Working with complexity

Our strength-based collaborative approach, views clients as a human beings first, not just someone with needs and risks, but someone with strengths, interests, personal experiences and goals.

We know that many of the clients that come to our service or need our service have had traumatic experiences in their lives and find it difficult to trust; We ask them ‘what has happened to you?’ instead of ‘what is wrong with you?’ This opens up the conversation about how they have survived difficult experiences in the best way they could, finding strength in the most desperate of situations. This usually translates into take up of our service from people who are usually perceived as ‘non-engagers’.

Whole systems approach

We work with the whole woman through 1-2-1 and group interventions addressing more than one need at the same time and always focusing on what the woman can achieve. At the same time we work with the woman’s whole situation focusing on safeguarding and stabilising her circumstances (e.g. accessing health care, accessing safe accommodation) coordinating holistic joined up support within and across agencies.

We work within the whole system through bespoke or existing forums; developing a strategic overview of local issues with the aim of safeguarding them, avoiding duplication, avoiding ‘outcome’ competition and creating innovative interventions to complex issues.

mental health

Dual diagnosis

We have worked with individuals who have both substance dependence and also a diagnosed mental illness since 2000. Over the years we have developed our residential treatment programme and our community work to cater for those struggling with both an addiction and mental health problem. Our experienced staff offer therapeutic and support skills to the clients which helps them manage their symptoms. We work closely with NHS mental health services to improve treatment adherence and access to relevant services.

Trauma-informed services

A trauma-informed service feels safe. The Nelson Trust is a place where the client can build trust, develop choices, work closely with others, and ultimately make their own decisions. We will support clients with sensitivity and compassion. We will be honest, reliable, consistent, open and fair and if we need to challenge the client, we will do so respectfully.


Gender-responsive interventions

We provide women-only environments where women can recovery from addiction and move away from offending by accessing residential treatment or attending our community centres.

Many women use drug and alcohol to cope with a history of abuse and complex trauma. Our residential programme supports women to break free from destructive behaviours and thinking patterns linked to their past trauma, help women focus on their own recovery in a safe and trauma-informed environment.

Most women who offend are involved in petty crime and pose no danger to the public. At our women-only centres women can serve community orders removing the stigma and shame, preventing unemployment, homelessness, and family breakdown.

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