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Focus Counselling needs your help to launch its Genesis Programme

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A “spiritually-based” treatment programme offered by addiction charity Focus Counselling is hoped to be in place by the year's end.

But the group is in urgent need of donations to continue its work, said co-founder Sandy Butterfield, who last night unveiled a short documentary on the Island's addiction scourge.

Featuring harrowing images of addicts injecting, the film also carries testimony from Lynn Spencer, who last year lost her 25-year-old son Chris to a suspected heroin overdose.

Focus needs “a minimum” of $600,000 annually to carry on its most basic work, Ms Butterfield told viewers.

Its Genesis Programme at the St George's facility Jerry's House will specialise in brief, 90-day treatment for a small group of recovering addicts.

“For some of them, this could be just the piece they may have been missing,” Ms Butterfield said. “We never know what might work with out clients.”

At a viewing of the partially-completed documentary in Hamilton's LOM building, the audience heard also from recovered addict Trevor Bell, now 13 years free of heroin and alcohol, and working with the Eliza DoLittle Society's daily bread food programme.

“It's been good for me and good for the community,” Mr Bell said. “I'm paying back all those years that I stole from the community by my misdeeds.”

Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley said the perennial challenge for Focus was the task of obtaining funds.

“Focus has had 25 tough years helping the community. If we all give a little back, they'll have another 25. Let's give when we can, and not when we need to.”

Added the Progressive Labour Party's Michael Weeks: “Focus has been at the forefront, with their meagre resources.

“Every year they struggle to get funds, and with the recession as it is, and the loss of jobs, you get an increase in drugs and alcohol — their services are more in demand.”

Further announcements are pending on the launch of the Genesis Treatment Programme. In the meantime, the Nelson Bascome charity football match in aid of Focus is to be held on September 14 at National Stadium.

Minister of Public Safety Michael Dunkley listens to Sandra Butterfield of Focus speak during a video presentation at L.O.M. (photo by Glenn Tucker)
Sandra Butterfield of Focus speaks during a presentation at L.O.M. (photo by Glenn Tucker)
Minister of Public Safety Michael Dunkley listens to Sandra Butterfield of Focus speak during a video presentation at L.O.M. (photo by Glenn Tucker)
Sandra Butterfield of Focus speaks during a presentation at L.O.M. (photo by Glenn Tucker)

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Published August 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated August 15, 2013 at 12:22 am)

Focus Counselling needs your help to launch its Genesis Programme

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