• Categories: 21st Century

Janis Feely opened The Living Room at The Glebe on Chells Way in Stevenage in May 2000, after successfully overcoming her own addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. She became an alcoholic in the 1980s after struggling to raise two young children in an unhappy marriage. She lost custody of her children but managed to win them back after beating her addiction.   She vowed to help others recover from the devastating effects of addiction and, after working in the field for 14 years, founded The Living Room in Stevenage before opening a centre in St Albans in 2012. The Living Room supports people with addictions to anything from alcohol and drugs to gambling and sex. As well as counselling, The Living Room helps clients through creative writing, art therapy, drama groups and even equine therapy.Each year, 60 to 70 per cent of addicts who engage in the services – that’s about 120 people –achieve abstinence recovery. More than 40 children in care have returned to their parents. Janis has won many awards, most notably an MBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List.