, there is a wealth of training available if you wish to take the opportunity.”

If you would like to learn more about volunteering at Humankind and explore our current opportunities, please visit our volunteering page.

The Galloping Gallagher’s raise £3,000 for The Greens in Sheffield

Jasmine Rocks

In line with the third year of Humankind’s United for Fair Chances (UFFC) – the chance for individuals and groups to raise money for many aspects of our work, including our vital Service User Fund – we’re sharing the incredible story of The Galloping Gallaghers. 

Friends of beloved Stefan Gallagher ran 24km up and down the hills of Sheffield to raise an incredible £3,000 for The Greens in Sheffield, our recovery-focused accommodation. 

Recently, the group who call themselves The Galloping Gallaghers challenged themselves to complete the Round Sheffield Run and raise money for The Greens in memory of their friend, Stefan Gallagher. 

The service previously supported Stefan, and in return, the group have been fundraising to show their thanks and help them to keep supporting many other people.  

The team were also joined by team members from The Greens Sheffield who also completed the Round Sheffield Run  

The Galloping Gallaghers raised a total of £3,000 which has all been dedicated to the service. The staff members and residents have been talking about the use of the money raised, including talks of a defibrillator on site and some adventures to the beach and Peak District. 

Alongside the many donations were some heartfelt messages, including one from Stefan’s Dad, Sean Gallagher: “Good luck guys and thanks so much for keeping Stef’s positive spirit and memory alive and helping to raise money for a great cause. He would be proud of you all, just as I am.” 

Thank you to The Galloping Gallaghers for your hard work and dedication. All funds raised will be a huge help to the service and Stefan’s spirit will live on.  

The Galloping Gallaghers are:  

  • Julie Bicknell
  • Tristan Clarke
  • Garan Comley
  • James Coulson
  • Jim Danson
  • Katja Danson
  • Andy Dixon
  • Fran Garretty
  • Jaime Gray
  • Dave Hollinshead
  • Clare Kendall
  • Anthony Major
  • Ben Mooney
  • Sally Mooney
  • Ben Morton
  • Christina Shipley
  • Graham Wilkinson
  • Bill Young
  • Georgia Young

During United for Fair Chances we have members of the Humankind team completing numerous fundraisers which we will continue to share, if you would like more information on fundraising activities or how to donate, please visit our  Fundraising events and initiatives at Humankind.

Northumberland Recovery Partnership joins Humankind

Jasmine Rocks

We are delighted to welcome the Northumberland Recovery Partnership (NRP) service into Humankind from 1 October 2023. Northumberland Recovery Partnership is a dedicated service for anyone in Northumberland aged 18+ who is experiencing problems with drugs and/or alcohol.

The service offers a range of support provided by medical staff, nurses, and dedicated Recovery Navigators. This includes community-based recovery programmes, help to stay physically healthy, and support with people’s next steps into employment, housing and better health. Twenty three staff and 4 volunteers are transferring to Humankind.

The lead provider for the Northumberland Recovery Partnership continues to be the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) which, from October onwards will be working in partnership with Humankind.

Christine Hutchinson, Director of Community Substance Misuse Services with Humankind said “We are really looking forward to working with CNTW to deliver high quality services to the people of Northumberland”

The service will continue to provide the same range of effective, evidence-based support and wherever possible, people will continue to be supported by the same staff. The main change is to the non-residential rehabilitation service, currently the Oaktrees program / building. Going forward, this will be delivered using Humankind’s Recovery Academy, a bespoke recovery programme tailored to offer a range of recovery options. This will build on the existing recovery services, ensuring recovery is open and accessible to all from the start of peoples’ recovery journey.

Find out more about the Northumberland Recovery Partnership



Dorset Council residents continue to be supported for drug and alcohol use

Jasmine Rocks

REACH Weymouth team stood outside their hub.

REACH, which is part of our new South West region, has been successful in winning the contract to provide Dorset Council’s alcohol and drug support service for another eight years.  

REACH has been delivering excellent care and support for the people of Dorset since 2017. This announcement means that they can continue to embed themselves in local communities and provide a bespoke drug and alcohol service to people when and where they most need it. The recommissioning announcement is a validation of the high regard with which the service is held and all the hard work, professionalism and expertise of staff and volunteers.  

This is the best outcome for the people who need support for their drug and alcohol use in Dorset. Recommissioning REACH gives people who use our services much needed stability of treatment and continuity of care.  

Cllr Jane Somper, Dorset Council Adult Social Care and Health Portfolio Holder said: “We are delighted to be able to award REACH the contract to deliver drugs and alcohol support services in the Dorset Council area. 

“We have had a great partnership so far and we look forward to continuing to deliver services together to help those residents who need support with substance misuse. 

“It is also great news that those residents in our treatment services already will see no difference in their current recovery journeys with having REACH continue their fantastic work in the county. 

The new contract starts on 1 November 2023, and remains a fully integrated service for young people, adults and families. The service for young people under the age of 25 is run in partnership with Essential Drug and Alcohol Service (EDAS) and clinical delivery is led by Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust (AWP).

There is a specialist family team within REACH that works with the whole family. In addition, the service works in harmony with Dorset Social Care and NHS England through the Safeguarding Families Together team and the Mental Health Treatment Requirement service. 

Ted Haughey, Executive Director of Operations at Humankind, said: “This is great news for Dorset. REACH is a service that is genuinely embedded in and part of its local community. In March, Humankind launched an ambitious five year strategy, Being Human, which contains the three key themes of people, partnerships and place. REACH embodies our commitment to the provision of bespoke services woven into Dorset’s community fabric and shaped around the needs of local people. There is rightly a genuine hope, optimism and excitement about REACH’s future.”  

Humankind is a national charity which supports over 90,000 people every year. Our services stretch from Dorchester to Durham, supporting people’s complex health and social needs. As part of a larger organisation, REACH now benefits from connection, innovation and learning from Newton Aycliffe to Newton Abbot.  

REACH has developed a close partnership with Dorset Council over the past six years and prior to that ten years becoming embedded in the local community through innovative projects such as the first peer mentor programme in the South in 2009. This project became an accredited programme in 2011, as well as becoming the second service in England to offer postal naloxone through the web based NSPDirect service.

REACH was also the first service to offer postal Dry Blood Spot Testing (DBST) in partnership with the NHSAlliance and Hep C U Later Campaign which was just one small part of REACH’s exceptional covid response plans.  

“REACH has an ambitious vision of continuous improvement for the communities of Dorset in the coming years” said Beth Davies who leads the REACH service in Dorset. “We will maintain excellence in all our contractual and Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) targets. REACH’s end of year performance report reflects a picture of exceptional outcomes. We have met and exceeded all our contractual targets within the Humankind quality and performance framework, reaching the highest level of performance across all key indicators. We will be building upon these solid foundations, developing accessibility to services and innovative partnerships.”

To contact REACH please call 0800 043 4656 or visit www.edp.org.uk/reach.

Humankind marks the sad loss of trustee Jim Foyle

Jasmine Rocks

It is with deep sadness that all of us at Humankind note the passing of trustee Jim Foyle.

Jim was a valued member of the Humankind board since 2019. His commitment to our organisation, however, dates back to 2010 when Jim joined the HAGA Alcohol Service board, and later that of Blenheim CDP. This governance work was alongside an esteemed career in psychology of over 35 years at a number of NHS Trusts, including our partner Barnet Enfield & Haringey NHS Trust.

Throughout his time with Humankind, Jim was respected and admired by all. Colleagues will remember Jim’s unassuming nature, his sharp wit and the unwavering commitment and focus that he always brought to those we support. He will be deeply missed by those who had the pleasure of working with him.

All of us at Humankind extend our most heartfelt condolences to Jim’s family and friends and offer our deep appreciation for everything he brought to our organisation.

Jim’s funeral will take place in early August and will be attended by Humankind trustees and our CEO Paul Townsley.

Great North Swim participants raise money for Humankind

Jasmine Rocks

On Saturday 10 June 2023, some of our fantastic members here at Humankind took part in the Great North Swim to raise money for our organisation.

The event took place at Windermere Lake in the Lake District, where each member took part in cold water swimming and swam 1 mile as part of their fundraisers.

Humankind’s vision is for people of all ages to be safe, build ambitions for the future and reach towards their full potential. Their vision creates services and support to meet people’s complex health and social needs, helping them to build healthier lives that have meaning and value for themselves and their families. We support local people to create stronger, better-connected communities.

Our Fundraising Department organise and participate in a range of campaigns and events throughout the year to raise further support and awareness for the most vulnerable people in our communities.

We are so proud of everyone who has taken part and congratulate them on all their hard work fundraising for our organisation so we can provide more fair chances.

Humankind’s Corporate Fundraising Manager, David Barlow, said: “Congratulations to our five, inspirational, participants in the recent Great North Swim on Lake Windermere. The funds raised will directly improve the lives of those we exist to support.”

Rebecca Huitson Business Development Administrator, who participated in the Great North Swim said: “The Great North Swim was an amazing event, completely out of my normal comfort zone but in training and completing the swim it has proven to be a new hobby! Very pleased I signed up and proud to raise money for Humankind and support the amazing services to continue to positively impact lives every day.”

The group took some great photos at the event, which you can see below.

Humankind set to offer drug and alcohol support and treatment to people in Sheffield

Jasmine Rocks

Picture of Sheffield Town Hall at dusk.

We are thrilled to announce that we will soon be offering drug and alcohol support and treatment to people in Sheffield, having been funded by Sheffield City Council.

The new contract starts on 1 August 2023 and will be run in partnership with Project 6, a local voluntary sector drug and alcohol charity who have been working in the area since 1978. 

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health, said: “Sheffield City Council welcomes Humankind as our new provider of substance use support services in the city. It is important people in Sheffield can access the support they need to live happy and healthy lives. Humankind’s services will prove invaluable to individuals and communities in Sheffield.” 

Ted Haughey, Executive Director of Operations at Humankind, said: “We are delighted to expand our services in South Yorkshire and partner with Project 6. We have many years’ experience providing integrated drug and alcohol treatment services across the country and are looking forward to bringing this expertise to the people in Sheffield.   

“We’ll be working closely with commissioners and other partners across the city as well as listening to the people we will be supporting to continually develop and improve the service for the communities across Sheffield.” 

Vicki Beere, CEO of Project 6, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Humankind to deliver services in Sheffield. We have many years’ experience of supporting people in Sheffield to make and sustain positive changes to their alcohol and drug use. We look forward to being able to develop and expand this work, to afford more people in Sheffield the support to access recovery services and improve their wellbeing.” 

The new service will include a range of support including harm reduction, care coordination, clinical and therapeutic interventions. As part of our aftercare support we will continue to work with people who become abstinent to develop and reach their goals.

The service will also provide support for family members. 

Hep C Drug Treatment Provider Forum wins HSJ award

Jasmine Rocks

The team of national hep C coordinators from the hep C drug treatment providers forum celebrate winning an award for Best Healthcare Analytics Project for the NHS

We are delighted to announce that the Hep C Drug Treatment Provider Forum has been selected as the winner of the Best Healthcare Analytics Project for the NHS at the HSJ Partnership Awards 2023.  

The Hep C Drug Treatment Provider Forum is a partnership of drug treatment providers, which includes Humankind, hosted by Gilead pharmaceuticals to collectively promote and manage hepatitis C provision among drug services nationally. The partnership’s ultimate aim is to work together to eliminate hepatitis C and the award has recognised its outstanding dedication to improving healthcare and effective collaboration with the NHS. Other partners include The Hepatitis C Trust, NHS England, NHS Addiction Providers Alliance, Change Grow Live, Forward Trust, Turning Point, WDP, and We Are With You.

Winners in a total of 21 outstanding categories, were announced during a ceremony at Evolution London, on 23 March 2023, hosted by comedian, Joel Dommett. Over 900 guests attended the event, bringing together national healthcare leaders and professionals from the NHS, public and private sectors. A total of 141 finalists were celebrated on the evening.  

The Health & Care Act cites collaboration and partnership working as the key success factor for the future sustainability of the NHS. The HSJ Partnerships Awards are therefore not just a celebration of success stories but also a platform to shape the future of our integrated health and care system.  

The prestigious award programme, now in its sixth year, recognises and honours the most effective partnerships, innovative projects and collaborations in the UK health system. A light has been shone on The Hep C Drug Treatment Provider forum and Humankind’s role in strengthening the healthcare system through the Award. 

The judging panel was comprised of a diverse range of highly regarded figures across the NHS and wider healthcare sector.  

Deborah Moores, national hep C coordinator at Humankind, said:Together, national hep C coordinators have worked tirelessly to boost testing numbers far above levels prior to the pandemic and refused to take their feet off the gas to keep things moving.”

“Recording accurately to reflect activity is always a challenge but by working together with a consistent approach. Four criteria were set to determine elimination, and a data system was created to be able to monitor progress against the agreed criteria. We now have accurate data that we can cross reference with other data streams and use to support services towards the goal of elimination. 

“Winning the HSJ award for our work with data analytics has been the icing on the cake and will help to drive all services towards the elimination finish line. It is a true privilege to work with such a passionate group of individuals who are all working in competition every day but as one with the hep C elimination strategy.”

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan said: “The national healthcare sector faced innumerable pressures over the past 12 months, yet the standard and overriding positivity of the partnerships yet again this year highlights the enduring dedication to improving patient outcomes. So, we’re delighted that the Hep C Drug Treatment Provider Forum has been announced as winners in the category of Best Healthcare Analytics Project for the NHS at this year’s HSJ Partnership Awards 2023.

“The partnership stood out in an outstanding field of nominees, each showcasing the very best collaborations and innovations in the healthcare sector today. Well done – all credit to you and your team – you can be proud of all that you’ve achieved.”

The winners were selected following a rigorous two-stage judging process by a group of 90 judges ahead of the HSJ Partnership Awards 2023 awards ceremony. The full list of Winners and those Highly Commended for the 2023 HSJ Partnership Awards can be found at https://partnership.hsj.co.uk/winners-2023.