Compass Project a not-for-profit social enterprise founded and operated entirely by people with a history of drug/alcohol dependency and offending backgrounds. Completely changing ones life is something that takes enormous courage and heart. We are proud to be in recovery and want others to find the same joy.
We raise the majority of our funds through our two 2nd hand stores and restoration workshop. All monies go back into the project to help and support our members address behavioural issues and develop core work skills. Everyone involved in the project does an honest days work at the stores on a voluntary basis to take advantage of this unique environment of shared personal experience and identification. This allows us the time we need to address the barriers we face when attempting to reintegrate society after a life-time of addiction and crime. This also allows us to develop new skills, practice old trades and gain experience and references for our eventual employment.
Once the working day is done, we organize social events to renew hope that we can find fulfilment in sobriety. We collaborate on creative projects to once again feel inspired. We are a family and we grow together.
Social Impact Declaration: Social-Impact-Declaration_Compass-Project-1.pdf
Social Impact Statements:
Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated June 2018
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
The Compass Project 2012 is a collective of people in recovery from addiction working together to move forward and address the long-term unemployment and social re-integration issues we face. We offset the deep seeded feelings of marginalization and fear that are prominent amongst people with addiction and slowly replace them with feelings of solidarity and possibility through Peer Mentoring.
Our vision is to challenge how people in recovery from addiction perceive themselves and, reactively, how the rest of society perceives addiction. In pursuit of this vision, The Compass Project has 3 objectives:
- to maintain a nurturing recovery community based on growth through peer mentoring;
- to develop an increasingly effective and productive Compass Project training and sustainable employment model;
- to positively change people’s attitudes and perceptions of addiction.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
We operate two recycled goods shops that provide our members with a wide range of skills training and work experience opportunities including retail sales, woodworking, furniture restoration, lorry driving and office administration.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
Our work placements help our beneficiaries increase their self worth and teaches them new skills‐ this significantly improves their opportunities to find sustainable employment. Directly selling their work to the local Staple Hill community helps mend negative perceptions the community has of people with substance misuse backgrounds. Our motto: mending furniture helps mend communities!
Members make new friends during their time here. We often find them socialising and going for coffee together after a day of purposeful work. It creates a vital social network that helps lessen the social exclusion issues they face.
Our community events, like the "Decorate Your Skateboard" event, bring together the local community and our beneficiaries in unique ways. Having these groups of people (who normally wouldn't interact) mingle together helps change stigmas associated with addiction and helps beneficiaries overcome some of the trust issues they have concerning the community in general. This greatly improve their motivation to re‐engage with society. It also help lessen fears the general community may have concerning ex‐addicts.
Finally, we work with other organisations in the community (employment, health & well-being, education, drugs & alcohol, and prison) to ensure that, once our beneficairaires are able to address these disadvantages, they are then able to move on to the diverse employment, training, counselling, and educational opportunities offered by these organisations with much more motivation and success.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
We monitor our impact with internal assessment forms and one-one review sessions.
In 2017 one-to-one consultations with 30 members who have been with the organization for more than 6 months indicate an improvement in emotional/behavioural well-being and a readiness to move on: 93% feel they have improved life and work skills. 83% feel they have a stronger bond with the community. 86% reported having an improvement in self-image and feel ready to return to work.
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