Trevi was born from the desire of four Drug and Alcohol workers (including the late Roma French, mother of Dawn French) in Plymouth to create a unique environment for women and their children experiencing drug and alcohol misuse issues to grow and create positive futures.
As Roma was sat in a café in Rome dreaming up her vision for the service, she could hear the waters cascading at the nearby beautiful and picturesque Trevi Fountain. The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in the city of Rome and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain is at the junction of three roads and marks the terminal point of the Acqua Vergine that revived Aqua Virgo, one of the aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome for more than 400 years.
Inspired by this Fountain of Hope, the name Trevi House was born.
In 2015 the charity recognised that almost a third of women who had successfully completed their rehabilitation were relocating to Plymouth following their treatment as they felt safe. A women’s recovery community was starting to bloom in the city and so Trevi carried out consultation with the women to find out what was needed to help support their long-term recovery needs. Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund, Trevi was gifted 3 years’ worth of funding to setup the Sunflower Recovery Project.
In January 2018, Trevi House was the subject of a BBC Panorama Programme: “Addicted: Last Chance Mums”. This was a fantastic opportunity for Trevi to showcase and shout about its work on a national scale.
By 2018, the Sunflower Project – now known as the Sunflower Women’s Centre – had outgrown its then premises. Referrals had already reached 60 women and were increasing by the day.
In October 2018, Sunflower received a grant from the Ministry of Justice to move to a larger centre. After an extensive options appraisal, the charity set its sights on Sutherland Road – a large Victorian property overlooking a small park. Spaced across 3 floors and 16 large rooms, Sutherland Road offered a bright, inspirational environment with a touch of grandeur. Perfectly suited to providing women a safe and welcoming environment, it also came complete with an extensive ground floor space for a health and wellbeing suite and children’s creche. This centre was opened on 23 May 2019 by the Police and Crime Commissioner of Devon and Cornwall and blessed by the Rev’d Olly Ryder from St Matthias Church.
At the same time, Trevi was aware that there was a growing demand for a short-term parenting assessment facility in the South West. After carrying out a detailed feasibility study supported by the Tudor Trust, which unequivocally concluded such a centre would be in great demand, Trevi set its sights on opening Daffodil House Parenting Assessment Centre. Thanks to partners Green Pastures who funded the purchase of the premises, Daffodil House opened in February 2020.
In March 2020, following a rigorous selection and assessment process, Trevi was chosen from more than 400 charities across the UK as one of the 10 winners of the 2020 GSK Impact Awards.
During this time, Trevi had also been carrying out detailed consultation with its stakeholders. What became clear is that the charity had outgrown the Trevi House brand due to the growth in its services and impact. A rebrand project took place and the charity renamed the overarching charity as Trevi and changed its residential rehabilitation unit to Jasmine Mother’s Recovery.
Trevi now supports more than 550 women and children every year.
The Trevi fountain is approximately 1,300 miles from Trevi’s headquarters – some supporters have even attempted to set out and walk the distance as a virtual fundraiser!
According to the urban dictionary, Trevi also means ‘the best female ever’!