Recovering alcoholics start to grow with steel support

By published 11 February, 2014 No Comments

Tees-based charity that helps people recover from alcohol and other addictions is seeing its latest project start to grow thanks to a £1,500 donation from UK Steel Enterprise, the business support subsidiary of Tata Steel.

Peter Taylor (left) UK Steel Enterprise’s Area Manager with Tony Brown at Living Sober’s new allotment project and some of the equipment provided by UKSE’s Community Support Fund.

Peter Taylor (left) UK Steel Enterprise’s Area Manager with Tony Brown at Living Sober’s new allotment project and some of the equipment provided by UKSE’s Community Support Fund.

Living Sober, set up in Redcar & Cleveland in 2005 by Tony Brown, is based on an American model that provides sober and secure homes with support to help alcoholics turn their lives around. It has already helped nearly 90 people recover and successfully move into jobs, training or education.

The money from UK Steel Enterprise has helped to buy equipment including a mower, polytunnels, trailer and spades for a horticulture project on spare land at the charity’s safe home in Middlesbrough.

The organic fruit and vegetables grown there will not only contribute to a healthy diet for the residents but will also be sold to raise funds with any surplus going to the local Food Bank. In addition, the project will provide occupation and valuable training and qualifications to help people back into employment.

“It is very difficult to find the funds we need to keep running so we are really grateful to UK Steel Enterprise for helping us,” said Tony Brown, who founded the charity after fighting back from alcoholism himself.  “This Oxford House model is based on total abstinence from drink, a safe house, a peer support network and help to get back into the workplace and it really works.

“It is support that is badly needed in today’s society and every penny we get from supporters like UKSE is so important.  We also have a fantastic band of volunteers working with us and we couldn’t do without them,” he added.

Recently Professor Leonard Jason from DePaul University in Chicago visited Teesside and Tony Brown also travelled to the USA to tell an audience of more than 1000, including researchers, project workers and government advisers, about Living Sober.

Peter Taylor, Area Manager for UK Steel Enterprise, said: “This is a really impressive project making a big contribution to the area by giving people recovering from addiction the support, skills and qualifications they need to turn their lives around and get back into work.  Our Fund is there to support projects that improve life for people living in our steel areas and we are only too pleased that we could help.”

Living Sober can be contacted on 07812 075 094 and  www.living-sober.co.uk.   Details of UK Steel Enterprise’s support for businesses and communities in steel areas is on 01642 777 777 and at www.uksteelenterprise.co.uk

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