60 Years of Helping Alcoholics in Channel Islands
11th November 2011
Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most famous support groups in the world and this year it is marking its 60th anniversary in the Channel Islands.
AA is a fellowship of men and women who share their experiences with each other to recover from alcoholism.
Although it started in the USA in 1935, over the years it has spread to more than 100 countries, including our islands.
It was exactly 60 years ago this week that AA came to Jersey when the concept was brought to the island in 1951 by a woman who had found sobriety in London.
10 years later and an AA support group was set up in Guernsey in 1961.
There are a total of 35 meetings a week across both Bailiwicks with 24 in Jersey - including one meeting in Portuguese - and 11 in Guernsey.
And it is estimated that 500 Channel Islanders are AA members.
It is not known how many people have been helped locally by the fellowship, because no data is collected or records kept, but it is estimated that thousands have benefited from support over the decades.
The organisation in Jersey says it plans to use the anniversary to reach out to more people. It has formed a Public Information Committee to make itself more visible in the community, by talking to any groups that are interested in how it is able to help people stay sober.
To get in touch with Alcoholics Anonymous in Jersey call 01534 726 681 and for support in Guernsey call 01481 713 480.
There is also a support network in the Bailiwicks called Al Anon for family and friends who fear a loved one has a drink problem.
The contact number in Guernsey is 01481 239 880 and in Jersey it is 01534 870 924.
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