Impact investment in “A Life Worth Living”

Chandos House, a Community Interest Company whose goal is to help people towards an alcohol and drug-free lifestyle, has received an investment of £150,000 from the Resonance Bristol Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) Fund, to enable it to support more clients at their Bristol based residential treatment facility.

This is now the sixth investment from the Resonance Bristol SITR Fund, established last year in order to invest in social enterprises in and around Bristol which are using business models to intentionally dismantle poverty in the area.

As the only residential rehabilitation recovery service in Bristol, Chandos House is an invaluable resource. But it is more than that to the residents who have gone through its course of treatment. Not only does Chandos House treat the addiction that has brought an individual to seek help, they treat the whole person, addressing the many complex needs that are often associated with addiction. This moves the treatment away from a focus on the symptoms, to meeting the very real needs of each individual. And, unlike many other programmes, the support doesn’t end when they walk out the door back into the community. Chandos House not only has its own move-on accommodation at its second location in Bristol, but also offers all its residents who complete their treatment ongoing free after-care support for as long as each individual needs. This allows them to continue to take part in the daily structure as well as attend specific relapse prevention groups.

Individuals are referred to Chandos House from Bristol as well as other authorities where out of area treatment is appropriate. Many of these clients settle in the Bristol area post-treatment having built a supportive network and opportunities for self-development.

The therapy is based around supporting the development of social skills and the confidence needed to take responsibility for re-entry into the community. Treatments include one to one and group therapy, a focus on respect for others and for themselves, trust and support, shared responsibilities such as cleaning and cooking for each other as well as developing other life skills such as handling finances to prepare them for life back in the community. Treatment at Chandos House is just the beginning of “getting a life worth living”: for example, part of the focus is on finding the right volunteering opportunity to inspire and enable residents to continue building community networks beyond their stay.

The main location for Chandos House, a period house in the Redland area of Bristol, has increased its number of beds from 10 to 15 in recent months, and this investment will ensure that the business can support the larger number of clients with two new treatment rooms as well as improvements to their current community kitchen, group therapy room and conservatory. Chandos House has also recently converted to become a Community Interest Company, transforming a family business to ensure its legacy continues for generations to come in the provision of services to its local community.

Katalin Juhasz, Investment Manager at Resonance, said of the deal: “Resonance made initial contact with Chandos House in the middle of last year and, having spent time on site with James and the team, we immediately saw that there was something special going on here. Whilst I was visiting, a former addict who had previously been at Chandos House came by to drop off some fruit for the community – that’s when I realized that their model of holistic treatment and ongoing support was really working for people. Having established this initial relationship, when Chandos House identified a specific investment need for the business we were able to approve an investment within a few months. The investment will enable Chandos House to further develop its business model to support its growth by diversifying both its revenue and beneficiaries. It’s a unique community and social enterprise, and we look forward to seeing it grow further.”

As part of the investment process, Resonance was also able to access funding for Chandos House from the Reach Fund, a fund created by the Access Foundation to overcome specific barriers to investment faced by smaller social enterprises.

James Dickinson, CEO of Chandos Houses, said of the investment from the Resonance Bristol Fund: “I was referred to Resonance as the active impact investment fund in Bristol and soon after the first discussion, a plan started to come together to strengthen Chandos House as a business and therefore ensuring a sustainable model to support the community offering treatment to those in need for years to come. The team has worked very hard and we are very excited about the changes and improvements this investment enables for our future and continued quality of treatment.”