‘Amy’s Place’ - A Pioneering New Recovery House for Women Recovering from Drug and Alcohol Addiction

The Amy Winehouse Foundation has teamed up with Centra Care and Support to provide a new women-only recovery house for those overcoming drug and alcohol addiction.

Opening in East London on Monday 22nd August, the house will pioneer a programme that addresses the specialist needs of female addicts, which are often more complex than their male counterparts. The project also highlights the need for a new approach to support female addicts.

Named 'Amy's Place', the house will provide a lasting legacy of support for women to reintegrate into society with the best possible opportunity of sustaining their recovery and building a fulfilling life.

Amy’s Place will be one of the only projects in the country to bridge the gap between women leaving addiction treatment services and finding independent accommodation. Women in recovery are often overcoming abusive histories and need a safe place to recover before embarking on a new life.

Women at the scheme will be provided with temporary homes in one of 12-self-contained apartments and supported using what is known as a co-production model, giving them shared control over the services that aid their recovery.

The model was shaped with the input of young women in recovery and also those addicts living in an all-female rehabilitation centre in south London. From their feedback, Centraand the Amy Winehouse Foundation have created a 3-month programme for new residents, which will comprise of 4 groups a day encompassing holistic activities such as Yoga and Reiki as well as relapse prevention groups.

Research shows that women have a far greater chance of relapse without this kind of support. In an American-based recovery house model including a sample of 293 women, it was found that addicts who stayed at the recovery centre had significant lower substance use rates (31%) versus the usual aftercare system (65%) (Jason et al, 2007).

Despite more women entering addiction treatment services, there is only one other all women recovery house in London where the waiting list exceeds six months and just a smattering around the country. Out of the several hundred recovery-housing beds in the UK, only 1% is a woman specific.

Jane Winehouse of the Amy Winehouse Foundation said: “This project will make such a profound difference to so many young women, enabling them to have a safe environment in which to re-build their lives and put into practice all the learning they have acquired through their treatment journey. Fresh starts are difficult to make; full of challenges, but at Amy's Place we will give young women the tools and support to help them make this a reality.

There is a huge lack of support to meet the needs of women in this area and we hope 'Amy's Place' will show just how much more effective we can be."

Centra and the Amy Winehouse Foundation have developed the new recovery house, which will help up to 16 women aged from 18 to 30 following its launch on 22nd August. The residents, who will have all completed a programme of rehabilitation for drug and alcohol abuse, will be provided with temporary homes, mentoring and workshops by the Amy Winehouse Foundation and Centra Care and Support to help them rebuild their lives in the outside world.

Michelle Davies, Regional Business Manager for Centra Care and Support, said: “This innovative new recovery model will provide high quality support to help young women with a range of needs live independently after leaving residential facilities for drug and alcohol treatment. We want to empower young women to remain in control of their recovery by providing safe and secure homes, personalised services and a vibrant community that will build on their strengths, experiences and preferences.

“We are incredibly proud to be working alongside the Amy Winehouse Foundation to develop this important new service. It is one of a number of community-based services run by Centra Care and Support which supports vulnerable people to gain independence and establish a new and permanent home.”

Centra is part of not-for-profit organisation Circle Housing.

Visit www.centragroup.org.uk/support