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Our History

Compass began life in 1986 as a drug resource scheme, filling a gap by providing ‘walk in’ services for people experiencing problems with drugs – needle exchange, wound care, counselling, advocacy and support with housing and employment. 

Quite a lot has changed in the intervening years. But the essentials of understanding people’s needs, creating motivation to change, removing barriers and developing solutions to long-term problems has remained constant.

You can trace how we’ve evolved here, on our timeline…

York Drug Resource Scheme is formed.

Establish a structured day programme offering employment training, life skills and leisure activities.

Open one of the first non NHS community substitute prescribing schemes.

Start providing treatment services to drug users in GP practices.

Pioneer throughcare services for prisoners with drug misuse problems.

Changed name to Compass.

Develop the CARATs (Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare) model with the Home Office.

Deliver CARATs services in 60% of prisons in England and pioneer court outreach services.

Began delivering substitute prescribing.

Deliver our first specialist young people substance misuse service.

Develop our first young people’s risky behaviours service.

Develop our first young people’s early intervention service.

Pioneer an innovative public health focused school nursing service.

Pioneer a new integrated risky behaviours service providing clinical and psychosocial interventions across multiple lifestyle behaviour strands.

Establish a school readiness pilot with health and early years’ partners.

Launch highly innovative universal mental health in schools service, delivering training and consultancy to help staff provide early help support to pupils.

Expand school nursing service to deliver targeted and structured weight management programme for children, teenagers and families.

Launch Positive Effect trading arm to support workplace and school wellbeing through training, consultancy and action

Implement our Mental Health Support Teams in schools service.

Change name to ‘Compass – Services to improve health and wellbeing’ to reflect the breadth of services delivered

Positive Effective traded offer expanding (DfE, TfL mental health training).

Integrating specialisms within MHSTs (bereavement, peer healthy relationships)