A unique Lancashire organisation’s strategy and ethos has been held up as an example of how the government can improve life chances for marginalised groups.
Award-winning Recycling Lives features in an independent review written by Dame Carol Black– showing how employment plays an important role in improving the wellbeing and self-worth of people who have experienced drug and alcohol addiction.
The Preston-based organisation works with individuals facing social problems such as those explored in Dame Carol’s report – it tackles homelessness and rehabilitates offenders through its charity, funded by its waste management and recycling business.
Dame Carol, an academic who advises the government on relationships between work and health, visited Recycling Lives in late 2015 as part of her research for the paper, ‘Drug and alcohol addiction, and obesity: effects on employment outcomes’.
The publication features a case study on Recycling Lives and draws on its ethos to evidence the real benefits of opportunities for marginalised groups.
Recycling Lives founder Steve Jackson today welcomed the findings, which back up the ethos he has instilled since his organisation’s inception in 2008.
He said: “All conflicts are best resolved through education and conversations so it’s wonderful to see these issues being brought into government policy and strategy.”
Recycling Lives was invited to contribute to the research after taking part in the Centre For Social Justice’s 2012 strategy which guided government policy.
This latest report found that opportunities to work or volunteer should be part of “treatment regimes” for individuals experiencing the issues.
Dame Carol added that employers should be encouraged to give jobs to those who have faced addiction.
Mr Jackson said Recycling Lives’ open-minded recruitment policy has benefitted the organisation.
He said: “We can evidence that these groups of employees seldom slip back into ‘old ways’ such as addictions or behaviours, when given the right opportunities and support.”