About us

Break the cycle, move forward

About us

Forward empowers people to break the often interlinked cycles of addiction or crime to move forward with their lives. For more than 25 years we have been working with people to build positive and productive futures. We believe that anyone is capable of lasting change. Our services have supported thousands of people to make changes to create better lives with jobs, family, friends and a sense of community.


About our drug and alcohol services

Around 2 million people (1 in 30 adults) in the UK are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol. Amongst marginalised groups, such as homeless people, the proportion can be as high as 1 in 3 and amongst prisoners, it is higher than 1 in 2 – more than 50% of all prisoners have some history of drug or alcohol problems. The waste of potential, as well as the social and emotional damage involved is massive – but it is also redeemable. Forward manages a diverse range of drug and alcohol recovery services that aim to provide individuals with the care and support to stabilise their lives and think about the future, the strength and motivation to believe in change, and the support and connection to stay the course. Our accredited 12 step programmes have independently proven success rates in achieving these transformations, and we are applying the 25 years of experience of these programmes to a wider range of client needs and circumstances.


Having a job can help break the cycle of re-offending and addiction. A job can bring purpose, a connection to the community and independence. Forward Employment Services create chances for people to develop new skills, find work and start a new story. Operating across Justice, Welfare to Work and Local Authority commissioning frameworks. 
Our services include:

Work: Direct employment of ex-offenders through our award-winning Blue Sky Agency in a range of sectors and wider brokerage services, plus in-work support;
Skills: Accredited vocational training based on employer needs; Motivation and Resilience: Activities and interventions to engage, inspire, and prepare people in the criminal justice system for work;
Apprenticeships and Volunteering: Our award winning schemes for people starting out on a new career;
Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship: We invest in our own enterprises – including start-up enterprises – led by and employing ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction.

Our services are informed by years of working with some of the hardest-to-reach people in the community, in custody and through the gate. Our expert team includes people with comparable experience, who can provide inspirational peer support to our target client groups. Our current employment and skills contract portfolio includes HMPPS CFO3, HMPPS Learning and Skills Development, Work Programme, Prison Reform contracts, and Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS).