About STAR

STAR (Steps to Active Recovery) is a transformative Christian charity dedicated to promoting awareness, providing support, and empowering individuals affected by addiction, compulsive behaviors, and harmful habits.

At STAR, we firmly believe in the power of community, compassion and faith as catalysts for healing and restoration. Through a range of delivery, including educational programs, support networks, and resources, we strive to create a safe and inclusive environment where individuals can find hope, discover their true identity, and embark on a journey towards active recovery.

With a holistic approach that integrates faith, evidence-based practices, and the power of personal testimonies, STAR is committed to empowering individuals, equipping communities, and fostering sustainable life transformation. Join us as we walk alongside one another, embracing God’s power, and nurturing a future where freedom, fulfillment, and abundant living are within reach for all.

Our aims

  • To give churches confidence to deliver recovery ministries safely meaning churches can effectively help those affected by addiction.
  • To equip and support churches to become STAR-approved.
  • To offer a unified community approach which helps to break down fear and stigma.
  • To offer a clear standard of support which is nationally recognisable for those wishing to access recovery services.

Our purpose

STAR aims to bring a recognised standard of support for those in and those affected by addiction, compulsive behaviours and habits.

Our vision

STAR encourages collaboration between churches and organisations to build recovery supportive communities.


Our mission

STAR confronts a community issue with a community approach through effective collaboration. Utilising the biggest volunteering resource (namely churches) and providing volunteers and staff with the understanding, training and professionalism for working alongside all people impacted by addiction.


Our manifesto

STAR provides expertise from professionals familiar with recovery services, as well as ensuring certain practice criteria has been obtained either as an individual church or organisation, or a network of churches working together as a community.


Our impact

In the last year, we have seen a growing interest in people wanting to learn more about addiction and how to help people. They realise the importance of growing teams to up-skill in this much needed area of support.

Read more about how STAR is making a local impact within communities, aligning with our vision to see the culture of addiction influenced and changed by the wider church. If you, your church or organisation would like to join this growing network please contact us.

Learn more about our impact by downloading the STAR Impact & Strategy Report 2022-23.

STAR values

We want to see churches across the UK and beyond reach people affected by addiction: ultimately restoring hope by improving physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Here are our STAR values:

Believing in transformation

We are passionate about seeing people set free from addictions, compulsive behaviours and habits, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Bringing Hope

We believe there is always hope and that people can be set free from the stigma, shame and fear that accompanies addiction. We are committed to nurturing communities so they can grow in their understanding of addiction issues, and their level of belief in their ability to be part of the solution.

Building community

We advocate partnership working and approach addiction recovery from a community perspective: working with statutory and faith-based organisations. We are passionate about good communication, collaboration and building community. Additionally, we are ecumenical in our approach so that all churches can get involved.

Boosting confidence

We strive to provide a high quality, professional, yet personable experience for all involved in recovery support. This is realised through equipping and educating all stakeholders. STAR approval quantifies a consistent standard of criteria and practice that must be met. This gives everyone confidence in the organisation that carries this recognition.

Broad and inclusive

We look at the whole picture. Addiction support includes the person with addiction; their friends and family; the wider community; plus the staff and volunteers involved in recovery support services.

STAR ambition

There are many organisations across the UK doing great things to help people in addiction. But they’re not always working together. And often, a great initiative runs out of steam and disappears because its organisers are struggling to cope with all the demands and pressures that are being put upon them.

This is where STAR comes in. With a personal story of recovery from addiction and six years of experience in helping to run almost 20 Recovery courses at local churches, STAR founder-director Emma Heath spotted a growing problem. And she became more and more determined to do something about it.

“I see so many great things starting up around the UK. But too often they disappear because they’re not sustainable. Churches are either not getting the support and training they need, or they’re not collaborating with other services and organisations in their local area, or they’re simply overwhelmed by the need on their doorstep. People can’t work in silos – especially in the field of addiction and recovery. It’s all too hard.”

STAR is about changing the culture that exists around addiction services. Across the UK, we want to have volunteer-led Recovery hubs that are brilliantly run by expertly-trained personnel who are getting all the advice and support they need to keep going.

In the future, people affected by addiction will choose to go to a STAR-approved venue because of its reputation for being safe and trustworthy. It’ll be a place where lives are being changed. Every hour. Every day.

Canon J.John interview

Emma was interviewed by Canon J.John about overcoming alcohol addiction.

Listen to her story or read it in her own words below: