Father knows best? –
Oct. 22, 2020 – MY RESPONSE to some of Amy’s ‘situations’ was that I would pretend to have a heart attack and go into hospital, thinking that would shock her into going straight.
“At the end of the day though, that stuff doesn’t work. Amy stopped taking drugs when she wanted to stop taking drugs…”
Mitch Winehouse, father of the late singer Amy Winehouse, is reflecting on some of his attempts to intervene when his daughter was struggling with addiction.
As one of the most discussed singer-songwriters of her generation, Amy’s lasting legacy is a tale of two halves. Although remembered as a great singing talent, during her short life, she became just as famous for her battles with drugs and alcohol, as she was for her iconic voice. In 2011, aged 27, she died of alcohol poisoning.
In the wake of her death, Amy’s family set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation (amywinehousefoundation.org), a charity that helps to support other young people struggling with addiction.
“We created the foundation literally the day Amy passed away,” recalls Mitch (69). “I was in America and I said to the family, ‘We can either jump in a hole, or we can do something positive’.”
Among other things to date, the charity has addressed around 300,000 kids in schools as part of its Resilience Programme, and also runs Amy’s Place, a residential recovery house for young women.
“We provide counselling support, and in some cases, we fund residential rehab,” says Jane, Amy’s step-mother and a co-founder of the charity. “It’s virtually impossible to get funded for residential rehab in this country. It’s an area that’s on the decline as the drug treatment budgets are decreasing, so we’re trying filling the gaps where we can.”