Mitch Winehouse: Amy's always with me
Mitch Winehouse feels daughter Amy's presence with him all the time and thinks she would be proud of what's been achieved in her name.
Mitch, who worked as a London taxi driver while Amy was growing up, now works tirelessly for the Amy Winehouse Foundation which helps vulnerable young people through mentoring.
Amy's life was cut short when she was found dead at the age of 27 in her home, after binging on alcohol. She had fought a battle with drug addiction through her life.
"She’s there all right, I feel her, sense her," Mitch smiled to British newspaper The Sun. “She’s standing next to me, every time I go out on that stage.
"She’s in here now saying, ‘Just get on with it, Dad’. I’m always speaking to her, all day, every day.
“Her passing was a mistake and at first she was very angry and upset - I could feel that - but now she’s more settled.”
While losing a daughter was devastating for Mitch, he's channelled all his hurt and anguish into helping others.
The Amy Winehouse Foundation recently received a £4.3million donation from the Big Lottery Fund, which is being used in its school programme, where recovering addicts and alcoholics go into schools to talk to both students and teachers about drink and drugs.
"Who would have thought that three years on we would have achieved so much?" Mitch mused.
"I know Amy is very proud. She would not have wanted us to wallow in grief.”
Mitch thinks it's especially important that parents and schools in more affluent areas take on board what the foundation teaches.
Far from being a problem that only affects the poorer areas in community, Mitch has a stark warning for anyone who thinks they are immune from the devastating dangers of drugs.
"I am really angry at the apathy of parents in Britain.
“At one middle-class school, only 20 parents turned up for our first meeting. They seem to think this is something that only happens in poor areas.
"I can understand parents saying to their kids, ‘Oh I don’t want you going to that, Amy Winehouse was a druggie’. But they are wrong. Drug addiction can happen to anyone," he outlined.
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