Hemel Hempstead, UK

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Buying existing premises helps a drug addiction prevention and rehabilitation charity to ensure delivery of its services into the future.

Nascent House is a pretty Victorian house in the village of Apsley, near Hemel Hempstead. At any one time it is home to up to nine people undergoing a rehabilitation programme, as they start their journey towards a new life free from drugs or alcohol.

Over the past two years, 80 people have been through the recovery service, run by Druglink, a national drug addiction prevention and rehabilitation charity. Some people started on the five-step rehabilitation programme after 20 years living with addiction. Around eight staff work at the centre, making sure it is staffed 24 hours a day to support the residents.

All those who started a detoxification programme at the house have succeeded. More than two thirds complete their rehabilitation programme – well above the national average – and have the opportunity to move onto Druglink’s supported housing, training or education opportunities, such as the charity’s social enterprise, Coffee Ethic.

Mark volunteers to help paint Druglink's rehabilitation centre, Nascent House.


So when the centre’s landlords, a local housing association, were looking to sell the property, Druglink was keen to maintain continuity for the people it helps. And to stay in a building which had been adapted over three decades to suit the ever-changing nature of its work.

Druglink approached CAF Bank to raise the finance they needed to buy Nascent House. Receiving a £350,000 loan, repayable over 20 years, enabled the property purchase to be completed, securing a stable, long-term home for the charity’s services, and a basis from which to grow.

Druglink has since been shortlisted in the 2017 UK Housing Awards and is looking to the future.

Sarah Clark, Druglink’s director of finance and commercial operations, says: “We have people struggling with addiction issues for years, perhaps 20 years, when they come to us. But now they are living away from that, they are in recovery, they are volunteering and doing courses and gaining a lot of valuable experience, skills and knowledge which increases self-esteem and confidence”.

“The house is a very important part of our support. When the owners looked at their housing stock we asked them if they would consider selling it to us. They said yes and we approached CAF Bank.

“CAF Bank did due diligence as you would expect. What we liked was that they looked at all of our work and how it fitted together. There were a few hiccups along the way but we were supported throughout.

“I didn’t think it was like working with an ordinary bank. They were very interested in what we were doing and how that fitted with the wider Druglink work. It wasn’t just about how much money they could make, it was how this fitted with the wider work we were doing.”

If your organisation has plans to purchase, develop or refurbish properties for a social purpose, call our charity loan experts now for a free consultation on 03000 123 444.

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