richmond 180Charities Richmond Fellowship and Aquarius are entering into a formal partnership that will enable them to "strengthen and improve the services they can offer to support people with mental health and substance misuse problems".

Richmond Fellowship has provided social inclusion and recovery services for more than 55 years and offers a range of housing, care, employment and community support, helping more than 9,000 people every year.

Aquarius was established in 1977 to run three residential services as part of a Birmingham University research project to look at developing new and effective interventions for people with alcohol problems. It has since sought to be involved in services and research programmes to improve understanding and support around alcohol and drug abuse and gambling addiction.

The substance misuse charity's chief executive, Annette Fleming, said: “We’re looking forward to working with Richmond Fellowship, there is much we can learn from each other to strengthen both charities and improve our service delivery.”

Aquarius becomes a subsidiary of Richmond Fellowship but will remain a registered charity and a limited company in its own right. Aquarius is the latest voluntary sector organisation to join the Richmond Fellowship group, which now includes 2Care, CAN, Croftlands Trust and My Time.

Richmond Fellowship’s chief executive, Derek Caren, said: “We believe that joining forces will allow us to offer a wider range of services, develop more innovative ways of providing support and reduce our costs. Aquarius brings with it a lot of expertise in the field of addiction services that will benefit the rest of our organisation.

“Collectively we’re all passionate about being socially inclusive, person-centred, and recovery focused. These shared values will help us build better services going forward that can adapt and flex to the changing needs of the people we support. Coming together as a group will also ensure we’ve a solid financial foundation to be able to achieve all that we want. It’ll offer opportunities to make efficiency savings and streamline our processes, allowing us to invest more in our frontline activity.”

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