Recovery from Addiction

Independence & Wellbeing

Category: News (Page 1 of 6)

Nottinghamshire Academy Service receives award from National Lottery Community Fund

Double Impact’s Nottinghamshire Academy service, which supports people in recovery in Mansfield, Ashfield and beyond, has been awarded a grant of just under £40k which will allow it to continue to run for a further 6 months.

The grant will fund the service, which has rapidly adapted to meet the new conditions imposed by the coronavirus criss, and currently provides  online and telephone-based support to people throughout the county who are otherwise cut off from their usual face-to-face support .

Beneficiaries in Nottinghamshire will now continue to benefit from a timetable of regular 1:1 health and wellbeing checks, recovery check-ins, online training and Zoom group facilitation.  The range of support will continue to expand over the next 6 months, during which time further funding will be pursued to secure the future of the service.

An important aspect of the funding will be to improve people’s  Wi-Fi access at home, in order to increase the accessibility of online support.

Graham Miller, CEO of the charity, said:

We are absolutely over the moon that the National Lottery Community Fund has chosen to support our vital work in Nottinghamshire for a further six months, especially during this critical time when people are isolated by lockdown – isolation is a key feature of addictions, and a risk factor for relapse in those who are already in recovery.  This funding will go a long way to prevent that, thereby protecting our vital frontline NHS and other services during this crisis”.

CEO runs 26k in his back garden to raise money for people with addictions

This Sunday, Graham Miller, CEO of Double Impact, ran 26 kilometres (a ‘Metric Marathon’) in his back garden, in a ‘lockdown-friendly’ bid to raise funds for Double Impact and other charities across the UK.   The 2.6 Challenge is a mass participation event to save the UK’s charities and help those facing a fundraising crisis during the global Coronavirus pandemic.

The event was broadcast  via Facebook Live and showed Graham run several thousands circuits of his back garden, at times accompanied by his daughter and dog.

You can see him crossing the finishing line here.

Graham said: “Many small charities across the UK are facing tough choices right now. Fundraising, scheduled events and forecasting plans have gone completely out the window due to Coronavirus.  This was a really tough challenge for me, as it was so monotonous, I don’t think I could have done it without the support of my family and neighbours cheering me on. ”

It’s not too late to make a donation via JustGiving to help people isolated by the coronavirus and to support other UK charities.








Double Impact launch a digital recovery network in response to COVID-19

Over the past two weeks Double Impact staff have pulled out all the stops to launch an online recovery network, to continue to support vulnerable people in recovering from addiction since lockdown conditions were imposed.

This means that participants in our services are already benefiting from a range of online Peer Support groups –   ten of these have already been set up, with more to follow; all service users also have the option of daily telephone or Zoom contact from a key worker.

More of our Academy groups and courses are being turned into webinars and if the current conditions continue, we will increase the amount and range of content available into more accessible formats.  Anyone who isn’t currently online has been posted a printed pack of resources to support their recovery and home learning.

Double Impact are gathering feedback to establish what the emerging needs are of the communities they support, to enable as many people as possible to access a full range of support.

The initial response has been overwhelmingly positive and has already proved to be a lifeline for many.

“Great, fantastic. Knowing that you’re all there” – Dave
“Loving zoom rooms-I am filling my boots with them now I have mastered the App” – Steve
“Get to talk to lots of people and feel connected” – Mark
“I like the phone calls and the Zoom idea is great-it’s made me feels loads better” – Gemma
“Still getting used to the technology but I will get there” – Grant
“I feel even more connected than I have done in previous months” – Paul

Isolation is a key aspect of addiction for many, and could pose a serious risk to those who are early on in their recoveries – this approach will enable us to continue to provide a vital service to those who rely on us for support across Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.



Double Impact are working hard to continue to provide alternative ways of supporting its service users during the Covid-19 outbreak.

In addition to this, we would encourage our service users, and the wider recovery community of which they and we are a part,  to take advantage of the other forms of support which are accessible, in order to stay as connected and focused on recovery as possible.

We have listed some of these below:

Virtual/ Online meetings

These are run in exactly the same way as a face-to-face group support meeting, but conducted via either Skype or Zoom, free downloadable software, so if you have a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone, you can take advantage of these.   Anonymity can be protected by using a false name, using audio only rather than video, and, like any other meeting,  you can just listen if you would rather not speak:

Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meetings

Narcotics Anonymous Online Meetings

SMART UK Recovery Online meetings

Cocaine Anonymous Online Meetings

Gambling Therapy Online Meetings



Recovery Speakers

Stay plugged in to your recovery, through listening to pre-recorded speakers , online.  There are also a host of online recorded speakers telling their personal stories of recovery, for example:

Recovery Speakers– This website, one of many, contains shares from a wide range of recovery fellowships, including AA, NA, CA, Overeaters Anonymous and Al.Anon.

There are also many more personal recovery stories and more general recovery videos on YouTube:


There are also several podcasts about recovery such as:


Hooked:  the unexpected addicts


Addiction Recovery Apps

There are a raft of smartphone apps designed to support your recovery as well, this article mentions a few but there are many more:


Recovery blogs

There are so many great recovery blogs out there.  Have an explore and see what you can find.


Online recovery communities

Similarly, there are several online recovery communities which have interesting articles, blogs, forums and loads of other resources.  Check these out for starters:



Hello Sunday Morning

Club Soda

Gambling Therapy online forums


Check out this article for loads of other suggestions.

Pick up the phone and speak to someone!

Use the support network and contacts which you already have.  Arrange with your existing recovery buddies, sponsor or mentor,  and others in your support network to check in with each other, in person, on a regular basis.  It’s good to talk!


Recovery Literature

Now could be a good time to dust off any recovery-focused literature you might have on your shelf, and build reading it into your daily routine.   There are many personal memoirs and great self-help books about addiction available online.


Local support groups

Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is a new organisation which consists of general community support groups for anyone who is vulnerable and may need practical support during the coronavirus outbreak.
Their website lists all local groups by area.

National Support Lines:

AA National Helpline: 0800 917 7650
NA National Helpline: 0300 999 1212
SMART UK :  General enquiries:   0330 053 6022
GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS:  0330 094 0322
Samaritans: 116 123 anytime day or night














Cafe Sobar COVID-19 Statement

To all our customers

Café Sobar is a local community enterprise and we’re all hugely grateful for your continued support. We are all unsure what is going to happen over the coming period but we would like to encourage you all to be as community spirited as is possible.  With this in mind we would like to keep you, our valued customers and supporters, informed in light of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We have briefed our teams across the business to ensure that we are prepared for emerging scenarios.

The safety and wellbeing of both our customers and our teams is our number one priority, and based on the latest Public Health England guidelines we’ve put enhanced health and hygiene measures in place across our Cafe to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit, including:

  • Frequent sanitising of all items you might have contact with in our premises including tables, chairs, door handles, taps, bathroom surfaces, menus, car payment machines, cutlery, crockery and glasses. We also continually follow deep cleaning procedures.
  • To ensure the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness, tables will only be set after you are seated, and we’re no longer providing cutlery or condiments on the tables, these will be brought to you so please just ask one of our team.
  • All team members will wash their hands at least every 20 minutes
  • All our teams are following our usual strict health & hygiene procedures.


If you as a customer do feel unwell, we ask that you stay at home to recuperate.

We remain in close contact with our teams and Public Health England so we can prepare for all eventualities as the situation continues to evolve. At this stage it is our intention to remain open for as long as we can.

As always, we look forward to welcoming you soon and should the service feel a little different from usual or the team take a moment or two longer to bring you an individual serve, it is with your safety and well-being in mind.

If there’s anything else we can do to make your next visit more comfortable, please just one of our team who will be delighted to help.

Café Sobar Team

Cafe Sobar is awarded grant from the National Lottery Community Fund

Double Impact and Cafe Sobar are delighted to announce that the National Lottery Community Fund have awarded us a grant for three years to further develop Cafe Sobar into a community asset and improve social inclusion for people recovering from drug and alcohol problems.  The funding will pay for a full-time staff post who will develop community engagement and partnerships,  coordinate the cafe’s volunteering scheme for people with barriers to employment and develop its range of social opportunities for the local recovery community.

Cafe Sobar, an alcohol-free cafe and entertainment venue, celebrated its 6th birthday at the end of January and aims to provide a safe

space for people to socialise without the pressures of alcohol, whilst reducing social isolation. and building a range of skills for people in recovery to improve their future prospects.

MP for Nottingham South, Lilian Greenwood, who recently spoke at the charity’s annual Spirit of Recovery Awards hosted by the cafe, said –

I’m so pleased that Café Sobar has been awarded funds raised through National Lottery players – it offers choice for many sections of the community who appreciate the alcohol-free environment, as well as providing work experience for people with significant barriers to employment.  It’s a great asset for Nottingham.

Graham Miller, CEO of the charity, said

We are really pleased that the National Lottery Community Fund have decided to continue to support Cafe Sobar.  They have been involved with the enterprise from the start, and it’s fantastic that they recognise the value which it brings, not just to local people in recovery, but to the wider community.  We really welcome this opportunity to develop the social impact of the project and secure the future of the cafe so that it can be enjoyed by all in the years to come.

Cafe Sobar runs regular events aimed at people in recovery and their friends and families, as well as hosting self-help groups and a range of community events in the building.







Friday 29th November saw the 2019 Spirit of Recovery Awards take place, hosted by Cafe Sobar, our social enterprise in Nottingham.

As ever, this was a heart-warming and moving event, giving the opportunity for us to recognise the incredible work done in our local communities of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire to support recovery form addictions.

We were honoured to have Lilian Greenwood and the Sheriff of Nottingham attend, but the real stars of the event were, of course, the recipients of the awards,

Categories celebrated both individual, team and organisational achievements and included Mentor of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Extraordinary Achievement, Going the Extra Mile, Trailblazer and Community Champion.

The Health Shop won the Partnership award, Framework’s Edwin House won the Employment champion award,  the Nottinghamshire Academy the Recovery Team award, Sobar Social collective won the Community award, Something For The Weekend Notts won the Trailblazer award, and the Going the Extra Mile Team award was won by the Cafe Sobar kitchen crew.

The Lifetime Achievement award was won by Dr Ira Unell, who is currently the charity’s Chair.

The audience were both moved and entertained by the stories of our four guest speakers, who generously shared their personal experiences of recovery.

Graham Miller, CEO, highlighted the amazing work being done in Double Impact’s various projects and used the event as an opportunity to launch a new fundraising programme for 2020, with a range of challenge events suited to every ambition.,. alongside the hashtag #weallknowsomeone, which will be used throughout 2020 to promote the message that addiction  affects many lives and should not be stigmatised.

It was also announced that there will be a Spirit of Recovery Awards for Lincolnshire in March 2020.


The event was generously sponsored by Steps Together Rehab, Keith Willis Associates, Smellie Savage and The Treat Kitchen.

For more photos of the event please visit our Facebook page.


The kind way to do Christmas…

Café Sobar, the award-winning social enterprise where all profits go to the addiction recovery charity Double Impact, is offering a thoughtful alternative to the usual office Christmas party. For £25 per head you can enjoy a Christmas mocktail upon arrival, three mouth-watering courses, and tea or coffee.

Best of all, you’ll get an extra glow from knowing that by coming to us for your Christmas dinner, you will be contributing directly to a vulnerable person in the community being able to enjoy the same. All proceeds will go towards a free dinner for those in recovery and their friends and family this Christmas.

To enquire about booking, please email


GRAHAM’S BLOG -THE ROBIN HOOD HALF – The Magnificent 7 (29.09.2019)

I can’t believe it’s a year since our Recovery Running Team took on the Robin Hood Half to celebrate our 20th Birthday as a Charity. This year our “Magnificent Seven” signed up to take on a tough course around our beautiful home city of Nottingham. Thanks to Martin and Jodie from The Treat Kitchen,, and Becky, Emma, Matt and Greg for joining me in raising the profile of our charity at the same time as supporting people in recovery from addiction. You all did yourselves and us proud with some fantastic times and PBs to boot!


The weather forecast wasn’t the best, with the prospect of torrential rain and thunderstorms (see Funniest Moment – below). As it turned out it wasn’t all that bad and actually near perfect running conditions. Participating without my usual running buddy, Lisa, this year was always going to be a different challenge, so she sent along her husband as a very capable reserve. Thanks to Greg for staying inside that 1:55 pace all the way – top effort. And great to see all of our team reaching their personal goals and a special mention and well done to Becky for going sub 2 hours for the first time – amazing and truly inspirational.


The Sights, Sounds & Emotions

It never ceases to amaze me just how much you take in during the 13.1 mile journey. Having prepared for a head down battle with rain and thunderstorms, the cloud broke and Nottingham began to shine. It’s a pretty course, starting and finishing on the Trent Embankment with significant crowds there and at many spots along the route. Nottingham Castle, The Trent and Wollaton Hall are amongst my highlights interspersed with many tree-lined streets and even boulevards. Paris eat your heart out!  I think the noisiest sound award goes to the Notts Women Runners who were also providing a ’Race Angel‘ service on the day, helping people through that last mile. The crescendo of very noisy support on Castle Boulevard picks me and thousands of others up every year.  Brilliant effort by each and every one of you ‘Purple Ladies’. As for the emotions, where do you start?  Every time I see someone with a message to their loved ones on a t-shirt or banner on the side of the route I just simply fill-up. Working for a Drug & Alcohol Recovery Charity also brings its own share of highs and lows, and the public support both on and off the course gets to me every time, thank you to everyone who gave us support or a shout out this year.


I always like to give people a mention so here we go – Mick and Phil going through The Park Hills (how do you push a wheelchair up those hills when most of us can hardly run up them?).  Scooby Doo again and Rob (see my GNR Blog). Great to see and hear the West Bridgford Liberty Singers out there too, enjoyed your rendition of Mr Brightside in between miles 11 and 12.


Inspirational Moment – This is reserved for a stalwart member of our Recovery Running Club who was a spectator for the day, as he is tapering in preparation for the Chester Full Marathon on Sunday. Good luck, you’ll smash it.


Funniest Moment – We had arranged to meet up pre-race in the Charity Tent. I was just in the process of getting stripped down to shorts, vest and running shoes when I turned to see Becky armed with wellies and a cagoule! For anyone who had looked at the weather forecast for the day this was not a bad shout. As it turned out the weather was way much kinder than expected.


Recovery Running Club (now including sessions for complete beginners) – Our club has now moved to Wednesdays at 5.00 with the meeting/start/finish at Café Sobar on Friar Lane.  Most weeks we manage to venture out in all conditions to walk, jog or run 5k for regulars. Much shorter distances for beginners are also on offer. If you would like to take part with us get in touch by email at or Twitter @DI_Recovery and @ DI_Runs. You can also call us on 0115 824 0366 .







After the marathon task (excuse the pun!) of running 20 half marathons in 2018 I took a break from blogging about running but continued to run of course! This year has been a different challenge for me as I have been quietly clocking up the miles in my 1200 miles in 12 months challenge. All on schedule with over 850 miles completed so far. As for running half marathons I’ve concentrated on training runs and have covered the 13.1 mile distance 15 times this year so far! So to get back into the events side of things it was the long haul back up to the North East to compete in the 2019 Great North Run for the second time.


Last year I had friends to ferry me around Newcastle and South Shields but this year I decided to take on the services of Nirvana, a GNR travel partner. This involved a coach trip from Nottingham, 1 night’s accommodation in Newcastle University, 13.1 mile run to South Shields to be reunited with the coach and (with a bit of luck) your overnight bag! A really different experience for me travelling with 30 others but something I will happily repeat in 2020 at the 40th GNR. Can’t wait for that one.


“The Annual Attempt to catch Mo Farah – Part 2”


Last year the Great North Run seemed to just pass me by as I was in the middle of a run of 5 half marathons in 6 weeks, to ensure the challenge of running 20 would be completed in Nottingham at the Robin Hood Half. It also turned out to be my slowest of the 20 at 1:55:07. In 2018 I really felt beaten up by the Great North and Mo Farah, so this year I wanted to get even (me v the GNR course) and closer to Sir Mo (me v Mo Farah).


Did I win the battle with Mo? This year it was different. I stood on the start line knowing that I could give Mo a scare, and I did. I got 5 minutes and 50 seconds closer to him this year after running 1:49:17. I consider that a moral victory. Just a mere 50 minutes and 10 seconds off the pace for me! Lifetime PB for him of 59:07 – course PB for me, what could be better? In the end we were all winners. Anyone who trains for and runs 13.1 miles deserves a medal, and in this case everyone receives the same one whether you are Mo or me!


The GNR is the World’s biggest half marathon with 57,000 people registered to run. There is an incredible sense of occasion and even hilarity with everything from Disney’s Incredibles, Scooby Doo (again), a man carrying a bike, Wonder Woman, Rob the Bear (more below) together with tens of thousands of charity runners and me all chasing after Sir Mo, Brigid Kosgei, David Weir and Jade Hall. It’s easy to forget that you are running in the same race as the world’s best athletes.


It is difficult to describe the feeling of unity at the start and throughout the GNR. The support is the best I have experienced at any running event. I’ve not ran the London or New York marathons yet but I continue to enter the ballots. It takes a lot of generosity and effort from the people of Tyneside to ensure that everyone is cheered every step of the way. All of us were grateful for every bit of encouragement and support, not to mention drinks, jelly babies, ice creams and offers of Vaseline to help with any rubs (other good brands of petroleum jelly are of course available!). To each and every supporter, marshal, volunteer, member of the service personnel and organisers we are eternally grateful. You really do put the ‘Great’ in the Great North Run.



Funniest Moment – I met Rob two years ago on the train to Birmingham for number 2 of 20. I then met him at the university the night before the GNR – what are the chances? Then I randomly managed to bump into him again (in a full bear costume – mad in that heat) amongst 50,000 on the Sunday morning- unbelievable! Hope he finished ok.

Best Moments – The start area when they played ‘Mr. Brightside – The Killers’ and all you could see for miles was people’s bouncing heads. Humbled by the support of thousands shouting encouragement. Getting the pacing right this year, I enjoyed it so much more than last time.


Most Inspirational Words – 2Great to see someone running for people that are portrayed so badly in the media. We all know someone who has been touched by addictions – Well done to you!”


WHAT’S NEXT? – Get Involved


Robin Hood Half Marathon – It’s nearly time for our local Half Marathon – The Robin Hood, which takes place on Sunday the 29th of September. There’s a regular team of us taking part so why don’t you join us? There is still time to enter but please get in touch with us this week or it may be too late. Please e-mail us at or to find out more visit the charity ‘s website


We are being sponsored and supported by confectionary business, The Treat Kitchen, again this year and once again some of their team are taking on the 13.1 mile challenge


Recovery Running Club – Moving to Wednesday’s from 25th September 2019

Since January this year we have been establishing a small but dedicated group of ‘Recovery Runners’. Most weeks we manage to venture out in all conditions to walk, jog or run 5k. If you would like to take part with us get in touch. The next scheduled meet is on Wednesday 25th of September and we plan to meet every week at 5 pm in Café Sobar from then on a Wednesday. The club welcomes all-comers from absolute beginners to seasoned runners. Interested? Then contact us through the website or follow us on Twitter @DI_Runs. See you all out there soon.


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