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The Independence Initiative works with individuals, agencies and the community to facilitate the

long-term rehabilitation of people with a history of drug misuse and also provides support for

their families.


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0151 345 6639


June 22nd 2018


Bootle MP Peter Dowd Unveils The Indy's Dragonfly Mosaic


Peter Dowd MP unveiled a mosaic art work at the Independence Initiative in Bootle. The Indy as it is known locally has been providing a day programme for recovering substance misusers since 1998.

The Indy also offers a transitional housing unit (The Key) that provides housing for those who are not ready for community living or who are at risk of homelessness. They have grown form 2 units to 13 in just under 3 years, and will be opening a female only unit in Bootle in the coming months.

Local MP Peter Dowd said “I was delighted to attend the Independent Initiative today to unveil their new dragon fly mosaic, which represents transformation. The independent initiative truly achieves the goal of helping people to transform their lives. The service supports people with complex issues such as substance misuse, mental ill health and homelessness. The dedicated staff, volunteers and other professional help people to regain their lives and I would like to thank them for what they do in our community.

Jim Brett, Operations Manager, added “It was fantastic for Peter Dowd MP to come and unveil the mosaic artwork, it was great also that Roy Williams, CEO of One Vision Housing, was also in attendance. OVH are a key partner in providing the social housing for all of our residential graduates”.

The artwork called The Dragon Fly was designed and constructed by Amanda Jane Earley who explained that “In most cultures the dragonfly is a mythical insect that represents change and transformation, the mosaic shows a picture of a dragonfly in summertime following a pathway, beyond the gates are fields of golden wheat, blue skies and green pastures. My idea was to mirror optimism, the mosaic being placed on the path entrance of The Key, so service users who enter the building will be viewing a positive visual message entwined to their own personal journey to inspire change and wellbeing”


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Include-IT Mersey Project – being delivered at The Indy


What we want to achieve and how we intend to deliver it


Include-IT Mersey will provide targeted, personalised digital skills development and employment support to digitally excluded, unemployed/economically inactive residents of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) to improve their basic ICT and online skills, confidence and access to digital technologies, enabling them to overcome barriers resulting from a lack of digital skills.

Although the project’s primary focus is Digital Inclusion (DI), our delivery model is firmly set in the context of skills/employment and will ultimately support participants to progress towards employment or further training, helping those furthest from the labour market to become more job ready.


Our core delivery model involves:


1.Intelligent identification, referral and engagement, using robust data from the largest network of Housing Associations across LCR;


2.Volunteer Digital Champions for localised community engagement & support;


3.Highly experienced/effective, locally based, ICT & employment support providers, with extensive employer links;


4.Localised outreach delivery through a network of Delivery Partners (DPs), community venues and Housing Associations;


5.Digital surgeries/ IT drop-ins, aligned to our training provision, run by experienced staff and volunteers, to facilitate ongoing access to digital technologies, enabling participants to practice and apply their new found skills during and after training.

The delivery model diagram is appended (see Appendix 1).


The project will provide individually tailored, flexible programmes of support that respond to specific needs & barriers (to DI, employment & training) faced by participants.


Interesting approaches to developing basic digital skills, finding the right ‘hooks’ to engage people (e.g. social media, shopping, entertainment) will lead into more targeted, employment focused ICT delivery (e.g. online job search, universal job match, CV builder).  At this point, wider employment/ skills support will be weaved in, covering topics such as:


•Understanding recruitment & application processes, including on-line processes

•CV/ application writing

•Interview skills

•Other PSD: presentation, confidence, timekeeping, inter-personal & communication skills, teamwork, problem solving

•Workplace behaviours, rights & responsibilities

•Work experience, volunteering

•Wider progression support


Benefits to the individual (participant) include:

•Increased confidence, empowerment & inclusion through improved ability to use digital media to job search, improve skills and engage with public services, as well as friends & family.

•Renewed motivation to learn & progress in life; gaining what will, in many cases, be a first qualification

•Greater confidence in self-ability to judge & combat risks associated with online activity

•Better access to digital technology/ services and support in convenient locations

•Improved digital skills leading to:

•Financial: budgeting capability, savings through online shopping & cheaper communication

•Social: reduced isolation through social media; access to entertainment; ability to pursue interests online

•Health: access to online health services/advice

•Employment benefits:

•Ability to search & apply online, work-related IT skills

•Improved employability & workplace ICT skills, increasing employment prospects

•Work experience & volunteering opportunities as a pathway to employment

•Gaining employment

include it merseyside national lottery

July 2nd 2018

July 25th 2018


A great big thank you goes out to Hugh Baird and the painting & decorating students. 



They very kindly painted the exterior of our building on Balliol Road, Bootle, free of charge!. As a charity we struggle to find the funding for such maintenance jobs – so this has been a real help to us and our service users.

And they did a brilliant job too – thanks again

hugh baird decorators

Sept 17th 2018



Quaker Housing Trust helps The Key to grow


Thanks to a grant of £10,000 a brand new en-suite room has been added to The Key at the Indy. Quaker Housing Trust is a small charity offering support and loans/ grants to projects who might have difficulty getting funding elsewhere.


With this assistance from QHT we have redeveloped an old learning room into a self-contained modern living space with its own bathroom. This will provide transitional housing accommodation for people who are recovering from substance misuse and are at risk of homelessness, and who are looking to settle in the community. We provide ongoing support to these people and when the time is ready we will look to place them with our housing partners, One Vision Housing.


The additional room will no doubt add to the ongoing success of The Key as we continue to become a premier service across Merseyside. We now have 9 rooms on site, a 4 bed house in the local community, and a 4 bed female only unit due to open in October 18.


So a great big thank you to Quaker Housing Trust!


For any information regarding The Key please contact us directly on 0151 284 1100. We are here to help in whatever way we can.


And finally - if anybody wants to help furnish the room/s please get in touch

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Liverpool City Region’s Digital Inclusion Project (Building Better Opportunities)


The Independence Initiative has now finished its first Digital Inclusion course, 9 weeks of hard work for the four successful students.




























If you are looking to be one of our next successful students contact Paulene at the Independence Initiative to add your name to the list, new course starting soon.

Mark Me & Group logo

Sept 27th 2018




Active Communities Funding Programme


We are now at the midpoint of our funding from the People’s Health Trust using money raised through The Health Lottery in the North West.

This has allowed us to establish a mutual support networks, enabling people in recovery to build connections and support to stabilise recovery.

We are developing a self-sustaining recovery community, and challenging stigma through active citizenship and provide peer-led crisis support for vulnerable people. It is led by people in/transitioning to abstinence from substance misuse in South Sefton, Merseyside.

Active Communities supports people to create and shape local projects that will help their community or neighbourhood to become even better. Active Communities projects aim to develop social links and ties and supports residents to discuss and act on things thatv are important to them

Peoples Health Trust is an independent charity investing in local neighbourhoods to create a society without health inequalities. It works closely with each of the regional and country lotteries raising money through The Health Lottery, and distributes grants.



February 7th 2019

Feb 11th 2019


Become a Trustee at The Indy


The Independence Initiative are looking to recruit new trustees – please follow link below




How to apply


Applications should be made via the TrusteeWorks team in the first instance.  To apply please submit your CV along with a covering letter stating why you wish to join the organisation, how your skills would add value to the board and any other relevant information.  


Please email applications to trusteeworks@reachvolunteering.org.uk












The Indy reaches 21 years landmark


The Indy celebrated 21 years of trading this week (registered on 12/3/1998). We will be holding an open day for the local community, all local services and current funders, and anyone who just wants to come along and see what we do. We want it to be a celebration so we will wait until warmer weather arrives.


Please keep an eye on the local press for further announcements – and please remember we are nothing without your continued support! ...


Thank You


















A big "Thank You" to Regenerus for funding a new lawn mower and over 120 plants for our garden. The mower is allowing our volunteers to help with the upkeep of our lawns while the plants will provide a lot of much needed colour to our borders in the summer.






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Fire Safety Awareness training for all Indy residents and staff


The Indy is providing training to all of its' residents and staff in Fire Safety Awareness. Jim Brett (Operations Manager) says "as a provider of specialist transitional housing we fully understand the need for fire safety in our premises. And by providing this training to all residents and staff we can both reduce the obvious risks, and bring much-needed awareness to everyone. As our residents move on into the community this awareness will be a great asset".



















The training is being provided by MSC Consultancy Services who are a Liverpool based firm offering great rates as well as high-quality training and advice. (0151 384 0407)


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Liverpool City Region Digital Inclusion (Building Better Opportunities)



The second of our Digital inclusion course has now finished. The hard work and dedication of the three students on the course has given them the skills to move on in the digital world.

Congratulations to Carl, Greg and Mark.  

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The Indy Garden is awarded Level 3 advancing by the Royal Horticultural Society.










Congratulations to our gardening team on gaining a level 3 award at the 2019 RHS In Bloom awards. Volunteer Lee (left) and our gardener / Housing Liasion Officer Ian were presented with the certificate at the awards ceremony in Southport.


Our garden has undergone a transformation in the last 12 months, following a complete re-design last winter. It has been mainained to a very high standard by a number of our residents who are keen to improve on things this summer.


The garden provides a safe haven for wildlife as well as providing an oasis of colour in the middle of a built up area.



                                Our thanks to Regenerus for supplying funding to assist us with our gardening activities

award regenerus-holding

January 14th 2020

Feb 12th 2020



INDY recognised as one of the STARS of SEFTON




The Indy are proud to display our Certificate of Recognition for supporting people back into work.

We have a long history of working with Sefton@work, and have found some amazing staff as a result.