Hundreds call to help Drugsline

By Anna Sheinman, September 13, 2012
Rabbi Sufrin with Lennie Henry at a Drugsline fundraising event

Rabbi Sufrin with Lennie Henry at a Drugsline fundraising event

The former executive director of drugs outreach charity Drugsline has been overwhelmed by the response from the community following the news that the charity had closed because of acute financial difficulties.

Chabad Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin said: “Since last week’s story in the JC, we’ve had literally hundreds of phone calls and emails from people who have been touched by Drugsline or feel that its work is invaluable.”

He continued: “We’re making a note of everyone who has offered support, financial or otherwise, and after Yomtov, once the dust has settled, we’ll see whether or not there is any way we can resurrect Drugsline.

“In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to ensure that our service users still get the help that they need.”

The charity was launched by Rabbi Sufrin 23 years ago in Ilford, Essex. Before its sudden closure last week it employed six people and more than 60 volunteers.

One person ensuring that the charity’s clients continue to be supported is a therapist and former employee who prefers to be known as Steven M.

He said: “I’ve been involved in Drugsline for 19 years, and although I’ve lost my job, it’s really important that people know I’m still here to help. I am honouring all my school education commitments, and will continue to counsel and assist those who need help.

“I know Rabbi Sufrin is planning to rebuild, but people could die in the meantime, so this was something I had to do.”

Clarification: We would like to make clear that last week’s report and comment on Drugsline should not be taken to imply that the JLC rebuffed a specific request for assistance.

Last updated: 11:24am, September 13 2012