UK-based Music Support – a charity working within the music industry to provide help for those suffering with alcoholism, addiction or any form of mental or emotional health issue, is delighted to announce musical icon, Robbie Williams has agreed to join them as their first ever Patron.
Robbie Williams, who has worked through his own issues in this area, is pleased to give the charity his support.
This is a particularly poignant area for Robbie, as his late manager David Enthoven was a major advocate for awareness and treatment of addiction, both in the context of the music industry and the world at large. David was the first vocal supporter of the charity, saying “Music Support is a brilliant gateway to the community of men and women who recognise the despair and shame of addiction and how to recover from it.”
Music Support Patron, Robbie Williams, said: “This is such a timely undertaking and I am very happy to be its first patron.”
Music Support Co-Founder and Trustee Andy Franks, said: “I was overwhelmed when Tim Clark called to say Robbie agreed to act as Patron for Music Support. We are incredibly grateful and honoured. Having Robbie on board will help bring Music Support to the attention of so many more people who may need our services, and to raise the funds to allow us to provide those services.”
Music Support was founded in April 2016 by industry veterans Andy Franks (previously Robbie’s Tour Manager among others) and Matt Thomas, musician Mark Richardson, Samantha Parker and addiction treatment expert Johan Sorensen, each having their own personal experiences of recovery and addiction. Understanding the complexities of the industry and with the knowledge of their own and shared experiences, they were determined to provide a sorely needed service to the industry, from within that industry – a place renowned for its challenges to people suffering with these issues.
Initially a peer support helpline where callers could speak to someone within the sector who had experience of the caller’s issues, the service then expanded to provide signposting to appropriate outside professional help such as therapists, psychiatrists and residential treatment centers.
Since then, callers have received services ranging from a much needed empathetic and friendly ear, to professional help from a counsellor, therapist or psychiatrist, and even short and long term residential treatment. Counselling sessions have been provided for artists on tour via Skype, and Music Support’s crisis management team have facilitated on location help. These services have, up until now, been funded by the client. However, it is a short term ambition for the charity to be able to provide needs and means tested scholarships and discounted or free treatment from a network of incredibly supportive professionals and treatment centres. One caller with a serious emergency has recently been provided with a medical detox and bed in a residential rehab kindly donated by the treatment centre itself.
This summer, in conjunction with Festival Republic, and with the kind support of The BRIT Trust, Music Support are providing ‘Safe Tents’ at a number of UK festivals. A Safe Tent is an alcohol and drug free environment where artists, festival staff or crew can drop in for a quiet 5 minutes. They can have a chat with somebody who has experience of recovery in the industry or, if needed, find a safe haven to have a longer conversation potentially resulting in signposting to further treatment.