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College and charity helping rehabilitated students make a real impact

Mansfield MP Ben Bradley (left) with staff and students at Double Impact in Mansfield
Mansfield MP Ben Bradley (left) with staff and students at Double Impact in Mansfield

Tutors at West Nottinghamshire College have joined forces with a Nottinghamshire support service, offering rehabilitated drug and alcohol users with tailored support and learning – and the confidence to run their own event.

Last month, students at Double Impact welcomed family, friends, staff and Mansfield MP Ben Bradley to a fundraising event at the centre which they organised and staged by themselves while studying on a volunteering course.

Double Impact, based on St John Street in Mansfield, started in 1998 and offers a unique service that deals with all the issues facing recovering people, helping to break the cycle of addiction.

Community tutors at the college have been working with the centre to deliver confidence-building courses, craft sessions, IT programmes and volunteering courses to individuals.

The event was the culmination of students’ work who have attended the volunteering course at the centre, who wanted to stage an event to raise further awareness of the recovery service in the area.

Community tutor Julie Bagshaw, said, “I’ve been delivering the confidence-building side of learning and the students have already shown remarkable progress.

“As part of the volunteering sessions, the students wanted to stage their own event and really embraced the challenge.

“From the very early stages of planning, to the event day, they’ve shown courage, confidence and commitment to showing others the benefits of the service they’ve gained from.”

Luis Rodrigues, education co-ordinator at Double Impact, added: “Everyone who comes to Double Impact has had a different journey so everyone needs different things.

“We run relapse prevention groups, one-to-one sessions and the fabulous classes with West Nottinghamshire College.

“We enjoy seeing people wanting to come to the centre and our 25 students are all enjoying their classes and getting something out of it.”

Ben Bradley MP commented: “From speaking to some of the services users, they’ve experienced such a positive impact from the support they’ve had and the qualifications.

“It’s all helping them to make life changes.

“People I’ve spoken to have discussed career changes already and they’re building confidence and networks.

“We need to raise the profile of these kind of vital support services.

“Sometimes people have a set view about addiction, but there’s a whole lot more to it and we should all do our best to share their best practice widely.”