Drugsline charity founder ‘elated’ that it could be back in business next month

Rabbi Sufrin

Rabbi Sufrin - Credit: Archant

»The founder of a charity which has helped tens of thousands of people struggling with addictions has said he is “elated” that it could be back in business next month.

Drugsline folded last year due to funding problems but after months of negotiations with charity Norwood, it could be back up and running as soon as March.

Drugsline founder Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin said he was pleased with the news as negotiations enter their final stages.

He added: “I was elated, Norwood is an established charity with a large budget and will have back-up that Drugsline never had. There will be a pilot scheme for six months. Then we shall see.”

Over the next six months the charity will focus on education in schools, a telephone helpline as well as raising awareness among the community.

“We are just dotting the Is and dotting the Ts now,” Rabbi Sufrin said. “We hope to be up and running the service in a month. We have lots of experience which we are happy to share.”

He will remain involved with the charity, which he founded in 1989.

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He added: “It still remains close to my heart, it was my brain child and it has achieved great things.”

Norwood is a Jewish charity which supports children, families and people with learning disabilities.

Elaine Kerr, Norwood’s chief executive, said: “Norwood was concerned with the closure of Drugsline, as we understand and see the destructive impact of substance misuse in families.”

“As we already work closely with Jewish schools, we were concerned about the lack of preventative education that Drugsline provided to these schools.”

Several possible models for supporting Drugsline are being looked at and the final decision is yet to be taken.

Ms Kerr said: “Our first priority will be to ensure that it does not impact at all on our current services or cause financial pressures. A substance misuse service will enable us access to trusts, grants and statutory funding that we cannot currently access.”