About ARA

ARA is  a registered charity formed in 1987 by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. It is estimated that ARA has helped over 40,000 people with alcohol, drug, gambling and mental health issues and has saved an estimated £50 million in costs to the community.

Over many years ARA has provided structured treatment, counselling, housing support, education, training and employment guidance as well as many other interventions to promote recovery and a healthier life.

Today ARA is a major provider of supported housing services in Bristol as a partner in the Recovery Orientated Alcohol and Drugs Service (ROADS). ARA has an extensive and expanding service providing counselling and support for problem gamblers.

Ara’s Quality Policy

ARA Timeline

  • 1995 – we change our name from Accommodation for Recovery from Addiction to the Addiction Recovery Agency
    to reflect the expanding range of treatment services provided for people with drug and alcohol problems
  • 2004 – we move into our current Head Office at King’s Court, King Street in the centre of Bristol
  • 2005 – we merge with ACAD and begin to deliver services in North Somerset
  • 2008 – we start counselling services for people with gambling addiction
  • 2012 – in conjunction with St Mary Redcliffe Church we open the ARC cafe giving employment and
    volunteering opportunities for people in recovery from addiction
  • 2013 – as part of the Bristol Recovery Orientated Alcohol & Drugs Service (ROADS)  we start to provide an
    expanded housing and floating support service
  • 2015 – we begin a Prison Resettlement service based at HMP Bristol.
  • 2017 – we start to provide housing advice and hospital in-reach services in Gloucestershire, working in conjunction with Change Grow Live.
  • 2019 – we expanded our gambling services, in partnership with GamCare, to the whole of Wales.

Meet the Team

ARA is governed by a Board of voluntary Trustees. The current Board Members are:

The Board

Tony Collins,  Chair – Business Development Consultant
David Thomas – retired Probation Service Manager

Dr Helen Bellfield – Clinical Psychologist
Andy Carruthers – Small Business Owner
Louise Davies – teacher and former professional fundraiser
Paul Bullivant – photographer, architect, former Housing Association Chief Executive
Jayne Tucker – accountant

Senior Management
Graham England – Chief Executive
Andrew Ridley – Director of Finance

Robbie Thornhill – Chief Operating Officer