The Recovery Course, a Tonbridge-based charity which provides free support for people struggling with addiction, has expanded its services to support thousands of additional people after taking its programme online with help from a grant from Virgin Media O2.
Prior to the pandemic, the charity operated mainly through in person events in and around Tonbridge – meaning their life-changing assistance was only available to local people who could attend sessions in person.
This changed completely during lockdown, when the charity took its entire operations online to keep providing essential support.
After receiving a grant from Virgin Media O2’s Together Fund, which provided donations of £1,000 or more to 400 charities nationwide, the Recovery Course was able to invest in the new technology needed to run sessions remotely and expand its online presence, helping the charity to support more people at a time when the need had never been greater.
Today, owing to the success of its online programme, the charity not only supports thousands more people from across the UK, but in countries all over the world including in South Africa, Australia and the US.
In addition to operating courses themselves, the charity has also been able to share their programme and wealth of knowledge with other organisations in order for them to set up their own support groups in their local communities.
Justyn Reese Larcombe, CEO of The Recovery Course said:
“The staff and trustees of The Recovery Course are so grateful to Virgin Media O2 for their kind donation. As a small charity we rely on the kindness of individuals and organisations to make donations which allows us to operate and reach needy and hurting people, when they need the help most. Our sincere thanks to Virgin Media O2.”
Nicola Green, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer at Virgin Media O2 said: “One year on from the launch of our Together Fund, it’s wonderful to see how charities up and down the country – including The Recovery Course- have used our grants to drive not only meaningful, positive change in their communities, but globally.
“Whether it’s through supporting community groups, encouraging our people to spend five days a year volunteering or investing in programmes working to eradicate digital poverty, at Virgin Media O2, we’re committed to making our business better for people, communities and the planet.”
In May, Virgin Media O2 launched their first sustainability strategy as a joint business, the Better Connections Plan, outlining its bold commitments to cut carbon, champion circularity, and support communities as it upgrades the UK. The business aims to support 1 million people through its employee volunteering programme, Take Five; help eradicate data poverty by connecting 1 million digitally excluded people across the UK; and equip 2 million people with the skills and tools to feel more connected to digital society by the end of 2025.
As part of an ongoing commitment to tackling data poverty, Virgin Media O2 also pioneered the UK’s first ever National Databank launched in July 2021 which provides mobile connectivity to people in need. Run by Good Things Foundation, with other operators since joining the initiative, O2 has so far distributed 19,800 SIMs to 356 centres nationwide and has committed to donating 46 million gigabytes of free mobile data by the end of 2025.
More information on how to support the Recovery Course or access its services is available here.