Friday, 26 February 2010

YMCA Seminar

Spoke yesterday at a YWCA Seminar in Cardiff on 'Young Women and Binge Drinking'. Fascinating discussion afterwards. Looking forward now to their final report and recommendations.

Siarad mewn seminar ddoe wedi ei drefnu gan YWCA ar 'Merched Ifanc a Sbri-yfed', Trafodaeth ddiddorol iawn wedyn. Edrych ymlaen yn awr at yr adroddiad terfynol a'r argymhellion.

The benefits of people and organizations cooperating and working together were quite evident yesterday. The concensus reached was inspiring! Cooperating together is the only realistic way forward

Friday, 19 February 2010

Winston Churchill Fellowship supports Cardiff-based Alcohol Recovery Project

Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive of the Cardiff-based charity, The Welsh Council for Alcohol and other Drugs, has been selected to receive a prestigious Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to enable him to visit a number of new recovery community centres in the US. These centres stand out as they have achieved long-term recovery from severe alcohol and other drug related problems.

A network of such centres exist in Vermont, Connecticut and Philadelphia and visiting these centres will provide Wynford with ideas on how to better build a strong after-care culture into the services he is establishing as part of The Living Room Cardiff which hopes to open its doors in 2011.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is the national memorial and living tribute to Sir Winston, who died in 1965. The Trust’s objectives are to encourage the advancement and propagation of education in any part of the world for the benefit of British citizens of all walks of life. The aim is such that this education will make its recipients more effective in their life and work, whilst benefiting themselves and their communities, and ultimately the UK as a whole. Each year approximately 100 Fellowships are awarded for wide range of projects.

Wynford Ellis Owen, said, “There have been some extraordinary success stories emanating from the US centres and if their successes can be replicated in Wales it would significantly relieve the huge social problems currently being experienced as a consequence of drug and alcohol misuse.

“Getting a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship is a fantastic boost for The Living Room project in Cardiff. My itinerary will expose me to a broad spectrum of recovery advocacy activities in the US including many of the faith-based programmes. I hope also to be able to work alongside William L White MA, a world renowned academic and expert in the field of substance misuse who has agreed to mentor me.

“The benefits obtained by this Fellowship would enable me to establish a recovery centre in Cardiff by 2011. I would then. In collaboration with others, hope to provide similar centres in every major town in Wales. This would establish sustained recoveries, free from cross-addiction. I will also be filming a video diary which I hope will be a permanent and valued resource to testify to the effectiveness of these innovative approaches.”


For further information please contact Rhodri Ellis Owen at Cambrensis Communications on 029 20 257075 or

Pre order 'No Room To LIve - a journey from addiction to recovery

You can now pre order my new book 'No Room To Live - a journey from addiction to recovery'. go to

Monday, 15 February 2010

Andy Powell and Booze

Why is it that we have rigorous testing of athletes for performance-enhancing drugs, yet when they are in the grips of alcohol or illegal drugs there is almost a tacit understanding that it's merely "a bit of fun"? No doubt, as with Freddie Flintoff, Andy Powell's encounter with alcohol will be normalised and justified, and the serious implication of this incident conveniently igored. The gulf of hypocrisy between the measures designed to regulate doping (and thus maintain confidence in the sports' industry) and the behaviours of some players that are sanctioned and even encouraged, grows ever wider with each high profile incident involving sportsmen. Can we not now have an uniformed policy that addresses ALL inapropriate drug use?

Friday, 5 February 2010

"What on earth are they thinking?"

“What on earth are they thinking?”
Former judge supports e-petition against Urdd’s decision to sell alcohol on the Maes

Former High Court Judge Dewi Watkin Powell has expressed his grave concern following the Urdd’s decision to supply alcohol to drink for the first time at the Urdd Eisteddfod in May. He argues the decision goes totally against its founding principles and is “unwise and extremely dangerous”. He calls on the organisation to not take advantage of the granted licence to sell alcohol on the Maes as it is not too late to do so.

Following the decision of Urdd Gobaith Cymru to allow alcohol to be sold on the Eisteddfod site for the first time in Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion in May 2010, an e-petition has been launched to ask the Welsh Assembly to consider only funding future Urdd Eisteddfodau on condition that alcohol is not sold on the Eisteddfod site..

In supporting the e-petition, Dewi Watkin Powell, said, “This decision by the Urdd is completely against its founding principles which are to be faithful to Wales, fellow man and Christ. The decision to sell alcohol on the Maes does not tally with any of these.

“It is pretty simple, the more sources of alcohol available, more the drinking and more the offences. Around 90% of the cases of attacks on people at home and on the street that came before the courts 25 years ago, occurred as a result of the effects of drink. All the evidence points to the fact the situation is even worse today. It is also clear the vast majority of offences which take place in the home at night arise because of drinking, which serves not only to undermine the family unit but also the wider community eventually.

“The message the Urdd now portrays to the youth of Wales is that it is a good thing to drink. As a result, the Urdd is undoubtedly creating a danger that there will be a further increase in the numbers who become dependent on alcohol. The children will see older people drinking and get the impression it is completely acceptable to follow their example.”

Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive, The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, said, “Dewi Watkin Powell’s support is a great boost for our campaign and through this e-petition we hope we can persuade the Welsh Assembly to reconsider its funding for this event until the Urdd reverses its decision to serve alcohol at the Eisteddfod.”

Instigated by the Welsh Council for Alcohol and Other Drugs, the e-petition is an opportunity for anyone who has concerns about the decision to register their concerns with the Assembly. The petition No alcohol on the Urdd National Eisteddfod site can be accessed at

"Beth ar y ddaear maent yn ei wneud?"

“Beth ar y ddaear maent yn ei wneud?”
Cyn-farnwr yn cefnogi e-ddeiseb yn erbyn gwerthu alcohol ar faes yr Urdd

Mae’r cyn-farnwr, Dewi Watkin Powell wedi datgan gofid mawr am benderfyniad yr Urdd i ddarparu alcohol i’w yfed ar y Maes am y tro cyntaf eleni. Mae’r penderfyniad “annoeth ac eithriadol beryglus” yn gwbl groes i’w hegwyddorion sylfaenol. Mae’n ymbil arnynt i roi stop ar y cynllun nawr drwy beidio cymryd mantais o’r drwydded i werthu alcohol gan nad yw’n rhy hwyr i ailystyried y mater.

Yn dilyn penderfyniad Urdd Gobaith Cymru i ganiatáu gwerthu alcohol ar faes yr Eisteddfod am y tro cyntaf yn Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion ym mis Mai 2010, mae e-ddeiseb wedi ei lansio yn galw ar Gynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru i annog Llywodraeth Cymru i ddarparu cyllid i Eisteddfod yr Urdd yn y dyfodol ar yr amod na werthir alcohol ar faes yr Ŵyl.

Wrth gefnogi’r e-ddeiseb dywedodd Dewi Watkin Powell, “Mae’r penderfyniad hwn yn gwbl groes i egwyddorion sylfaenol yr Urdd sef i wasanaethu Cymru, Cyd-ddyn a Christ. Nid yw’r penderfyniad i werthu alcohol ar faes yr Urdd yn ateb yr un o’r rhain.

“Y mae yn amlwg, mwya i gyd y ffynonellau, mwya i gyd yr yfed a mwya i gyd y troseddu. Yr oedd tua 90% o’r achosion o ymosod ar bobl yn y cartref neu ar y ffordd a ddaeth gerbron y llys chwarter canrif yn ôl , wedi digwydd o ganlyniad i effaith y ddiod feddwol. Ac yn ôl pob tystiolaeth mae’r sefyllfa yn waeth fyth heddiw. Does dim amheuaeth bod y rhan fwyaf o droseddau yn y cartref gyda’r nos yn deillio o yfed, ac felly yn tanseilio nid yn unig y teulu, ond hefyd y gymdeithas sydd ohoni.

“Y neges y mae’r Urdd yn ei roi nawr i ieuenctid Cymru yw ei bod yn beth braf i yfed ac oherwydd hyn, yr hyn y maent yn ei wneud yw creu perygl diamau y bydd cynnydd pellach yn y nifer sydd yn gaeth i alcohol. Fe fydd plant yn gweld rhai hŷn yn yfed ac yn cael yr argraff ei fod yn dderbyniol i bobl ifanc ddilyn eu hesiampl hefyd.”

Dywedodd Wynford Ellis Owen, Prif Weithredwr Cyngor Cymru ar Alcohol a Chyffuriau Eraill, “Mae cefnogaeth Dewi Watkin Powell yn hwb fawr, a gobeithiwn, gyda’r e-ddeiseb hon, berswadio Llywodraeth y Cynulliad i ailystyried ariannu’r digwyddiad hyd nes bydd yr Urdd yn gwrthdroi ei benderfyniad i werthu alcohol yn yr Eisteddfod.”

Ar anogaeth Cyngor Cymru ar Alcohol a Chyffuriau Eraill, mae’r e-ddeiseb yn gyfle i unrhyw un sydd yn poeni am y penderfyniad i gofrestru eu pryderon gyda’r Cynulliad. Gellir arwyddo’r ddeiseb Dim Alcohol ar Faes Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yr Urdd ar: