Rebuilding a social life in recovery from addiction is challenging, but is an important aspect of a satisfying and sustainable recovery. Discovering new interests, or rediscovering old ones, can play an important role in making new social connections, and these are things which have suffered for everyone since COVID-19.
In recognition of this, local businesses and supporters have been making donations to our 'Connect' Fund, to help us provide these activities for the people we work with in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. Gifting retailer, TTK Confectionery, aka Treat Kitchen, and Howdens Joiners kickstarted the fund, which have since been supplemented by a generous 'In Memory' donation and a grant through Tesco's Bags Of Help scheme.
The first couple of trips have been a great success, with several volunteers enjoying a day out on a narrow boat with the Megan and Tinks project, and another group in Lincoln visiting the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.
“It was good to get out and about and do something different. It is nice to connect with others outside of the Double Impact environment.”
“It was nice to have a healthy distraction and not think about drinking or gambling. It was good to get out of the house for a more positive reason.”
The funding has been a catalyst for re-connecting with many local cultural and leisure venues in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, which have so much to offer community groups. Many people in recovery need some support and encouragement to broaden their horizons as their addictions have often resulted in them becoming isolated and limiting their world - even something as ordinary as going to a cafe can be a daunting prospect. For this reason, the visits always incorporate a stop for tea and coffee. One staff member said that participants were -
"Very appreciative of this and enjoyed connecting further in a different environment. Here we had conversations around recovery as well as getting to know each other on a more personal level. I feel this broke down the barriers and allowed deeper connections to be built.
The visits, which are supported by staff or volunteers, provide a safe structure for participants to dip their toe into what is on offer in their local community, and experience socialising without the crutch of alcohol or drugs, with the aim of building the confidence to try new things on their own in the future.