Construction of Recovery Central, the brainchild of successful social enterprise and charity Changes UK, officially finished in Birmingham today (26 April).
The centre is one of the largest venues of its kind ever built in the UK and provides a one-stop shop for the recovery community, including a new caférestaurant, the city’s first dry bar, business incubation space and a multi-purpose conference centre.
Funded by Public Health England, the 50,000 sq ft centre in Digbeth will also house three social enterprises started by people who have been supported by the charity, a gardening business, building company, a state-of-the-art recording studio and a recovery radio station, not to mention hosting the organisation’s 31-strong team.
The revenue generated through the different activities will be channelled into the work of the charity, whose aim is to become fully self-financing whilst continuing to support more than 200 people every year to overcome their addictions.
“This is a massive milestone in our nine-year history and will help us deliver our sector leading support to even more people,” explained founder Steven Dixon, who beat a 15-year addiction with alcohol and drugs to establish Changes UK.
“Our service works because it is peer led (by people who have been in similar situations and come through them) and focuses not only on tackling the problems, but also giving individuals support and opportunities once they are in recovery.”
He added: “This has resulted in the vast majority of our clients (78%) staying clean and building new lives, a staggering success rate when you consider the national average is just 8%. It’s all about connection, empowerment and raising aspirations by giving them access to training, volunteering and employment.
“Recovery Central is a fantastic venue and will give us the facilities to work with even more people and, importantly generate additional revenue every year which can then be ploughed back into the charity and our future enterprises.”
The official opening of Recovery Central will take place on 13 May at 9.30am, with Rosanna O’Connor, director of alcohol, drugs and tobacco at Public Health England giving a keynote address.