Mark Hindwell – Humankind

‘Outstanding’ Forward Leeds has its contract renewed

Mark Hindwell

Staff at Forward Leeds pose for a photo outside of their Armley Park Court office

Following a Leeds City Council procurement process, Forward Leeds has been successful in winning the contract to provide the city’s alcohol and drug support service for at least another five years.

The service, with sites in Armley, Seacroft and the city centre, will begin its new contract on 1 April 2023. The initial contract will run until 31 March 2028 with Leeds Council having an option to extend after that date for up to five years potentially taking it up to April 2033.

Forward Leeds, who recently won Leeds City Council’s Partner of the Year, is a consortium between three charities: Humankind, St Anne’s Community Services and BARCA-Leeds along with the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT).

Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Public Health and Active Lifestyles, said: “As a Care Quality Commission outstanding rated service, it is really pleasing that Forward Leeds have been awarded this contract for the next few years. The service plays a vital role in addressing the challenges posed by drug and alcohol use to individuals and communities in Leeds, ensuring that anyone in the city struggling with drug and alcohol issues is able to get support.

“For some years now, Forward Leeds has consistently been one of the highest performing drug and alcohol treatment services in the country, and it is one of only a few services in the country that is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)”.

Victoria Eaton, Director of Public Health at Leeds City Council, said: “It is fantastic news that Forward Leeds will continue to provide the Leeds City Council Public Health commissioned drug and alcohol service, which offers support for anyone affected by drug and alcohol use. The service has gone from strength to strength, to become one of just a few drug and alcohol services to be rated as outstanding, by the Care Quality Commission, in the country.”

Operations Director of Forward Leeds Helen Cook said: “To be awarded the contract for at least another five years is fantastic. It reflects the quality and the hard work of the staff across our partnership and the commitment that they show in working with people who come to us for support.

“We have had to prove that we are able to continue to offer the high-quality service we have been doing and that we can develop and evolve our service to meet the ever-changing needs of the city.”

Humankind Regional Director Lee Wilson said: “Having our contract renewed is a testament to the dedication of our staff and volunteers who provide the highest quality of care and support to everyone who comes to us needing help.

“The service has had to meet significant quality thresholds in the bidding process along with due diligence checks on safeguarding, health and safety, finance, and insurance. These were all completed successfully with no issues identified. Our social value response was even given the top score possible by the council.”

Humankind publishes Impact Report for 2021/22

Mark Hindwell

Humankind is proud to publish its Humankind Impact Report for 2021/22.

The report recognises the impact we had in supporting the 90,264 people who accessed our services.

We are a national charity with over 1,500 staff and 264 volunteers, who provide specialist services to young people, families and adults across health and wellbeing, drug and alcohol recovery, criminal justice services, housing and independent living and education and employment.

Every five minutes an individual accesses one of our services located in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, Midlands, London and the South West of England.

The report shares some of the many accomplishments of the organisation over the year, including high satisfaction rates from our working together survey, that 2,257 people who use our services completed:

  • 97% of people who access our services said they feel respected by our staff.
  • 95% of people said they receive the support they need from us.
  • 95% of people believe our staff have the right skills to support them to meet their goals.

Paul Townsley, Chief Executive Officer of Humankind said: “I would like to thank our staff and partners for continuing to strive to do more. As you can see, over the last year we have extended our impact within our regions, increased the volume and scale of our work, whilst also critically improving the quality of our services.

“This is evidenced by Humankind achieving a total of four Outstanding CQC inspection ratings. I remain immensely proud of the impact which Humankind continues to have, and I hope that in reading this report you can see just a small glimpse of what makes Humankind the unique and exciting organisation that it is.”

Read the Humankind 20/21 Impact Report

Extra support for rough sleepers in Leeds

Mark Hindwell

Funding of over £560,000 has been secured by Leeds City Council for Forward Leeds to support rough sleepers tackle their drug and alcohol issues.

Plans are being progressed for the creation of a new outreach team to work closely with those in need. Linking in with the city’s wider Leeds Street Support the new team will be available to work flexibly in the day and at night time to engage and provide individuals with immediate and expert specialist assistance to meet mental and physical health needs to tackle drug and alcohol dependency.

Lee Wilson, Regional Director, said: “It’s fantastic that PHE and Leeds City Council have recognised the need to increase in the level of support we offer those living on the streets of our city.

“This allows us to significantly expand the work we do with a group of people who face multiple disadvantages in life, often including past traumatic experiences and mental health issues. Supporting this community is not a quick fix and it’s never a 9-5 job. It involves working closely with the individual over a long period of time and supporting him or her into treatment at their own pace.”

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health, wellbeing and adults, said: “I am really pleased that our bid to Public Health England for over £560,000 of funding to support the proactive work that is being undertaken in the city to help rough sleepers tackle drug and alcohol issues has been approved.

“Being able to offer immediate and specialist help on the ground to those in need both in the day and night, is absolutely critical to our work. The creation therefore of a new designated Forward Leeds outreach team is very much welcome, and a very positive addition to the city-wide partnership approach we are undertaking regarding rough sleeping team here in Leeds.”

The Forward Leeds currently team working with rough sleepers is made up of a street-based Complex Case Worker and a Street Support Team worker. This extra funding will be able to provide even more people working face-to-face with people on the streets of Leeds. The arrival of the outreach team will also play an important role in improving how other partner agencies can reach and engage individuals in Leeds.

(Picture shows Humankind’s Leeds based Complex Case Worker Kim Kaur)