Case studies

NAViGO – Transforming mental health care

NAViGO are an award-winning social enterprise that provides mental health services across North East Lincolnshire in the south of the Yorkshire and Humber region, covering acute and community facilities as well as specialist services such as an older adult’s inpatients services, rehabilitation and recovery services, perinatal mental health support and a specialist eating disorder facility.

A social enterprise driving innovation

NAViGO runs a huge range of services, coming up with creative new ways of delivering care resulting in more responsive, available and effective services. Here are just a few of the innovations the social enterprise has created:

Open access mental health crisis service

NAViGO runs a 24/7 open access walk in mental health crisis service where people in a mental health crisis are brought by the ambulance or police services meaning specialist care is given and that lengthy waits at stretched A&E services are avoided.

Joint response vehicle

NAViGO are trialling a new mental health response vehicle to reduce pressure on emergency services. The Joint Response Vehicle is crewed by trained clinicians and support workers and is deployed when there is an urgent mental health related call-out. In the first month since launch the vehicle attended 16 incidents. Nine of these call outs would have normally resulted in the person being detained but only one of the calls resulted in this outcome. Through providing a mental health focused rapid response service, the social enterprise is delivering better support for vulnerable people and saving the time and resources.


An out-of-hours, open door crisis café where people can get instant and practical mental health support without the need for calling ahead, Safespace provides a judgement-free space for people to speak to fully-trained mental health professionals either in person or via Zoom.

Doing things differently

Being an independent social enterprise working for the NHS family has allowed NAViGO to do things differently. This includes creating commercially viable businesses which help fund services and which provide training, education and employment opportunities for people that NAViGO supports.

One of these is Grimsby Garden Centre, which now employs over 30 people from the local area, some of whom have mental health difficulties or are in rehab or recovery. It has also supported over 100 service users gain valuable training, increasing confidence and supporting them back into the world of work. The garden centre is a big part of the local community, promoting the health benefits of gardening with all profits made being reinvested back into NAViGO’s services.

NAViGO’s cleaning, catering, horticulture and maintenance services are all run by Tukes – the social enterprise’s own employment service. Tukes offers training, education services and employment to people throughout their recovery and rehabilitation journey. Bringing these services ‘in-house’ means that money that would otherwise have been spent on external contractors is spent on service users. Since setting up 18 years ago, over 280 people have been supporting into work through Tukes and over 2,000 qualifications gained by service users.