The Severn Project is a Community Interest Company (07253111) founded by Steve Glover in April 2010 with the aim of creating a more effective and person centred model of drug and alcohol recovery.
The Project is designed to bridge the gap between treatment and social reintegration though a process of education, training and employment.
Beginning as a pilot on 4 acres of waste ground in Keynsham, Steve engaged a small number of clients and set about clearing the land. Through his hard work and commitment, and that of volunteers and most importantly clients, what was once waste ground is now a thriving horticultural social enterprise.
Those engaged with the Project have been provided with the invaluable experience of helping to build something from nothing, and the opportunity to determine their own recovery pathway.
At the Severn Project we support socially excluded individuals – particularly those who are struggling or have struggled with the effects of substance misuse, ex offenders and those with low level mental health disorders. We believe that abstinence and effective living is an attainable goal for every person.
We wish to support the self efficacy and autonomy of the individual, empowering our associates through work based training, education, support, accommodation, employment and social integration. By incubating and supporting the running of ethical enterprises started by ourselves and the individuals we are supporting, we demonstrate sustainability – on an individual and a project level. We are running a market garden specialising in growing salads, and beginning a CSA box scheme.
We run NVQs in horticulture and conservation, (construction, enterprise, catering and woodland management starting shortly) with our partner organisations City of Bristol College and Next Step. We are members of the Wholesome Food Association, the CIC association, and the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens. We are accredited by Social Enterprise Mark and the Wholesome Food Association. We are always looking for volunteers and supporters.
The Severn Project seeks to replicate throughout the UK.
As our client testimonials demonstrate, for many this was not their first experience of recovery services, the seemingly endless cycle of treatment and relapse often resulting in a lack of hope and self belief. The Severn Project is specifically designed to tackle this by providing structure and support post-treatment. We are unique in our approach in that the support we offer does not have a fixed end date. Support is designed around the individual and their own needs.
The Severn Project is now entering a very exciting period of expansion. Building on the experience and knowledge gained during the pilot phase we have created a comprehensive programme with multiple entry points, designed to be able to provide support to individuals at various stages of recovery.
Our new site at Whitchurch will provide clients with another opportunity to be part of creating something completely from scratch and increase the variety of opportunities we can provide for them.
The Severn Project has received very little external funding up to this point, in keeping with our ethos of promoting self reliance, for both our business and our clients. However, the external funding and support we have received has been crucial in enabling us to survive during this initial pilot phase and continue to provide support to our clients.