Charity founder faces his toughest fight yet

Drout founder David Tinlin seen at Chantry Bridge, Morpeth.'REF 0701157722
Drout founder David Tinlin seen at Chantry Bridge, Morpeth.'REF 0701157722

A recovered alcoholic who battled back from the brink of suicide is now facing the fight of his life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Charity founder David Tinlin gave up alcohol nine-and-a-half years ago when he woke up in a police cell after attempting suicide.

Since then the Stobhill resident has worked tirelessly to support others facing the same demons, first as a volunteer peer mentor at Escape Family Support, where he himself had been helped, and for the last 18 months through his own charity, Drout.

Standing for Drink Out, Dry Out, Mr Tinlin set up the scheme in Morpeth to provide therapy and support groups for anyone over the age of 17 with an alcohol problem.

On Christmas Eve, the 53-year-old was told that he had inoperable cancer of the gullet, liver and lymph nodes.

But he has vowed that it will not stop him from carrying out his vital work and he is determined to beat the illness.

“I’m still at work and I’m going to kick the cancer into touch in any way I can,” he said.

“I’m strong enough, I can fight it, and I am not going anywhere for at least another 50 years.”

Mr Tinlin first became concerned after suffering a cough for around nine months. Scans ruled out a heart condition and when he began struggling to eat, further tests were ordered.

“I got a call to make an appointment and went to the doctor’s on Christmas Eve,” he said.

“They went through everything and said they couldn’t cure it or operate, but they can treat it to prolong my life.

“To me, my charity and clients come first so I won’t let it stop me, no way. I haven’t let up on the work at all. I’ve been in all over Christmas and New Year because it is always a busy time.

“I have good days and bad days, just like anybody else would have, but the charity and helping people keeps me going.”

The grandfather-of-two has raised tens of thousands of pounds over the years for both Escape and Drout, completing parachute and bungee jumps, fire and ice walks, and long-distance bike rides and runs, as well as organising countless fund-raising entertainment events.

And he has no intention of stopping the challenges now.

“I will still be doing fund-raising,” he said.

“I did have a fire walk planned, but it has had to be cancelled because I can’t get a car park to do it in. I will be coming up with other things though.”

He added: “Quite a few people have wished me well. It is nice knowing I have the support of people. Everybody needs a little bit of support now and then.”

To contact Drout, call 01670 222627.