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Blossom Rebels Limelight Talk: New Models for Sober Living

Wednesday 19 February 2020, 6:30 pm9:30 pm

Join us for an evening of talks with Laura Willoughby MBE (Club Soda), Emily Nicholls (Portsmouth University) and Freddie Frantzen (Blossom Rebels).


Support Groups for the Modern Age – Freddie Frantzen


What should a modern face-to-face alcohol support group look like and does the positive sobriety movement need one at all? Freddie will make the case for offline communities and put forward a vision for alcohol support groups in the modern age. He’ll draw on his personal experience and discuss how we might embed modern narratives around addiction into the foundations of contemporary support programmes.


Freddie is the founder of Blossom Rebels and a champion of AF living. Blossom Rebels is a modern support group for post-alcohol living. It’s rooted in the positive sobriety movement with members embracing alcohol-free living as a positive lifestyle choice.



‘I lost myself in that bottle’: Using agency and authenticity to talk about life in early sobriety – Emily Nicholls


This talk will draw on recent research carried out in partnership with ichange21. The talk brings our attention to the lived experiences of women who have got sober outside of traditional programmes of ‘rehab’ or support organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous, helping us to consider and make space for alternative models of sober living.


The talk will explore the ways in which participants recognised some of the stigma and judgement around abstinence and sought to manage this through their portrayal of sobriety as a rewarding and positive ‘lifestyle choice’ rather than something negative associated with ‘alcoholism’, ‘disease’ or ‘recovery’.


Emily is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology who teaches around the sociology of gender and risk, and has research expertise in gender, femininities and alcohol consumption / sobriety.



How to be a Mindful Drinker – Laura Willoughby MBE


Mindful Drinking is the health trend of 2020. Fuelled by a new wave of low and no alcohol drinks available in pubs and supermarkets, it seems we are all far more open about moderating our drinking habits or even going alcohol-free. But how do you actually go about it?


Changing your drinking habits can take a bit of work, especially as alcohol is such a huge staple of our social occasions. Laura will share her personal story (she is now 8 years alcohol-free) and give you some great advice to help you on your own personal journey.


Laura Willoughby MBE is co-founder of Club Soda, the Mindful Drinking Movement, and author of How to Be a Mindful Drinker. Club Soda has over 50,000 individual members, has built a venue listing guide for mindful drinkers (clubsodaguide.com) and run the UK’s only Mindful Drinking Festival.

Suitable for all ages.

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