handshakeMental health charity Richmond Fellowship and Northamptonshire-based substance misuse support charity CAN are to merge.

The charities hope the formal partnership will enable them to strengthen and improve the services they offer to support people with mental health and substance misuse problems.

Richmond Fellowship is one of the biggest voluntary sector providers of mental health care in England. It offers a range of housing, care, employment and community support, helping more than 9,000 people every year.

CAN – County of Northampton Council on Addiction – provides support to people with drug, alcohol and homelessness issues in the Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire areas. It has a track record of developing innovative partnerships with local NHS trusts and supporting people with complex needs.

Richmond Fellowship’s chief executive, Derek Caren, said: “We believe that joining up with other ambitious and successful organisations will allow us to offer a wider range of services, develop more innovative ways of providing support and reduce our costs.

“CAN has been providing high quality support for more than 40 years and brings with it a lot of expertise in the field of substance misuse services that will benefit the rest of our organisation.”

CAN’s chief executive, Linda Juland, added: “We recognise that if we want to succeed in our mission to touch lives and change futures by inspiring people to make positive choices then as an organisation we have to change too.

“We have been exploring options for establishing a strategic partnership with another charity which can provide us with the support and stability to take us forward so we’re really pleased to be joining up with Richmond Fellowship. We believe it shares our ambitions and values and its services provide a complementary fit to enhance the support we already offer.”

CAN will become a subsidiary of Richmond Fellowship but will remain a registered charity and a limited company in its own right. The formal partnership will not lead to any changes to the provision of existing CAN services.