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Amy Winehouse charity to set up home for women addicts

Amy’s Place will open August 22 to help women recovering from substance addiction, combatting the lack of female-specific facilities

The Amy Winehouse Foundation plans to open a home for women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction, known as Amy’s Place.

With the help of Centra Care and Support, a branch of the non-profit organisation Circle Housing, the east London-based recovery home will begin operation 22 August.

The aim will be to see residents of the home get “the best possible opportunity of sustaining their recovery and building a fulfilling life”, as they aid women addicted to drugs or alcohol in reintegrating with society. Amy’s Place will be made up of 12 self-contained apartments, housing up to 16 women at one time. 

Dominic Ruffy, special project director for the Amy Winehouse Foundation, told the Guardian that the mission to create Amy’s Place came about because of the lack of women-specific facilities for those suffering from addiction in the UK.

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

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,” he said. “It can be as simple as not knowing how to go about getting your benefits or engaging in college.”

With help from women-only rehab centre Hope House in south London, the groups have put together a programme for residents, with a mix of skills-based workshops to aid later employment, alongside holistic activities like yoga and relapse prevention groups.

The recovery centre opens some five years after Amy Winehouse’s death. The singer passed away in July 2011 at the age of 27, from accidental alcohol poisoning. Her family set up the foundation in her memory, to work towards supporting young people with alcohol and drugs addiction, and work with disadvantaged youth to reach their full potential.

Jane Winehouse of the Amy Winehouse Foundation said: “This project will make such a profound difference to so many young women, enabling them to have a safe environment in which to rebuild their lives and put into practice all the learning they have acquired through their treatment journey. Fresh starts are difficult to make, full of challenges, but at Amy’s Place, we will give young women the tools and support to help make this a reality.”

To find out more about the foundation, their work and the upcoming recover home opening here.