Nick Charles MBE is a pioneer in treating alcohol dependency. As the founder of both the Chaucer Clinic and the Gainsborough Foundation, he was the first person to be honoured by the Queen ‘for services to people with alcohol problems’ and his work – over four decades – has helped tens of thousands of people. But Nick’s decorated success overlays an extraordinary and unforgettable personal journey, for Nick was once an alcoholic vagrant sleeping rough on the streets of London.
In 50 Years of Hard Road, Nick details his time in the abyss of alcohol addiction; a period that despatched relationships, his health, his career, and so much more. Forced to live on the streets for four years, Nick recalls the tough times, the characters he met, and the ever-present call of alcohol, but also how he slowly built up two carrier bags-worth of painstaking research into alcohol and its effects on his fellow man. It was through the documents in these carrier bags that Nick’s life was to change forever when, in the mid-1970s, he was taken under the wing of a doctor who cared for those on skid row. This dedicated medic recognised the treasure trove of information Nick had developed.
50 Years of Hard Road is a remarkable, uplifting, and often humorous story of one man’s journey from the depths of life-crushing alcohol dependency, to running alcohol clinics and programmes across the country. It describes an incredible life filled with high points, low points, and amazing adventures in-between.