POPSTAR Boy George has been made a patron of Bury based drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity Focus12.
The announcement was made at their 14th annual reunion on Sunday attended by the former culture club singer, ongoing patron Davina McCall and more than 400 clients, ex-clients and supporters.
A raffle at the event raised £1,700 for the charity which has hit hard times recently after losing £136,000 worth of annual funding from Suffolk County Council.
The charity, who also boast Russell Brand as patron, offers abstinence based rehabilitation courses for those with drug and alcohol dependencies.
Chief executive of the charity, Chip Somers, said the popstar’s ability to raise the charity’s public profile was crucial for its future.
He said: “It makes the difference between our survival and not.
“Having the previous celebrities involved has made the difference between to be able to continue our operations and not.
“This is very important when 19 rehab centres have closed down in the UK in the last 20 months.
“Our experience is when people have become dependent what they want to do is to get clean and to get off drugs altogether.
“They want to be clean and its in residential rehab that can be achieved.
“We had been courting Boy George for some time to become a patron of the charity.
“He will help us raise our profile nationally and help us support the message of recovery.”
At the event, Boy George spoke of his own battle with addiction and his recovery through total abstinence.
He said: “Recovery is a beautiful thing - seeing the people you love getting the colour back in their skin, the life back in their eyes, is fantastic.
“I am really looking forward to making some serious money and raising the profile of Focus12.”