St Albans charity founder is set to retire next month

Janis Feely is taking a well-earned rest 16 years after founding The Living Room.

Janis Feely is taking a well-earned rest 16 years after founding The Living Room. - Credit: Archant

Charity founder Janis Feely, who opened a St Albans centre for addiction rehabilitation, is retiring.

Janis Feely of The Living Room

Janis Feely of The Living Room - Credit: Archant

Janis, who experienced addiction first hand when she became an alcoholic in the 1980s after struggling to raise two young children in an unhappy marriage, set up The Living Room in St Albans in 2012.

She had founded The Living Room in Stevenage 12 years earlier after overcoming her addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs.

The Living Room supports people with addictions to anything from alcohol and drugs to gambling and sex. As well as counselling, it helps clients through creative writing, art therapy, drama groups and even equine therapy.

Janis, 69, who has won many awards, said: “I’m stepping down as chief executive and semi-retiring. The plan is to work two days a week in women’s refuges. I want to take the Love Addiction stuff out there and get it understood how big a problem it is.”

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The charity will continue under new CEO Karyn Jones, who officially takes over on July 31.

Janis added: “I wanted to know The Living Room was in good hands before something happens to me. I have given 16 years of my life to the charity. It’s time for me to step down and have some ‘me time’.”

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