Sustainable Recovery - Our Strategy



Our Chief Exec, Karen Biggs introduces Phoenix's 2020 strategy - Sustainable Recovery

The work we do at Phoenix leads to change.

Our services span a wide spectrum and meet the unique individual needs of people whatever their hopes and ambitions for themselves or their family’s future. As we have developed our expertise, we have shared our approaches creating best practice and influencing policy. And we have spoken out, giving voice to the people we support. Our expertise is psychosocial treatment and support which is the common thread through everything we do.


At our core we support individuals’ families and communities to recover from drug and alcohol problems. - This is our purpose 


In 2014 we worked with staff external stakeholders and people who use our services to create a set of values and beliefs. We thought carefully about the words we wrote we wanted them to be our compass  - guiding our day to day work and our decision making.


We are Passionate about Recovery - Our relentless optimism and energy for overcoming dependency motivates those we help to realise their own recovery. Families, friends and carers need hope, care and guidance just as much as their loved ones.


We Value Our History  - We believe you can only really know who you are if you understand and respect where you have come from. We have learnt much as an organisation over the last 50 years and use that wealth of knowledge to create a bright and brilliant new future for those in need of hope today.


We Believe in Being the Best - That is why we constantly strive to learn and innovate, to challenge ourselves, to adapt and to work together with others who can bring valuable expertise. Striving to be the best doesn’t mean wanting to be the biggest, it means giving the very best of ourselves to achieve our purpose.


These values have served us well in the last 6 years, they set out what we expect of ourselves and each other. We know that because we tested them with the organisation in the staff survey in November last year.


Almost everyone at Phoenix believe Phoenix employees display behaviours that reflect our values.


Our values don’t just give us a sense of how we should behave and where we should focus our efforts, they allow us to measure our performance and behaviours. We also use them to inform our recruitment process and review our performance against them.

Our purpose together with our values and belief are the guiding principles of our organisation. They guide us in our day to day work and they signal to the world who and what we are.

Our strategy shows what we will achieve – we write a new strategy every 3 years and this year we are launching our new strategy


Sustainable Recovery

There are many plans that set our how we will achieve Sustainable Recovery, these plans help us see how we contribute as a department, a team and as individuals to our shared purpose.

Our new strategy Sustainable Recovery has 3 broad areas of focus which build on the work of the last strategy Confident About Recovery

  • We will continue to deliver and develop services that sustain recovery
  • We will ensure we having the skills and resources to sustain delivery
  • And we commit to making a sustainable difference in the world.   


Services that Sustain Recovery

Our psychosocial expertise has really been vital through the covid pandemic

  • we have maintained an opportunity for people to access rehab when many closed their doors
  • we have developed a pathway from prison to rehab in Scotland funded by the Scottish Government
  • We have supported local efforts in Essex  London and Derby to ‘get everyone in’ off the streets
  • We have developed approaches in our prisons services that allow people to continue to get the help they need through the lockdown
  • And we are sharing our wide range of specialist housing models to support the herculain effort of housing homeless people when they leave their temporary accomodation


We are recognised as the experts for psychosocial substance misuse treatment. In the coming year we will be continuing to develop   our expertise in a wider range of multiple and complex needs including trauma and mental health.

  • In our Housing Services - We are developing a  pre-tenancy training programme for service users
  • In our Prison Services - We will be creating new models – to support a wider range of needs including mental health needs
  • In our Community Services - The experience of online interventions over the last 3 months has offered us an opportunity to  engage people who face barriers to accessing face to face support
  • In our Residential Services - We will be deepening our knowledge and expertise of supporting people with complex needs through practice development and research’


A Charity with the skills and resources to sustain recovery

A sound financial footing is essential to surviving in the substance misuse sector – We have been able to support staff through the coronavirus crisis because we have sound finances.

One of the reasons we are a secure charity is because we focus on creating the right processes to support good governance. We will be supporting staff to better understand those processes and working to make the processes easier to navigate.

Automation will pay a key part in those improvements.  In the main across our HR and finance processes.

We will be developing further our learning and development offer and creating opportunities for personal and professional development as well as ensuring you have the information and skills to perform your role to the highest standard.

We will look at how we recruit the most talented people into our organisation, there will be specific projects on Diversity  & Inclusion  and  Health and Wellbeing which you will have an opportunity to get involved in.

We will also be looking at how we maintain our values and culture in the new remote world and that new world has to be a sustainable world and we are committed to making a sustainable difference in it.


Speaking out against Stigma

Our last strategy launched our commitment to speaking out against stigma, that seems such a natural and coherent thing we do now. When we talk about stigma what we actually mean is discrimination - Judgements and behaviours that limit opportunities for people. We will continue to call that out where we see it and to give insight into the lives of people who experience addiction.

We will continue to give voice to people who use and need our services and support their human right to recover. That voice and presentation of our support for people who use our services - our new brand identity reflects this.


We will be able to declare carbon neutral status in November 2020.

Last year I posed the question – could we be carbon neutral. And the very bright and energetic minds we have in phoenix found the answer to be yes. And not only that, we started to put a plan together to achieve it. Last year we reduced our carbon emissions by 27%

There are a whole range of initiatives in the workplans which will be overseen by the environmental sustainability focus group. Including embedding RTN into delivery. All learning how to better care for the environment, our staff, the people who use our services and our local communities’

The thinking that created the sustainable recovery strategy happened before the pandemic, but seems more relevant than ever in whatever the new world will be. Although the pandemic has impacted the whole world our experience of it is very individual. As we proceed through the rest of the year peoples lives will continue to change and  we will also start to create a new Phoenix normal. It will be a challenge but our guiding principles – our values and our purpose – and our energy and commitment will create Sustainable Recovery


Watch our Sustainable Recovery strategy launch video here 

Phoenix Futures is a registered charity in England and Wales (No 284880) and in Scotland (No SCO39008); Company Limited by Guarantee Number 1626869; Registered Provider of Social Housing with Homes England (H3795).