I really want something good coming from a terrible tragedy – a tragedy that is repeated every day – and increasingly so post covid.
I’m just one more grieving mother who has lost a precious daughter, but this experience has made me passionate about wanting to make a difference to prevent more deaths.
Three years ago, my wonderful and charismatic daughter Amy, died after battling alcohol addiction all her adult life, she was 37 years old.
In the two years before she died, I was the Mayor of Shrewsbury and seeing how inadequate drug and alcohol services were in supporting Amy, I had set up a charity called Share Shrewsbury to support anyone affected by alcohol addiction.
I did this with Amy’s help, she died just 12 days after the charity was launched.
Since then, like Will Young and many many others, I’ve been campaigning to raise awareness about the many lives being lost, to challenge society’s prejudice and to improve the woefully inadequate services.
Last year I was given the chance to organise a virtual conference to highlight what alcohol is, how it affects us and say what went wrong with Amy’s care. The aim is to inform the public about alcohol harm and showcase the latest worldwide research about addiction and the mind.
It is a passion project, to share with the public everything that we as a family wished we had known, and which could have saved Amy’s life.
It could also save other lives now.
I was amazed by the kindness of the glittering array of experts, and those with lived experience, who have all agreed to speak for free.
These speakers include Adrian Chiles, Jon Ashworth MP, Camilla Tominey, Professor David Nutt, Dr Ed Day, Professor Markus Heilig, UK armed forces Veterans, Alcohol ChangeUK CEO AdFam CEO, AA ambassador, Susan Laurie.
It has grown into a unique two-day virtual conference with world experts all speaking for free because we want to get this important message about the dangers of alcohol out to the public – because no one is willing to do it, including the Government.