As the founder of Share, I am proud to have established a charity to support everyone affected by addiction in our local community.
I learnt about addiction from my eldest daughter, Amy, who struggled with alcohol dependence all her adult life. Watching her going slowly downhill, and being powerless to stop the progression of this dreadful disease, was a very painful experience for myself, our family and her friends.
I became an expert in understanding about the research being carried out into addiction, and about the treatment options for sufferers. I was shocked to find out that sufferers are sometimes denied adequate treatment, and that the stigma surrounding addiction is often evident, even amongst those very professionals who are there to support them. I became passionate about challenging the stigma, because until we can successfully break this down, those suffering with addictive behaviour will never get the services is they deserve,
When I became the Mayor of Shrewsbury in 2017 I decided to use my role to speak out about about the need to improve services.The following year, in response to local need, I decided to set up local charity, and Share Shrewsbury was established. Amy was involved in all of this, and she was keen to take an active role in running Share. We held our launch event on May 3rd 2019 and tragically, only twelve days later, on May 15th, Amy lost her long painful battle with alcohol, and died suddenly and alone in her home.
Since then, I have become even more determined to build a strong foundation for Share. With the help of our wonderful Share team, we are reaching out to our local community, recruiting volunteers who are in recovery themselves wherever possible, and establishing new ways to support everyone affected by addiction in and around Shrewsbury.