2021 | The Forward Trust

2021 | The Forward Trust

FROM THE WEBSITE: The Forward Trust empowers people to break the cycles of addiction or crime to move forward with their lives. Since 1991, we have been working with people to build positive and productive futures. We believe that anyone is capable of lasting change, as celebrated in our More Than My Past and Taking Action on Addiction campaigns. Our services have supported thousands of people to make changes to create better lives with jobs, family, friends and a sense of community.

We’re a national organisation, with services located in almost all regions of England (South West, South East, London, East of England, West Midlands, East Midlands, North West; and Yorkshire and the Humber) and Wales. Forward now have over 70 separate service delivery projects, with more than 20,000 clients per year supported by 700 staff and 150 volunteers. We are proud that around 30% of our workforce have lived experience of the issues we seek to address.


— The Forward Trust formally merged with Action on Addiction in May 2021. Action on Addition was one of Catherine’s first patronages.
— Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge became Patron in June 2021.
— Check out Action on Addiction efforts here.


We are deeply honoured that The Duchess of Cambridge has joined the charity as our Patron. Renewing her commitment to lifting the stigma around addiction so that more people can ask for help will have a profound impact.The pandemic has had a devastating impact on addiction, rates of harmful drinking and drug related deaths are at an all-time high, and gambling addiction is rising at an alarming rate. All this is happening at a time when access to treatment has been diminishing. Our merger with Action on Addiction is our commitment to help address this demand. – The Hon. David Bernstein, Chairman of The Forward Trust


September 25, 2015 – Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust – The Duchess of Cambridge paid her first-ever visit to a prison. The RAPt addiction treatment program at HMP Send is the only intensive, 12-Step, prison-based drug and alcohol program for women in the country. The program is 16-21 weeks long and is based in a standalone unit where the women live. It is specifically designed to support the needs of women with addiction who have often experienced deep trauma and require specialized support to turn their lives around. The program also focuses on building healthy relationships with partners, children, and other family members. During the visit the Duchess heard from some of the women prisoners about how they had become addicts and prisoners. They told her how the RAPt program was helping them to overcome their addiction and become drug, alcohol and crime free.

January 22, 2020 – ‘5 Big Questions’ – Cardiff & Surrey – The Duchess of Cambridge recently paid a visit to HMP Send, where she spent time with current prisoners and checked on the progress of past prisoners supported by the Forward program. Since her last visit in 2015, the substance misuse center at HMP Send has expanded to offer more personalized support and mindfulness workshops, which have helped over 200 more women address their substance misuse issues. As part of the launch of her landmark survey, The Duchess learned about the significant effect that experiences in the early years can have on the rest of one’s life. During her visit, The Duchess also reunited with one of the women she met in 2015, who shared her story of spending her childhood in and out of the care system and how it led to substance misuse and a 10-year cycle of addiction and re-offending. It was heartening to hear that this woman is now married, has been promoted at The Nelson Trust, and has been shortlisted as a nominee at the National Diversity Awards, recognizing her work in helping women recover from addiction and trauma.

October 19, 2021 – Keynote Speech To Launch “Taking Action On Addiction” Campaign – The Duchess of Cambridge along with The Forward Trust, launched the Taking Action on Addiction campaign to drive awareness and understanding of addiction. The Duchess of Cambridge launched the campaign with a keynote speech. The event also screened a short film challenging misunderstandings about addiction and was closed by Tom Walker, who gave a special performance of his worldwide hit (about addiction) “Leave A Light On.”

September 12, 2023 – Visiting HMP High Down With The Forward Trust –The Princess of Wales visited HMP High Down in Surrey to learn about how The Forward Trust are supporting those in the criminal justice system to manage and recover from their addictions. During her visit Catherine shadowed the experience of a family during a normal visit, starting with the security procedures visitors are required to go through. She sat down with serving prisoners to hear about the current programs provided by both the charity and the prison, and support they are receiving for their addiction. The Princess also visited The Clink, an on-site restaurant which trains prisoners in hospitality, where she met with former prisoners and Forward Trust alumni. Her Royal Highness spoke to those who have worked with and volunteered for the charity in prison and the community and learned how they have been supported to recover from and manage their addictions.