New hope for people with complex needs in Somerset

Step Together, a new service for people with complex needs in Somerset, holds its official launch on Wednesday 9 October.

Run by mental health charity Second Step with drug and alcohol experts ARA, Step Together began working with clients six months ago and is currently working with more than 150 people across the county. Commissioned by Somerset County Council in April, the new service aims to support 300 people to manage their tenancies, reduce homelessness and find new ways to reconnect in their communities.

The launch event is to be held at the Great Western Hotel, Step Together’s office in Taunton and will bring together staff, clients, commissioners and partners.

One current Step Together client, Richard, said the future is looking good as he works with his Second Step Recovery Coach to fulfil his ambition of becoming a peer support worker.

The change to Step Together has been easy for me. I’ve kept the same support worker and her support has been vital in my recovery.

Aileen Edwards, Second Step’s Chief Executive, said:

We’re excited about Step Together and the work its doing in Somerset. We’re getting to know clients and partners, building  the new team and working together to create an innovative service which will do things differently.

Today is a special day when we bring everyone together to mark the start of something new for Somerset. I have high hopes for the clients we work with and the service as a whole.

Graham England, ARA’s Chief Executive, said:

We’re delighted to be part of Step Together and to be working with Second Step using our shared values to help clients, who typically find the system so difficult to navigate, to turn their lives around.

Cllr David Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Somerset County Council, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Second Step and partners going forward to provide a ‘wrap around’ support service for people with complex needs, helping them manage their tenancies, reduce homelessness and support them on their journey to independent living.

Notes to Editors

  • For more information and to interview case studies, please contact Communications Manager Jane Edmonds on 07841 777401 or email
  • Second Step is a mental health charity providing support, housing and hope to people across the west of England. Based in Bristol, with offices in Bath, Clevedon and Taunton, we support more than 6,200 people with mental health problems.
  • Step Together is our new service in Somerset for people with complex needs, which we run with drug and alcohol experts, ARA. We work with around 300 clients at any one time, helping them to achieve healthy, independent lives in their communities
  • The service was commissioned by Somerset County Council and started work in April 2019. Our official launch is on 9 October 2019 to mark our first six months and also World Mental Health Day.
  • We work with the most complex clients in Somerset who can often find themselves repeatedly accessing services but never managing to sustain positive change.
  • By listening to our clients, we help to build on their strengths and achieve their goals. We coordinate support to enable them to connect with their local communities and opportunities, such as employment and housing.
  • We work with a psychologically informed approach, taking a holistic view to recovery where individuals lead fulfilling lives with improved resilience and wellbeing.
  • You can find out more about Richard’s story here on the Second Step website.
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