Our Strategy, finances and history


Forward's Business Strategy 'Bringing lasting change' reports on the impact Forward services have had for the past 25 years and outlines ambitious plans to expand Forward's services and impact to support more people to break the cycles of crime or addiction.

Annual accounts year end 2020
The Forward Trust Gender Pay and Ethnicity Report 2020-21
Annual Accounts year end March 2019
Bringing Lasting Change
Download Forward's 2016 - 2019 Strategy which outlines ambitious plans to support more people to break the cycle and move forward.
Annual Accounts year end March 2018
The Forward Trust Gender Pay Statement 2019-20
Since 2017, organisations with 250 or more employees have been required to publish figures about their gender pay gap. Read our statement about the difference between the average earnings of men and women employed at Forward Trust in 2019-20.
Annual Accounts year end March 2017
Annual Accounts year end March 2016 (RAPt)
"We are at an important point in our history, we are ready to take our experience of providing successful substance misuse recovery programmes, and apply it to a wider group of beneficiaries. That’s why we have developed a new three year business plan, setting out how we will achieve this - by bringing our services to those dealing with substance misuse issues in both prison and the community, as well as providing employment pathways for offenders and those with substance misuse and mental health problems.
- Mike Trace, Forward CEO


1991 The Forward Trust started as the Addicted Diseases Trust when recovering alcoholic Peter Bond observed the success of abstinence-based programmes in the United States. Following this, a charity was founded to meet the needs of drug addicts in UK prisons. The founding members/trustees were Peter Bond, Jonathan Wallace, Michael Meakin, Matthew Wilson, Louise Gibbings, and Isabelle Laurent. 

1992 Forward opens the first intensive drug rehabilitation programme in a UK prison at HMP Downview in Surrey with the help of charitable funds and donations from individual supporters. 

1993 Strong demand for the programme delivered by Forward encourages the treatment  to move to a portakabin in the grounds of HMP Downview for which the actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, an early supporter, provided much-needed funds. He remains a patron today. 

1995 HM Prison Service provides funding to Forward for the first time. A second treatment programme opens at HMP Coldingley.

1996 New programmes are established at HMP Pentonville and HMP Wandsworth. An aftercare service is initiated to support graduates after they have completed the programme and to help them resettle into the community.

1997-8 Forward's Addiction Counsellor Training Course is designed for people who work in prisons. Almost half the participants are prison officers.

1999 Forward develops new programmes specifically targeting the needs of women and young offenders.

2000 Forward wins a contract to set up a rehabilitation unit at HMP Send. This is the first 12-Steps treatment centre to be set up in a women’s prison in Britain. 

2001 Following our successful accreditation, Forward is approached by six prisons to implement programmes. The organisation begins to work in HMPs Swaleside, The Mount, Wandsworth and Everthorpe (now HMP Humber).

2002 Forward opens a programme in the London borough of Southwark designed to support released prisoners and young people. This unit signifies an extension of Forward's services into the community.

2004 Forward opens 'The Bridges' a drug treatment unit in Hull, Yorkshire. This is a primary and secondary residential project, aimed at people who have been involved in the criminal justice system. 

2005 Following the re-tendering process, Forward receives an increased number of contracts to work in prisons. As a provider of CARAT (Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare), Forward's work with these groups is now focused in prisons in London, Surrey and Kent.

2006 Forward launches The Island Day Programme, a new community project in London. This centre is a 12 Steps day programme for men and women with drug and alcohol problems who live in Tower Hamlets.

2007 Surrey Alcohol Brief Intervention Service (SABIS) was set up to cater for the county’s adult alcohol-users who have problems associated with their alcohol consumption and may have come to the attention of the criminal justice system or the crime and disorder reduction partnerships. They may also have been referred through hospital accident and emergency departments or GPs, as well as by self-referral. The programme closed in March 2010.

2009 Forward won a contract to set up The A-Team in Birmingham, a primary care alcohol and healthy living service for people over 18 in Birmingham. 

Forward opens a new community project in Tower Hamlets. The Tower Hamlets Community Alcohol Team (THCAT) offers an integrated system of treatment. This includes  education and brief intervention for non-problematic drinkers to detoxification and pathways into residential rehabilitation for dependent drinkers.

2010 Forward opens Hull Alcohol Recovery Treatment (HART) a tier 3 day programme delivering 12-Step abstinence-based treatment for alcohol dependent clients in Kingston upon Hull. 

Opening of the Forward Recovery Wing at HMP Swaleside. This creates an ideal environment to give clients the best possible chance of making a successful recovery. 

The Women’s Substance Dependence Treatment Programme (WSDTP) gains full accreditation from the Correctional Service Accreditation Panel (CSAP). 

The Bridge Programme, a six week, intensive, short-duration programme aimed at male prisoners on shorter sentences/remand, gains full accreditation from the Correctional Service Accreditation Panel (CSAP).

2011 Research using Police National Computer (PNC) data indicates that Forward's 'Rapt' 12-Step programme significantly reduces re-offending. Fewer than half of the Forward sample re-offend during the period of the study compared with 73% of the control group. The control group also commit twice as many offences. The overall reduction in the amount of recorded crime in the Forward group is estimated at 65%.

Opening of the Forward Recovery wing at HMP High Down. 

The Forward team at HMP Bullingdon receive a Butler Trust Commendation. 

2012 Forward wins the contract to deliver services in HMP Feltham Young Offenders Institute. 

Forward wins contract for prisons in Kent and Suffolk. 

Forward celebrates 21 years! 

2013 Forward wins contracts to deliver services in HMP Erlestoke and all three Norfolk prisons

2014 The Forward Research Team has its paper, "The Effectiveness of the RAPt Programme", published in the Journal of Substance Use. 

Forward wins contract to deliver services in HMP Stoke Heath

2015 Our research paper, “Predicting recidivism for offenders in UK substance dependence treatment: Do mental health symptoms matter?” was awarded the prestigious honour of ‘Outstanding Paper of 2014’ by the Journal of Criminal Psychology.

Forward flagship drug treatment programme, the Substance Dependence Treatment Programme (SDTP), scored 100% across 10 criteria to be awarded re-accreditation by the Correctional Services Accreditation and Advice Panel (CSAP) on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

2016 Patron Russell Brand donates his Trew Era Cafe to Forward 

2017 Forward is launched as the merged organisations RAPt and Blue Sky