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Looking Ahead To ‘Give It Up’ For Comic Relief

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Russell Brand and Amy Winehouse were close friends and after Amy’s death, Russell – who already had taken part in abstinence based recovery – wanted to see what he could do to help people addicted to drugs and alcohol.

This Wednesday, 6th March, Russell will host a truly epic music and comedy gig, with all proceeds going to Comic Relief. There is a fantastic line up with the likes of Paloma Faith, Noel Gallagher and Kasabian taking to the stage, alongside a host of comedic co-hosts such as Simon Amstell, Noel Fielding and Jimmy Carr.

http://www.rednoseday.com/whats-going-on/whats-on-tv/give-it-up-for-comic-relief

‘Give It Up’ For Comic Relief is a celebration of recovery and aims to raise awareness and money to fund projects that support people with substance misuse issues to ‘give it up’, get clean and stay clean.

“This is not a moral, judgmental or puritanical stance. Some people can drink safely. For those who can’t do it safely, it is an illness. I wouldn’t have been able to stop drinking without help’, Russell recently told The Sun.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation works to prevent the effects of drug and alcohol misuse on young people, and have so far supported and funded many charitable projects that engage and educate young people in drug and alcohol related programmes.

In addition to our grants work, we have formed a partnership with The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Charity, Addaction and NSPCC’s Childline to develop the Amy Winehouse Foundation Resilience programme, which will deliver targeted drug and alcohol education work in senior schools to young people, parents and teachers.

Here is more information about this project:

http://www.amywinehousefoundation.org/resilience-programme-for-schools

Stay tuned to this blog for exciting updates as we officially launch this programme in the next few weeks!

We are delighted to be supported by Russell and Comic Relief with the ‘Give It Up’ Campaign and wish everyone involved the best of success.

You can watch the concert LIVE in the UK on BBC Three, from 10:00pm.

There are also a few tickets still up for grabs:

http://www.rednoseday.com/whats-going-on/whats-on-tv/give-it-up-for-comic-relief

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Supporting Young People Through Music – The Roundhouse Records Launch

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One of the Amy Winehouse Foundation’s main aims is to support and develop music provision for young people. This will be achieved by developing partnerships with organisations who work in this area, and through the delivery of an exciting new project currently being worked on.

The Foundation recently donated £30,000 to The Roundhouse, London, to support their ‘Roundhouse Radio’ programme over the next three years. The Roundhouse Radio programme provides opportunities and projects that develop transferable interpersonal skills, industry knowledge and gives experience to young people aged 16-25 from socio-economically and personally disadvantaged backgrounds.

I was invited to attend the opening night of 30/30 Roundhouse Records. 30/30 is one of the Roundhouse’s flagship music projects for 16-25 year-olds in partnerships with EMI to discover 30 unsigned acts, match them with a top producer, and give them recording time in our state-of-the-art recording studio. Now in it’s third year, the night showcased 30 young emerging artists, and featured live performances from emerging acts IAm1,The Tuts, Demo, Blazer Splitz Boys and Vanessa Gimenez alongside Roundhouse Band Slam winner CallumRafferty and a set from young DJ, Joss Ryan. It was an impressive evening full of excitement and it was a great thing to be a part of.

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As we all know, the Brit Awards 2013 took place last week. Amy’s posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures gained Amy a nomination for Best British Female Solo Artist. Amy missed out on the award which went to Emeli Sande, but the family and Foundation are very proud that Amy was nominated, and feel it was a great testament to Amy’s musical legacy that she was the first ever artist to be posthumously nominated.

£1 from the  proceeds from Amy’s latest album Lioness: Hidden Treasures will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation and you can still purchase it via:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lioness-hidden-treasures/id482238361

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00622FQMC/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=islandcouk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00622FQMC

If you are interested in the 30/30 album please email: visitorservices@roundhouse.org.uk

It’s Time To Talk About Eating Disorders

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Last week marked ‘Eating Disorders Week’, a national campaign to raise awareness and understanding of this serious mental illness, challenge the stereotypes and stigmas that people with eating disorders face and campaign for better services and treatments.

One charity that is committed to helping people with eating disorders is Beat, whose vision is that all eating disorders will be beaten. They aim to change the way people think and talk about eating disorders, improve the way services and treatment are provided, and to help anyone suffering with an eating disorder to believe their eating disorder can be beaten (www.b-eat.co.uk).

Eating Disorders are a cause the Amy Winehouse Foundation feels very passionate about. Although there was always a great deal of media attention given to Amy’s battle with drugs and alcohol, there was much less focus on her ongoing struggle with Bulimia, something she suffered with from a much earlier age than her addictions. People who have Bulimia try to control their weight by severely restricting the amount of food they eat, then binge eating and purging the food from their body by making themselves sick or by using laxatives (www.nhs.uk).

Between the release of Frank and Back to Black there were periods when the media would refer to Amy as ‘curvy’ and ‘chubby’, and although no one can place a specific time on when her Bulimia started, members of the family noticed significant change with her eating patterns, behaviour and her weight during this time.

The constant pressure placed on celebrities, and in turn young people, to uphold a specific image can become all too much to bare. Life in the limelight can often lead to people feeling they have no control over their own lives, which can lead to unhealthy behaviours in order to gain some control.

Research has shown that there is often a connection between addictions and eating disorders, particularly in young women. The road to many addictions can begin with low self-esteem, a lack of confidence and a lack of accurate and responsible information.

This is why it is important for us as a society to celebrate people of all shapes and sizes, and to do our best to ensure that young people start life with a positive body image and a healthy mental attitude to themselves and their bodies.

If you have been affected by an eating disorder, or know someone who has, please visit or contact:

www.b-eat.co.uk
Helpline – 0845 634 1414
Youthline – 0845 634 6750
email – fyp@b-eat.co.uk
text – 07786 20 18 20

www.nhs.uk/eating-disorders

NHS DIrect – 0845 4647

Thanks for reading x

Marking Children Of Alcoholics Week

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The effects alcohol abuse can have go far beyond just having a drink. It can affect the people around you including close family and friends. Most importantly it can affect children. Today in the United Kingdom it is estimated that one in five children live with an alcoholic parent (www.coaweek.org).

Having grown up with an alcoholic father for part of my life, this is an issue that is close to me, and one that I can completely understand. It’s the embarrassment of friends coming over and your father shouting because he’s drunk, it’s the anger, resentment and confusion. Emotionally, it’s the experience of having to grow up faster than you should and having to take on bigger responsibilities.

This week, 11th – 16th February, marks ‘Children of Alcoholics Week’, which aims to raise awareness of children affected by parental alcohol problems, while also reminding all children living with an alcoholic parent that they are not alone. Children of Alcoholics Week (COA) is held internationally every year and is led by a campaign founded by the The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA).

COA Week supporter and Nacoa Patron, Elle McPherson, has said: “Without help these children become lost in the system; they grow up feeling un-noticed at best and abused at worst. Nacoa’s work is all about planning for a positive future – helping them to transform their negative beliefs about themselves into an ‘I can do’ attitude.”

NACOA run a phone and online service providing young people with information and a forum to speak to someone. They also provide one to one support, and deliver outreach programmes to schools in order to discuss this hidden issue and create more awareness for teachers and pupils.

As someone who has experienced life with an alcoholic parent, there is always the uncertainty of never knowing what you are going home to. It’s the not being listening to and never being heard. The children that are being supported by organisations such as NACOA are being listened to, and it’s important we don’t forget them.

Thanks for reading x

For any children or young people who may be affected by this issue, please remember the Six “C”s:
I didn’t cause it
I can’t control it
I can’t cure it
I can take care of myself
I can communicate my feelings
I can make healthy choices

 

Homelessness And Poverty Action Week Highlights The Ongoing Need For Centrepoint

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Did you sleep well last night? It was pretty bloomin’ cold, windy and rainy out. I ask because last week was Homelessness and Poverty Action Week, which aims to not only change the perceptions of poverty and homelessness in the UK, but also hopes to make a real difference to homeless peoples lives.

Every night thousands of people are looking for somewhere to spend the night. A large number of them are hidden homeless. Sleeping on friends and families sofas or dossing on public transport. A growing number are aged between 16 and 25.

Often due to divorce or relationship breakdown, addiction and death, young people are made homeless way before they can marry, drink and before many of them have begun to live their lives. They’re made homeless through no fault of their own and recent changes to the welfare system are already having a negative impact on young people’s ability to access appropriate (if any) housing options.

One organization trying to make things easier for young homeless people is Centrepoint. This is the UK’s leading charity for young homeless people. What’s so special about what Centrepoint do? Not only do they give young people a home, but they nurture a young person by giving them skills, confident and support they need to go into the real world.

It costs money to provide such a level of support. As part of Centrepoint’s Health and Wellbeing team, the Amy Winehouse Foundation has funded £38,000 for a one-year Dual Diagnosis Specialist Worker, to provide focused intervention for young people aged 16-25 who experience problems in this area, allowing the team to integrate its current support work around substance misuse and mental health expertise.

Meet Our Blogger!

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Sophia Kichou is now blogging for the Amy Winehouse Foundation. Here are a few words about her:

KICHOU

‘I was once a young person living at Centrepoint, and have been a member of the Centrepoint Youth Parliament for 3 years, which has involved working with MP’s and several national campaigns. I recently won Best News Coverage of the year at the Creative Diversity Network Awards for my piece raising awareness about youth homelessness. I am currently a full time student studying Journalism at City University.
  ‘Through this blog I hope to tell the stories of those who wouldn’t usually be given a voice, and to raise awareness about the plight facing vulnerable young people affected by homelessness and substance misuse. I will also tell you about all the cool things that the Amy Winehouse Foundation are doing!’