Russell Brand joins campaign to save Woodford Green rehab centre 1NE

Russell Brand with Fiona Snowball and Chris Fallon, both helped to recovery by 1NE in the Broadway,

Russell Brand with Fiona Snowball and Chris Fallon, both helped to recovery by 1NE in the Broadway, Woodford Green - Credit: Archant

Russell Brand has joined a campaign to save a rehab centre set up by a mother and daughter after addiction destroyed their family.

1NE, in the Broadway, Woodford Green, was set up in 1987 by Fiona Dunwoodie and her mother following the death of both her father and brother from alcohol-related illnesses.

Now the service is facing closure after losing out on a contract with Redbridge Council to national provider Blenheim.

Ms Dunwoodie said: “My mum set up 1NE 30 years ago when our family was devastated by addiction. Since then we’ve helped thousands of people to break the cycle and live free from addiction.

“1NE is a lifeline to people in our community. If the service closes it will be a tragedy for the people we support now, and all those we want to help in the future.”

Presenter and comedian Brand – who has successfully battled his own addictions with alcohol and drugs – visited the centre to support the campaign to save 1NE by raising £160,000 to keep it open another year.

He said: “It’s essential we Save 1NE, which is exactly the kind of place that saved me. Small centres like this, run by local people in the heart of their community, are achieving astonishing results and helping addicts to full recovery through abstinence.

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“If we don’t Save 1NE, we’re just endorsing the growth of big, corporate organisations that park people on methadone and don’t get to the root of the problem.

“We shouldn’t have to be funding this service ourselves, but it is too important to lose.”

He called on the government to step in and save the family-run clinic, which has had a 70 per cent success rate through its abstinence-based service.

A spokeswoman for Redbridge Council said the authority “remains fully committed to providing high quality drug and alcohol treatment services to our residents”.

She said: “We want to ensure that rehabilitation in the borough is as effective as possible, and have continued to invest in this vital service.

“It is our aim to develop a recovery focused treatment system in the borough that provides ongoing support in the community to enable residents to regain control of their lives. The new treatment system will not only increase capacity but also improve access to services.

“A thorough needs and service assessment was carried out before making any decision on this contract, to make sure that the integrated substance misuse treatment model meets with the needs of our diverse and changing population.

“Although it is regrettable that 1NE were not successful through the tendering process, measures were put in place to make sure all service providers were treated fairly and given the opportunity to tender.”