Stepping Stones Fund backs community drug and alcohol recovery service helping transform lives

The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, and UBS have awarded a £50,000 grant to Community Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service ( CDARS) , a local charity with the sole aim of enhancing the lives of all those affected by substance and alcohol abuse.

CDARS aims to relieve the suffering caused by drug and alcohol misuse, through the provision of specialist psychosocial non-residential treatment for adult drug and alcohol misusers in Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth. In addition, they also aim to support families and carers of substance misusers. The charity will use this grant to build on the many services they provide and the salary of CDARS staff.

The charity provides a range of psychosocial services to support the recovery of substance misusers, and their re-integration within the community, raises awareness about the risks associated with substance misuse within community and offers information workshops.

The grant was awarded through the City Bridge Trust’s Stepping Stones Fund which supports charities and social enterprises in London who wished to access the social investment market. The latest batch of grants has seen £700,000 awarded to 17 diverse organisations. This brings the total awards given to £2,185,100 to 49 organisations since the launch of the Stepping Stones Fund in 2015.

David Farnsworth, Director of City Bridge Trust, commented:

City Bridge Trust is committed to supporting Londoners to make the city a fairer place to work and live. This charity is changing the lives of many by providing vital support networks and specialist help. The grant will enable to continue this work and help even more people in need. We are thrilled that we are already helping so many projects through the fund.”

Alex Thomas, Grants and Bids Manager at CDARS, added:

“CDARS is delighted to have been chosen as a recipient of the Stepping Stones Fund. This will be a fantastic opportunity for our organisation to build our capacity and to become investment-ready. We hope this project will enable us to access social impact bonds and to become more competitive in this challenging market.

“Every year, we reach about 1,100 substance misusers. In addition, we offer comprehensive support to around 400 families and carers of substance misusers.”

The success of Stepping Stones Fund is underpinned by a strong partnership between City Bridge Trust and UBS. It is an exciting and very effective combination of the Trust’s grant making expertise, the generous funding offered by UBS and the skills and insights of the bank’s corporate volunteers. The role that the non-profit and private sectors play in working towards the public good is ever more important in the age of a shrinking state.

Nick Wright, Managing Director, Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs at UBS said:

"The demand on the Fund measured by applications received highlights the continued need within the charity and voluntary sector for its existence. UBS is pleased to be supporting grantees not just through the provision of much-needed capital but also the skills and expertise of UBS volunteers which has proven to be a valuable experience for all involved. We look forward to continuing to develop this nascent market and to help bridge the funding gap for charities preparing for social investment."

City Bridge Trust provides grants totalling around £20 million per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London. To date, over £2 million has been awarded on the Stepping Stones Fund with 49 organisations benefitting.

The charitable funder has awarded 7,531 grants totalling £353,396,242 since it first began in 1995 with 4,510 different organisation’s receiving funds.

The Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver tackling disadvantage across the capital.

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