Drugs charity Focus 12 to sell premises to clear debts

Russell Brand and Mitch Winehouse
Image caption Russell Brand and Mitch Winehouse, father of singer Amy Winehouse, are both supporters of drugs charity Focus 12

A drug and rehabilitation charity where comedian Russell Brand was treated for substance abuse is set to sell its premises to secure its future.

Focus 12, based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, is planning to put its three-storey townhouse on the market so it can clear its £250,000 debt.

The charity will continue to rent another building it is currently using.

Chief executive Tony Kimber said: "We're 20 years old now and want to safeguard another 20 years."

Comedian Brand is one of several high-profile supporters of Focus 12, crediting it with helping him to end his heroin addiction.

Boy George became one of its patrons in 2011, joining Brand and Davina McCall.

In 2013, the Amy Winehouse Foundation donated £30,000 to the charity.

Mitch Winehouse, whose singer daughter died aged 27 in 2011, said it was one of the "most outstanding" facilities.

Image caption Russell Brand and Focus 12's former chief executive Chip Somers appeared before the Home Affairs Committee to discuss drug use in 2012
Image copyright Google
Image caption Focus 12's three-storey townhouse in Bury St Edmunds will be sold off

The charity expects to claw back up to £450,000 from selling the former bed and bed breakfast at Risbygate Street.

Mr Kimber said: "It will enable us to develop what we do and enhance the programmes we run."

The charity helps about 52 people a year.

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