Addaction's Breaking the Cycle pilot projects in Derby, Cumbria and Tower Hamlets worked with over 460 family members from 250 vulnerable families.  Many of the families involved were amongst the most disadvantaged in our society and have multiple problems. 
Zurich Community Trust commissioned independent research of the pilot from The University of Bath to inform and guide the project's development.  A unique method of assessing progress was created for the project.  In 2009, The University of Bath provided an excellent evaluation of the programme to date.

The outcomes of this evaluation were very positive and, as a result of this, Zurich Community Trust committed additional funding to roll Breaking the Cycle out to other sites.  A further 20 sites were set up and over 40 specialist Breaking the Cycle family workers have worked with over 2,000 families with the following results:

  • 80% significantly reduced their use of drugs or alcohol
  • 74% significantly improved their skills as parents
  • 83% improved financial prospects by looking for work, volunteering or enrolled on college courses
  • 87% put the needs of their children first
  • 77% of families were more stable and less chaotic

These findings were based on working with 2,000 families over eight years.


In 2013, we commissioned an external evaluation, overseen by The University of Bath and published in March 2015, to show the impact of Breaking the Cycle over the years.  This involved going back to the very first families engaged in the programme to see the impact on both parents and children in the areas of wellbeing, schooling, health and parenting.  You can download the full report by clicking here >>.

In addition, the Big Lottery has provided funding for Addaction to work with Warwick University to research the social investment aspect of Breaking the cycle. The results will be published later in 2015.
The future of Breaking the Cycle will be strongly influenced by the very positive results of both these evaluations and we anticipate that they will have a very positive impact on local authority commissioning.