The idea for Double Impact was born in 1996, the brainchild of our founder member, Tony Herbert, himself in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Tony recognised that there was a desperate need for a service which would pick someone up in the early stages of their recovery and support them in two areas which are now recognised as cornerstones of a sustainable recovery – namely, education and suitable housing. He believed that, if these two areas were properly addressed, then the impact on an individual’s chances of recovery would be significant (hence the ‘Double Impact’ of our name).
Tony brought together two partners, The Nottingham YMCA and People’s College (a local FE college), to seek funding for the project. Funding was secured and in 1998, Double Impact opened its doors for the first time, with Graham Miller, Double Impact’s first member of staff, at the helm.
From humble beginnings in a room within the Nottingham YMCA, the organisation has grown to employ over 50 members of staff, and supports around 1000 people each year. Graham is still at the helm but is now the CEO. Despite this growth, the original ethos of listening to and responding to the ideas of people with lived experience of addiction, is still at the heart of the charity.
As the charity and the sector has evolved, our ‘double’ impact today is through a focus on education/ employment and supportive networks, although the name continues to resonate in a number of ways, to different people.
Visit ourto see the history and development of Double Impact in more detail.