Devon De Silva, Daniel Murtagh and Andreas Kavalierou

Devon De Silva, Daniel Murtagh and Andreas Kavalierou work for WDP, a national substance misuse service provider.

Devon De Silva manages WDPs Innovation and Research Unit (IRU); bridging the gap between academia and service delivery. The IRU achieves this by designing and contributing to research within the addictions sector whilst also developing and evaluating innovations that enhance service delivery. Devon’s primary research focus is the evaluation of pilot programmes launched within WDP e.g. the GLOVES Programme, WDPs Capital Card, Animal Assisted Therapy and Open Dialogue.

Daniel Murtagh is a key member of the IRU and designs and collaborates on key research projects. In addition, Daniel oversees the development of all digital projects. Daniel’s current research interest includes evaluating Music Therapy within community services and ensuring services are equipped to meet emerging drug threats, such as Fentanyl.

Andrea Kavalierou is an experienced Recovery Practitioner based in Redbridge and is passionate about supporting service users to achieve sustained recovery and improved health and wellbeing. Andreas uses innovative techniques to achieve this and consequently founded WDPs GLOVES Boxing Programme, which he currently delivers across a number of services.

Service user satisfaction with GLOVES; a boxing based Pilot Programme


To evaluate service user experience of WDP’s GLOVES programme across two treatment settings. GLOVES is a boxing programme involving classed based exercises and physical training.


Analysis of satisfaction survey feedback, using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.


WDP Redbridge is a community adult substance misuse service and Passmores House is an inpatient detoxification/rehabilitation unit.


17 Redbridge service users started the programme and three disengaged. Additionally, four Passmores residents started the programme, and by the end, seven residents had participated in at least two sessions. _Intervention _Participants engaged in a six-week programme, two sessions per week; one-to-one non-combative boxing sessions and group motivational sessions. In Passmores, GLOVES was implemented as a rolling programme.


Participants completed satisfaction questionnaires; there were 60 questionnaires completed in Redbridge and 20 in Passmores.

_Findings and conclusions_

Key findings:
100% of respondents found the material useful 100% of the time;
100% of respondents found GLOVES ‘interesting’ and ‘understandable’;
Participants reported that the boxing analogy offered a ‘new perspective on addiction and recovery’;
15 responses described the programme as ‘encouraging’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘educational’;
Participants reported improved health and wellbeing, self-confidence and ability to manage cravings and relapse;
Four responses included improvement suggestions, three of these involved asking for more sessions.

These pilots have highlighted that WDP’s GLOVES Programme can be successfully implemented within an adult community substance misuse service and a residential rehab. WDP aims to implement GLOVES in additional services and will use quantitative methodologies to measure impact on service user outcomes.

Poster link: