Foreword by Chair of the Board – Simon Thompson

I am delighted to introduce the 2017 – 2018 Impact Report.
I am writing this report in my first month of becoming Ara’s Chair of the Board.

I am extremely proud and delighted to be joining a well-respected charity at a time that we believe we provide a greater number of high quality recovery focused services and make a difference to the local community and further afield.

I have had the pleasure of meeting new colleagues, stakeholders and people with lived experience, many of whom have become volunteers and employees. For me their success is what we all aspire to.

I took over from Patsy Hudson who acted as interim Chair after Annette Hill stood down due to work commitments in Feb 2018.  I would like to thank Annette and Patsy for their excellent leadership, leaving Ara has a sustainable charity with exceptional Board and management team.

This Impact Summary covers the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. This is a year that has seen:

  • Andy Carruthers elected as the Vice Chair of the Board. Andy has direct lived experience of Ara’s services, and brings a refreshing insight into the impact of our work.
  • The Board developed our first 5 year strategy “A springboard for growth.”
  • Ara Housing Services embedded in Bristol City Council’s Homelessness Pathways and continued to build upon our good reputation.
  • Ara’s Connect Psychology service continued to receive excellent patient feedback on the impact the service has had on improving their lives.
  • We have worked with GamCare and GambleAware to increase the awareness of problem gambling and treatment services in South Wales.
  • Our partnership with CGL in Somerset and Gloucestershire continues to flourish, and is increasingly helping more people to access alcohol and drug treatment who would not normally access these services.
  • The Arc Café continues to help people to get real life work experience and increase vocational opportunities.
  • Working in partnership with Bristol City Council, we have refurbished 2 long term empty properties bringing an additional 6 units of accommodation and moving people from supported accommodation into independent stable housing.

Once again under Andrew Ridley’s excellent financial stewardship, our accounts were unqualified for 2017/18, with no significant recommendations for improvements.

Our financial situation is well managed by Andrew and his team, and is then robustly scrutinised by the Board.

I hope you enjoy reading the impact report. Why not follow us on Twitter (@ARA_Bristol) and like our Facebook page too, for real time updates and stories about our work?

Simon Thompson

Housing Services

Connect Psychology
Gambling Service
Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service
Gloucestershire Drug and Alcohol Service
Arc Café