Double Impact's CEO Graham Miller on Its Run, Roll or Ramble for Recovery Campaign

Words: Eve Smallman
Wednesday 17 February 2021
reading time: min, words

This February, drug and alcohol recovery charity Double Impact have been running their Run, Roll or Ramble for Recovery campaign to encourage people to get fit, build awareness for the work they do, and raise some money. We speak to the charity's CEO Graham Miller about Double Impact and about the event...


What is Double Impact?
Double Impact is a drug and alcohol recovery charity which covers Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire, and all of Lincolnshire. People who have any issue with drugs and alcohol will hopefully at some point seek out support – that may be through their GP, at a treatment and recovery service, or it might be they are returning from rehab. Our job is specifically to work with people, once they've got to that stage of dealing with the problem and help them build on that success and to rebuild their lives that have been destroyed by addiction. For example, they might want to be trained in a different profession or may have left school with no qualifications. That’s not the case for all, but it certainly is for some. We support people to capitalise on the gains that they have made in treatment and really turn the negative impact of addiction into something really positive in their life.

Another big part of the work we do is breaking down the stigma experienced by those addicted to drugs and alcohol. I'm really grateful that people have been talking about mental health in recent times. Now I want people to be able to talk openly about addiction issues sooner, so that they too can get the help they need quicker. We promote an ethos of connecting people with themselves, their families, their communities, and ultimately with education, training and employment with the ultimate goal of staying drug and alcohol free.

How do you deliver the work that you do?
Drug and alcohol work does receive funding, and that comes through your local authority, specifically public health. In Nottingham City, we get funding to work in a partnership with other charities to deliver drug and alcohol services. For example, we work with Framework and the local Nottinghamshire NHS Foundation Trust, and collectively we deliver services for the people of Nottingham City.

Prior to the pandemic people would come to our services to take part in group work or our Double Impact Academy training programme, all of which is designed to support their recovery. With the lockdown restrictions, we had to find a different way of delivering our services. Within three weeks of the start of lockdown, we managed to get about 60% of that delivery online because we had to ensure we didn’t leave people out on a limb. We adapted to a new way of delivering very quickly and we're still doing that today.

But the type of funding you get for treating addictions is never going to cover everything that our charity needs to do. So charities like us rely on supporters, friends, interested people and those that have recovered themselves to support the wider work of the charity. That could be anything from volunteering to raising funds, like this event that we are doing now.

What is the Run, Roll or Ramble for Recovery campaign all about?
Through the last couple of years, and then going into 2020, a lot of big events that fundraisers or charities do to get people to raise money have been cancelled. The idea of the Run, Roll or Ramble for Recovery is that it’s something anyone could take part in. For example, a young mum living in Nottingham could take the baby and the stroller and commit to doing 50 miles in the month of February. One of my colleagues is doing a mixture of rowing on a rowing machine and running and, and her son is joining in too. We are really pleased that many people have decided to take part as a family. It just helps to get that positive message out there. It's achievable for everybody. You could give yourself a whole month to do it. Or you could do in a couple of days. It just depended on what people want to choose. The main point is that it’s inclusive.

Why should people get involved?
One of the best reasons for people to get involved is because they care about our mission and their communities. They might know someone who has struggled with drug or alcohol addiction, or they might have experienced issues themselves. I believe that there has never been a better time for people to have a go at improving their physical health. Never mind the added positive impact that this has on your mental health. It's so important that you exercise physically, to keep your mental health in check. I know other people said the same to me, going out and going for a run or a walk or a ramble or a row has helped them get through this. It's not just get up Groundhog Day, turn on the computer. It just opens things up.

If you're going to do something for yourself, and somebody else benefits, that's a perfect scenario. We're a local charity, we employ local people, and we try to use local businesses for the services that we need to run the Charity. If we invest locally as a charity, and employ local people, that then helps generate the local economy.

What are some of Double Impact’s plans for the future?
One of the things that has accelerated for us because of the pandemic is our digital offer, so we want to digitalise more of our services to make it more accessible to more people. We are also looking to work with other charities outside of our current operational areas that might want to deliver our model going forward here.

We also want to get Cafe Sobar back up and running, when it is safe to do so, and want to get that right for the people that use it. We are really interested in speaking to the customers as we reopen because it will feel and look the same, but our offer may slightly differ as we build back. We’d also like to better connect to the business community. So if there are any businesses out there that are wanting to work with a local charity, whether now or when things go back to normal a bit, I'd love to hear from people.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
There's a Facebook Live event coming up where we’ll have a guest speaker talking about this event, so keep an eye on our social media pages for more information about that. Then finally, we understand that more people have had more problems with drugs and alcohol, as there's been an increase in use of drugs and alcohol during the pandemic. We urge people to get in touch for support, as we’re still up and running and ready to help anyone.

Double Impact’s Run, Roll or Ramble for Recovery campaign is running until Sunday 28 February

Run, Roll or Ramble for Recovery JustGiving page

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