How we are run

How we are run

We know that how charities are run can often be confusing or seem non-transparent. We hope that the following information will help you understand how we are run, and what that means for our services.

Aquarius is a registered charity with services across the Midlands. Our head office is in Birmingham. We are a subsidiary of national mental health charity Richmond Fellowship and a member of Recovery Focus , a national group of charities with the shared aim of inspiring recovery together.

You can find more information about our structure and finances on the Charity Commission website.

Our governance

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) describes governance as “the systems and processes concerned with ensuring the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of an organisation.

“Governing is about:

  • agreeing the purpose of the charity or non profit
  • agreeing broad strategies to carry out the charity or non-profit’s purpose effectively
  • accounting for the non-profit’s performance
  • ensuring it operates within the law.

“Good governance ensures:

  • Compliance with law and regulation
  • That an organisation is well run and efficient
  • That problems are identified early and dealt with appropriately
  • The preservation of the reputation and integrity of the sector
  • That charities make a difference and the objects of the charity are advanced.”

We are governed by a trustee board, which is ultimately accountable for everything we do. Our trustees make sure we are run as well and efficiently as possible, comply with all laws and regulations, and set our future direction as a charity. Our Board is led by our Chair, Danielle Oum.

Working together with the people who use our services is really important to us. Our ANCHOR service user network sends representatives to all board meetings, inputting on strategy, policy, and service delivery.

Every charity exists for a purpose, which are set out legally as objectives. Ours are:

  • The relief of poverty, sickness and distress among
    • Persons who are suffering from drug abuse, alcohol misuse, gambling addiction or other behavioural problems; and
    • The families and dependents of such persons who are in conditions or hardship and distress
  • The prevention of drug abuse, alcohol misuse, gambling and other behavioural problems through the provision of education and training for professionals and volunteers in those fields
  • The advancement of the education of the public with regard to the dangers of drug abuse, alcohol misuse, gambling addiction and other behavioural problems
  • To promote social inclusion for the public benefit by preventing people becoming socially excluded, particularly due to substance misuse or gambling, relieving the needs of those people who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society.

We have had a close relationship with Richmond Fellowship since 2015. To help us continue our mission, we became a subsidiary of Richmond Fellowship. We are still a separate organisation in our own right, and this relationship means we can focus on providing the right services  at the right time to help overcome the harms caused by alcohol, drugs and gambling.

Richmond Fellowship is a national mental health charity making recovery reality for thousands of people every year. They have two domestic violence divisions, DVIP and My Time. We host My Time in our Birmingham head office, and have a close working relationship with them.

In 2015, Richmond Fellowship launched Recovery Focus, a group of charities with the shared aim of inspiring recovery together. Aquarius joined as a partner, and our Head of Service Richard McVey sits on the Recovery Focus Group Leadership Team.

Recovery Focus is run by Richmond Fellowship. Our central services teams – which includes things like finance, HR and IT – are employed by Richmond Fellowship but work across the Recovery Focus group, including Aquarius.

We’re part of Recovery Focus because we believe in working together across sectors to provide the best support we possibly can. We know that a lot of people who use alcohol, drugs or gambling also have challenges with mental ill health, and vice versa. By bringing together our collective expertise, we believe we can create real change.

Our group

Aquarius is part of the Recovery Focus Group, inspiring recovery together.

Who we are

Our support

Our services