About Community, Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services 

Community, Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services (CDARS) work with some of the most vulnerable people in society (including veterans), presenting a range of mental and physical health issues as well as those with substance misuse issues. Their clients fell in the most ‘at risk‘ group during the Covid-19 crisis and needed to self-isolate. 

They provide support for service users in the London Boroughs of Merton, Wandsworth, Sutton, Richmond, and Kingston.

The CAF funding has allowed CDARS to provide a variety of combined services to our most vulnerable service users bringing them out of loneliness, isolation and improving their mental health during the pandemic.

Franco Tomo


Untitled design

How the £63,427 grant from the CAF Resilience Fund helped CDARS support vulnerable substance misusers

A Befriending Service

A befriending service where volunteers visit vulnerable service users, spending time with them walking in local parks and having food and refreshments together.

Crisis Helpline

A 24/7 crisis helpline support service which supports individuals through periods of crisis and loneliness.

Online Support

An online virtual support system of one to one counselling and support groups.

CDARS: Their story

CDARS support approximately 1,200 people each year. Sometimes their clients’ initial problems are only the "tip of the iceberg" and other problems present themselves such as physical health conditions, poverty, malnutrition and social isolation. This group is particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 and more likely to suffer harsher health consequences.

The funding awarded by CAF helped up to 200 beneficiaries from CDARS. Primarily, it has been used for the helpline and befriending service for people struggling to cope with the lockdown, offering emotional support, reassurance and a listening ear. In most cases, these services helped alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress, avoiding escalation to a more serious mental health crisis, or a relapse into substance misuse.

It has been critical to provide these services during lockdown to combat feelings of isolation, loneliness, stress and depression. Sometimes CDARS volunteers are the only people these vulnerable clients see during the week.  It is imperative that the volunteers can continue the ongoing rapport with their clients and offer the vital support needed.

The Impact 

“After leaving the Royal Navy, I developed an addiction to alcohol whilst struggling to adjust to civilian life. The support from CDARS has been five star by this team of heroes, even during this difficult time of coronavirus.  I know that I am not alone in my addiction, as help is just a phone call away if I am low.”


Helping families through the grieving process

Find out how a grant of £13,240 helped Children and Families in Grief support grieving families.

Read about their work

Providing vital services for children with cerebral palsy

Find out how a grant of £12,200 helped Dame Vera Lynn Children's Charity support children with cerebral palsy.

Find out about Dame Vera Lynn

A lifeline for struggling families and individuals

Find out how a grant of £19,361 helped Castlehaven establish their new foodbank service.

Read more about Castlehaven's work

This funding has been jointly provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Community Match Challenge funding scheme as part of the Government's £750 million coronavirus support package for charities along with matched funding by the Covid-19 Support Fund created by the insurance and long-term savings industry.

Woman smiling at man

Work with us

Looking for a grantmaking partner?

We can help design, deliver and measure the impact of your grant programmes.

Contact the team