A ‘hard-hitting and courageous’ assembly has been delivered to Year 9 students at Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour Academy by a young, recovering alcoholic from Broadstairs who has turned his life around.
Toby Winson, 30, has spent his entire adult life battling his addiction, a journey which has involved seven months in rehab and countless stints in hospital and eventually liver disease at the age of 25 which almost killed him. Now, three and a half years sober, Toby is working as a journalist for ITV.
Head of Year 9, Richard Todd said: “This was probably one of the most inspirational, hard hitting and courageous guest speakers we have had talking and sharing his life experiences with our Year 9 students.
“He spoke of the importance of lifestyle choices, exercise, emotional and mental wellbeing as well as the importance of talking to family and friends.”
Toby, who started on a career path in broadcast journalism after winning the Media Trust’s annual ‘Breaking into News’ competition last year, has shared his experiences through his blog, Recovery Boy, school talks and via media coverage.
He spoke to The Isle of Thanet News last year about his struggle with addiction and the path to sobriety.
Following the visit to Royal Harbour Academy, he said: “I’ve learnt lessons about alcohol and addiction the hard way. It is a route that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Sharing my story and my mistakes helps my recovery and hopefully will help some of the students too. Life is a wonderful thing, don’t let alcohol rob you of it.”