About our founder

The Well has been created and developed by ex-offender, David Higham. David had been in and out of prison since the age of 16 and was a drug user for more than 25 years. But with intensive support from the former Lancaster Castle prison, David began his recovery and has been drug-free for 11 years.

Establishing The Well

David left prison for the last time in 2007. Since then he has dedicated his life to supporting others with drug and alcohol addiction through both voluntary and paid employment.

Seeing a big gap locally in the support for people leaving prison with an addiction, David decided to set up The Well. The first hub was launched in Lancaster in 2012, and a further four sites quickly followed in Lancashire and Cumbria.

The Well reflects David’s vision of what recovery services should look like – inclusive, non-judgemental, inspirational and effective. It focuses on peer mentoring as David’s view is that long-term recovery can happen through the therapeutic value of one addict helping another.

David set up The Well with his own money and with no blueprint to follow. Instead, he used his experience, vision and determination to create what has now become a leading provider of recovery services in the region.

David often says that now is his time to ‘give back’ to society after taking from it for so many years. 

Find out what sets The Well apart from other service providers.


"We're helping lots of people turn their lives aroundincluding those who've been prolific offenders and addicted to drugs for more than 20 years."

David Higham, The Well Chief Executive.

David Higham Chief Executive of The Well

Spreading the word

David's work in the community has been recognised through a number of awards and accolades. Notably, he was recently chosen as the ‘Unsung Hero’ at the No Offence awards, which are championed by Richard Branson.

David regularly gives talks about how The Well is making an impact in the communities where it works. To hire him as a speaker, please use our contact form