VOTE: Do you support a minimum price for alcohol?

Rob Woznicki, manager of Ravenscourt rehabililtation centre, left, and Hayley Territt, senior councillor,  second left, with clients, Abigail and Ashley creating collages. Photo by Kate Shemilt. C130101-1
Rob Woznicki, manager of Ravenscourt rehabililtation centre, left, and Hayley Territt, senior councillor, second left, with clients, Abigail and Ashley creating collages. Photo by Kate Shemilt. C130101-1

SENIOR staff at a unique rehab and detox centre in Bognor Regis have backed a minimum price for alcohol.

Those who run Ravenscourt want action taken to make the drink less attractive.

The government is considering the idea to counter cheap booze deals in shops.

Ravenscourt’s centre director, Jon Harman, said it should act soon.

“The minimum pricing of alcohol has worked in Scotland and it should be introduced here.

“Young people are getting more severe problems because of the availability and affordability of alcohol compared to 20 years ago,” he said.

“This means the nature of alcohol addiction has changed. People can do a lot more damage to themselves at a far younger age than used to be the case.

“This is the ‘Tesco Express’ generation of addicts. Some of the major alcohol producers should also bear more responsibility and give some of their profits to help people who have developed serious problems as a result of that product.”

Tackling those problems is part of daily life for the 12 staff and up to 17 clients at the centre in Ellasdale Road.

From the outside, it looks like any other large, old-fashioned detached house.

But inside, lives are being changed for the better. Pasts are being confronted and futures created.

“We give people some aspiration back in their lives,” said Mr Harman. “We move them away from despair and dependency and re-kindle aspiration and hope for the future and also enable them to give something back to society and the community.”

The centre opened in 1990 as a result of the generosity of a Bognor businessman, Raymond May.

He donated his house to enable the important matter of accommodation to be settled right from the start.

It has become noticeable to the centre’s head of treatment, Robin Woznicki, the mixture of the clients has changed since the early days.

“Some 70-80 per cent have problems caused by alcohol rather than street drugs,” he said. “Our clients used to be nearly all middle-aged men.

“About 45 per cent of our clients are now females. Their average age has also come down in that period from 50 to 35.”

The service has since grown in the past two years to provide the only detoxification and rehabilitation centre in the county.

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