Amy Winehouse Foundation opens home for recovering female addicts

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Singer passed away from alcohol poisoning in 2011

The Amy Winehouse Foundation has opened a home for women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.

Dubbed ‘Amy’s Place’, the recovery house, which is in operation from today (August 1), is based in east London and aims to help recovering female addicts reintegrate into society and sustain their recovery. It will be made up of 12 self-contained apartments, four of which are two-bed, and can house up to 16 women.

Dominic Ruffy, special project director at the Amy Winehouse Foundation, said it decided to set up ‘Amy’s Place’ because of the general lack of women-specific services for addiction treatment in the UK, despite research showing that women have a far greater chance of relapse without such support.

He told The Guardian: “There are about six women-only rehabs, and beyond that, there’s an even greater paucity of women-specific recovery housing beds. There is only one other women-only recovery house in London and it’s only a four-bed with a six-month waiting list.”

NMEDean Chalkley/NME

Residents at ‘Amy’s Place’ will be supported using a “co-production model”, which gives them shared control over the services that aid their recovery.

Ruffy added: “Picture a person who is 14 years old, has come from a broken home, hasn’t engaged at school, ends on a path of addiction and winds up at 25-26 years old going to rehab, learning how to get clean, and then leaving rehab and being told to get on with it. It can be as simple as not knowing how to go about getting your benefits or engaging in college.

“Our experience shows if you give people an extended period of time post-traditional rehabilitation treatment, you will improve the percentage of people who stay clean [in the] long term. We have a saying in recovery that the drink and drugs aren’t our problem, it’s living life clean and sober.”

The foundation came up with the programme after consulting several women at the women-only rehab centre Hope House in south London, who described what their perfect recovery house would look like in terms of activities, workshops, personal development pathways and length of stay.

Amy Winehouse died aged 27 in July 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning.

The foundation was set up by her family following the singer’s death, and works to prevent young people misusing alcohol and drugs, as well as to support disadvantaged young people to help them fulfil their potential.

Earlier this year, Amy, the recent film based on the life and death of singer Amy Winehouse, picked up the Best Documentary Feature prize at the Oscars.
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