Frances honoured for rising to challenges of addiction

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Singer Frances Black was among those honoured at the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards in Dublin last night in recognition of her work founding a support group for assisting the families of addicts.

The 50-year-old set up The RISE Foundation in 2006 to help families of addicts better understand the nature of addiction and the profound effects it has on relationships.

Black acted after receiving a huge response from traumatised relatives when she spoke publicly about her own experience of alcoholism.

“Thirteen years of age was the first time I took a drink and it was amazing. And that was the beginning of my relationship with alcohol. By the time I was 28 I had a broken marriage behind me, I had two small babies, I was living in a one-room flat. And I don’t want to give a sob story, but my best friend became alcohol.”

Seeking counselling, Black succeeded in giving up the bottle and this led to her musical career spanning six albums. She was also among the artists to appear on ‘A Women’s Heart’ the biggest selling Irish album ever.

She is now a full-time addiction counsellor with The RISE Foundation.

Two other individuals were honoured at the awards last night. They were Mr Dara Hogan who set up Fledglings Early Years Education & Care and John Lawlor, who developed and created the Bridge to College (B2C) programme.

All three recipients will share a €500,000 award.

Source: The Irish Independent, 02/10/10
Journalist: Ken Sweeney Entertainment Reporter