Entertainment & Arts

Amy Winehouse charity sets up recovery house

Amy Winehouse Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Amy Winehouse's family set up a charity in her name after her death from alcohol poisoning

The Amy Winehouse Foundation is to open a home for women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction, five years after the singer's death.

Amy's Place aims to help its residents reintegrate into society "with the best possible opportunity of sustaining their recovery and building a fulfilling life".

Based in east London, the house will accommodate 16 women aged 18 to 30.

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

Her family set up the foundation, which works to prevent young people misusing alcohol and drugs, as well as to support disadvantaged young artists, in September 2011.

Amy's Place will be run with the help of Centra Care and Support, part of the non-profit organisation Circle Housing, one of the UK's largest providers of affordable housing.

New residents at the recovery centre will take part in a three-month programme, including activities such as yoga and reiki as well as relapse prevention groups. They will be allowed to stay for up to two years.

'Emotional wellbeing'

Dominic Ruffy, special project director at the Amy Winehouse Foundation, said there were very few female-specific addiction centres in the UK - despite the fact research shows women have a greater chance of relapse without support.

He also spoke to women at female-only addiction centre Hope House who said moving to a mixed sex centre had been one of their fears, because of issues around co-dependency and past experiences of abuse.

"It's really critical that women have that length of time to sit with themselves, be with themselves, and learn how to manage their emotional wellbeing," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

Mr Ruffy said women based at Amy's Place would already have been through a treatment programme and would come to the new centre clean and sober.

But he added: "It's one thing to be clean and sober, it's another thing learning how to then live your life without using drugs, and going down pathways such as volunteering or employment or education."

The centre is due to open on 22 August.

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