A Reformed alcoholic who turned his life around eight years ago following a brush with death is launching his own charity to help others who are addicted to drink.
David Tinlin, 52, became an alcoholic after being diagnosed with cancer in his late teens, and the addiction afflicted him for more than 20 years.
At one point he resorted to drinking meths to get him through the day, and he spent time in a psychiatric hospital getting treatment for alcohol-related depression.
He eventually realised things had to change when he woke up after a night locked up in a police station cell to be told he had tried to hang himself.
David, a divorcee who lives in Morpeth, Northumberland, sought help from Blyth-based Escape Family Support and was able to rid himself of his addiction.
He has not touched alcohol for eight years, during which time he has been a volunteer peer mentor and fundraiser for Escape.
Now he is starting up his own charity called Drout – Dry Out/Drink Out – in Morpeth in a bid to use his experiences to help other alcoholics get their lives back on track.
He has an office in the town centre and his charity will be officially opened this week by Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery.
David, a father-of-one whose marriage broke down many years ago because of his drink problem, said: “I was an alcoholic for more than 20 years and was so bad at one point that I drank meths just to get a taste of alcohol.
“I went to get help from Escape in 2005 after I was locked up in Bedlington police station and was told the next morning that I’d tried to hang myself. When they told me that I vowed I would never have another drink again, and I will be eight years sober at the end of this month.
“I got great support from Escape and now I want to help other people get their lives back on track, try to get them into work and off alcohol.”
David carried the Olympic Torch on its journey through Northumberland last summer in recognition of his fundraising work with Escape.
He said: “The plan is that Drout will offer one-to-one counselling, therapies, group work, smart recovery sessions and arts and crafts activities to help alcoholics turn their lives around. A lot of it is stuff I learned at Escape, and I know I can help other people.
“I have two trustees for the charity and I’m looking for volunteers to help me. We are starting in Morpeth but hope to spread out to places like Pegswood, Longhirst, Mitford and Stannington.”