“There’s no shame in giving up alcohol, quite the contrary, it was only when I stopped drinking that my life became incredibly interesting and fun” Starting Point’s new patron, Francis Dunnery announced on his visit to its premises, newly opened on Lowther Street. Starting Point offers the cheapest cup of coffee in Whitehaven and supports those who are turning their lives around. Dunnery continues ” When I moved to the USA I realized pretty quickly that my old drinking habits were actually quite extreme. I grew up in a culture where drinking alcohol four and five nights a week was pretty normal. I simply couldn’t imagine life without alcohol, it was unthinkable. After twenty years of not drinking I can’t imagine where I got the time to drink! My life is so full and busy that I hardly have the time to eat never mind drink. British culture is extremely behind the times when it comes to alcohol and drug recovery. In the USA it is considered the same as over eating or weight loss programs. It certainly not something people are ashamed of. The meetings are one of the most popular social events on the daily calendar. It’s free therapy”.
He continues “It always amazes me that no one even ‘bats an eyelid’ when they see someone steaming drunk on the street, shouting abuse and staggering all over the place, urinating in shop doorways, vomiting and screaming violently at anyone who walks past them. Its considered completely normal in British culture. But someone who doesn’t drink alcohol is considered weird. It’s pretty funny, it always makes me laugh”.
With a home in the Pocono Mountains West of New York City and an international following for his artistic work, Francis has never forgotten his roots in Egremont. He gave up drinking alcohol more than twenty years ago when his life was at a turning point and wants to show his support for other people who are breaking clear. “ If anyone out there is tired of the alcohol treadmill they can go to the Starting Point and find out ways to quit. In fact Starting point is one of the few places that supports people in quitting alcohol, drugs , prescription drugs or even smoking cigarettes. It can be a lot of fun”.
He called into Starting point at the beginning of his house concert tour of Europe, beginning at the home of Ian Todd and Helen Brown in Whitehaven, and going on to Glasgow, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, where every concert is already sold out.
This post will be updated after a press release by Starting Point’s manager, Debs Clements, herself an Egremont girl.
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