Ex-addict Dave hopes Drout will help others

A CHARITY worker who battled back from a 20-year alcohol addiction is now embarking on his dream to help others.

Dave Tinlin, of Stobhill, could once see nothing more to life than a bottle of alcohol and at his worst even resorted to drinking meths to get him through the day.

But seven-and-a-half years ago he hit his lowest ebb when after a particularly bad black out he found himself in a police cell and attempted suicide.

From that point he made a decision to change his life for good and sought help from Escape Family Support.

Mr Tinlin has never touched a drop of alcohol since and for the past five years has been volunteering at Escape as a peer mentor.

The 51-year-old has raised thousands of pounds for the charity through daring parachute and bungee jumps and in June came one of the proudest moments of his life when he carried the Olympic Torch through Ashington in recognition of his efforts.

Now Mr Tinlin is preparing for another challenge as he begins the process of setting up a new Morpeth charity to help people with alcohol problems.

“I had a dream three years ago that I would be running my own charity and I have started the registration process this week,” he said.

“For over 20 years I had a problem. The drinking was constant, it was terrible. Sometimes I was drinking meths, it had got to that stage, but I went for help and I haven’t had a drink for seven-and-a-half years now. I still go out with friends, but I’ll just be drinking orange or Coke.

“At one time I couldn’t imagine doing anything like this — it’s all due to the help I got myself.

“It shows that people can change if they want to change, it’s just a case of getting to them. There are a lot of people in denial who say they haven’t got a problem when other people can see that they have, but it comes down to them seeking the help they need.”

The charity will be called Drout, standing for dry out and drink out, and will aim to help anyone over the age of 17 who has an alcohol problem.

There will be one-to-one sessions, complementary therapy, such as reiki and crystals, and support groups.

Mr Tinlin hopes to secure premises in Manchester Street to operate a service five days a week, from 8.30am to 5pm daily, as well as one evening a week.

In time, he plans to obtain funds to employ two full-time support workers at the charity and he is already thinking of fund-raising ideas to help meet general costs.

“It is all about alcohol smart recovery — it doesn’t look at someone’s past, it looks to their future and what they want to do,” he said.

“That helped me and it is pretty successful.

“I’m hoping to start up properly from April 1 once the premises are sorted, but in the meantime I’ll still be available to help people.

“Now we’re on the way hopefully I’ll be able to get a tombola going and other fund-raising to get some money. I will be doing things like the parachute jump and bungee jump again, but there’s nothing planned at the moment.”

A meeting will be held at Morpeth Town Hall at 6pm on Wednesday, January 23, for anyone interested in helping the charity or seeking its support.

Mr Tinlin said: “Anybody who wants to know what is going to happen can come along, whether they are people who have problems or people wanting to help out. It would also be great to hear from anyone who might be able to help with funds.

“It just feels great that I can now get out and help people.”

Anyone wishing to contact Mr Tinlin about Drout should call 07504 214809.