ESH Works Ltd provide fully residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation support for clients with serious addiction issues. During the pandemic they were awarded £13,200 through the Foundation’s Doing Things Differently Fund to implement a more complex COVID compliant admission process.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many community groups needed to adapt the way they usually operate to ensure they could continue their services safely. ESH Works Ltd were no different and were in desperate need of an external facility to assess potential new residents to keep the main residency building COVID secure.

Paul Urmston, CEO of ESH Works Ltd, explained:

“We’re a residential rehab and a care home as well, because of this we needed to operate as a closed bubble during the pandemic, so when anyone was eventually admitted, obviously COVID clear, we didn’t have to wear masks or any other PPE because we were safe in our closed bubble.


“The main thing that we did with the grant money was to buy a caravan, as we work in a house where there is no capability to create an ‘air-lock’ system. People stay with us for  4-6 weeks so we have a constant turn over of people coming in and out and we needed to manage this.


“We needed to assess potential residents in a safe environment, away from the main residency building, the caravan was the perfect solution and is now our admissions office.


“The caravan is also for staff to do their daily health checks and sanitise before they come into the main building. The caravan has been the biggest initiative to keep all our staff and residents safe at the moment, without it there would have been a strong possibility that we’d have to close.”

The pandemic also saw a surge of people needing ESH Works’ services, Paul continued:

“The demand for our services was far greater because the amount of people with drug and alcohol problems had increased dramatically, people had started to recognise that a family member had a major addiction problem because they were at home to spot it where usually they’d have never known if they had to go into work every day.”

The funding from the Foundation enabled ESH Works to hire a part-time member of staff to manage the COVID testing and the new admissions process for new residents, meaning their usual services could continue safely:

“We do 1-2-1 counselling, our counsellors are accredited and give at least two sessions a week for our residents. On site we also do physical exercise sessions which include yoga, Tai-Chi and cardiovascular activities. Our residents are in a physical disaster when they come in the door because of how much they’ve abused their bodies so it’s too risky to take them to a public gym.


“We also have an allotment on site so they get good food and home grown fresh veg. Residents have a medically assisted detox to get the alcohol or drugs out of their body and after that stage is when you start to see them pick up and we can start to work with them, mentally and emotionally. Basically they come in bemused, distressed and emotionally unstable and they go out as self-functioning adults.


“All our staff have dealt with their own addiction problems in the past so they have their personal experience to call on, but are now professionals in their own right. The staff work here because they want to help other people who are in the same position that they once were.”

If you’d like to apply for funding please view our Available Grants here.