The Nelson Trust was founded in 1985 near Stroud in Gloucestershire by Roy and Mary Brash. The charity began life as a “secondary care unit” for people recovering from alcohol addiction, and over a period of a few short years it developed into a residential treatment centre providing a comprehensive programme of care and support for people looking for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
The programme brought together a staff team with a range of specialist therapeutic skills and services grew which could support people with complex needs including trauma, mental health problems, criminal justice issues and complex family problems.
Over time, with the generous support of donors and grant-giving trusts, we have established a service which provides residential treatment as part of an integrated service with education and training, supported resettlement housing and aftercare. We have a total of nine residential houses together with a treatment centre, education centre and our administration centre in the Stroud area. The treatment centre is a former school house a short walk from the residential accommodation in the beautiful rural setting of the Cotswolds.
Within the last decade we have developed a specialist residential service for women who have experienced trauma or abuse which is closely associated with substance dependency: women can now undertake a residential programme and move on into resettlement accommodation in safe and supportive all-female houses.
Our successful and innovative work with women who had very complex problems led to recognition in 2009 from the Centre for Social Justice when we won their award for the best organisation working in the field of addiction. This recognition in turn helped us to establish the ISIS Women’s Centre in Gloucester in the same year, providing a “one stop shop” approach to the wide range of problems faced by women in the criminal justice system: in the same year we established our Family Focus service based, with ISIS, at Belsize House in Gloucester. In 2013 we opened an ISIS Women's Centre in Swindon which serves all of Wiltshire.