“Crack it in Blackpool, take over the world”

rehabilitation Jobs Friends and houses logo Happy Creative branding Blackpool, Lancashire, north west, agency, marketing, graphic, design, addiction, community, hotel, employment, training, jobs, friends, houses, Kirkham,

How to tackle the issue of addicts and addiction? Arrest? Punishment? Lock them up and throw away the key? Serving police officer and founder of Jobs, Friends and Houses, Steve Hodgkins, believes there’s another way. And Happy’s helping.

“I am a serving police officer of 27 years,” says Steve Hodgkins. “I have personally viewed the destruction addiction causes – criminal behaviour to fund the addiction, victims of burglary who have had treasured possessions stolen; telling a mother that a drink driver who was also an alcoholic has killed her daughter; breaking into a bed-sit to try and save a heroin addict who had overdosed… the list goes on.”

Successful recovery is possible, but its likelihood is increased when an addict has a job, stable accommodation and positive peers to support them. Yet as Steve observes, addiction comes with its own readymade Catch-22. “Who will employ a 20-year heroin addict, who has been in-and-out of prison his whole adult life? Or lease a house to an alcoholic with no references? Why should society support these individuals who continually relapse to their addiction?”

Steve is working to ensure that addicts contribute to their own recovery in a partnership developed with Lancashire Constabulary, Blackpool Council, HMP Kirkham, Blackpool and Fylde College, arts organisations, private businesses and third sector groups.

“Jobs, Friends and Houses Community Interest Company does what it says on the tin. It provides meaningful employment and training, peer support and stable accommodation for people in recovery. Profits are re-invested back into the enterprise to help more individuals sustain recovery.

Jobs Friends and houses logo Happy Creative branding Blackpool, Lancashire, north west, agency, marketing, graphic, design, addiction, community,  hotel, employment, training, jobs, friends, houses, Kirkham,

“The company buys, renovates and sells (or rents) properties. All jobs and tenancies created are for people in recovery. By creating a community underpinned by individuals facing similar challenges of addiction, we hope to sustain recovery of each other and help those involved flourish.”

Although the jobs being created at present centre on construction, Steve plans to launch a recovery hotel, garage and entertainment venues, so addicts wishing to build lives and careers in other industries can. Already, the venture has been awarded SELNET’s Start up Social Enterprise of the Year, and is nominated in this year’s BIBAs.

Happy has helped create the branding and website for Jobs, Friends and Houses, giving the company an online presence it can use to build its influence. Because as Steve notes, Blackpool is just the beginning.

“We’re bringing people from the recovery community together with people from the Arts Council, builders… it’s just going to be great. And of course, when we crack it in Blackpool we’ll just take over the world.”

Check out the website.

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