Chesterfield's Gary Topley urges people to drink sensibly over festive period

An alcohol awareness campaigner is urging people to drink sensibly over the festive period.

Monday, 18th December 2017, 11:55 am
Updated Monday, 18th December 2017, 12:00 pm
Gary Topley. Picture submitted.

Recovering alcoholic Gary Topley, 39, of Chesterfield, said: "This year has flown by and once again Christmas is on the horizon.

"It is a time when a lot of us like to celebrate with family and friends and create special memories.

"With parties in full swing and people having fun, alcohol is never too far behind - and most of the time lots of it.

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"Nevertheless, I would like to ask you to drink sensibly and please stay out of any trouble that there may be.

"Don't let your festivities become an innocent person's last."

He added: "Those who have difficulties with alcohol addiction find most days a struggle, but especially at Christmas and New Year.

"If you are going out with someone who doesn't drink who you know has had issues in the past with it or you are hosting a party, please be mindful of this and make sure there are non-alcoholic options available.

"If you do find yourself or a family member or friend going through a difficult time with drink, there is online support available which I set up after my own struggles, all year round and 24 hours a day.

"On the back of this I would like to wish you all a safe Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2018."

Gary has now been sober for eight years following a long battle with booze.

He was taken into care when he was two-years-old then later adopted partly because of his mother's drink problems.

This affected him later in his life.

Gary started drinking when he was just 14 and became dependant on alcohol until his late 20s.

Now free from booze, Gary spends much of his time helping others who are battling alcoholism.