Drug rehab charity Focus 12 expands services in Bury St Edmunds

A Suffolk drug rehabilitation charity is opening a new therapy centre to help fund its addiction work.

Focus 12, which is based in Bury St Edmunds, has opened The Annexe for non-addiction related issues such as depression and relationship breakdown.

Customers are expected to make a contribution for their counselling.

Chip Somers, Focus 12's chief executive, said: "As the cuts start to really hit, more people are going to get stressed and anxious."

Last year Focus 12 lost its contract to provide treatment services for the Suffolk Drug & Alcohol Action Team to another charity called Open Road.

Focus 12 said it was surviving on a "month-to-month" basis with most of its 16 residential addiction clients being referred to it by councils from other parts of the country.

Anonymous donor

The charity, whose patrons include Boy George and Russell Brand, said it costs £0.5m a year to run.

The Annexe on St John's Street has been given £28,000 in funding from an anonymous donor, which will keep it going for two years.

Clients are expected to make a payment of up to £45 for a counselling session.

Mr Somers said: "We're well known for our addiction work, but what has been lost in that is that we see perhaps 25-30 people a week [for non-addiction issues].

"We would fit in alongside services like Mind or Relate, who are very busy, and we might be able to provide a quicker response.

"If we can survive the next two years we will have done very well and the trustees are very keen that we look at other ways to generate funds to keep the main work of the charity going."

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