CEP has recently heard the sad news that Ian Singleton, founder member of the Bristol and District Tranquilliser Project (BTP), has died.
Ian had a busy job as a civil servant until he experienced severe withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines in the 1980s. Frustrated with the lack of support available, Ian decided to work for BTP for the rest of his career in order help others who were suffering desperately from withdrawal.
The charity provided (and continues to provide) a free helpline for callers, and Ian was usually at the end of the phone himself. His compassionate reassurance and calm encouragement became a lifeline for thousands over the decades. It is no exaggeration to suggest that Ian saved the lives of many of these callers, helping them cope with the debilitating pain and despair.
Luke Montagu, co-founder of CEP, recalls: ‘Like many others, I would call Ian day after day to tell him that I could not tolerate the suffering any longer. And every day he would remind me that things would improve – perhaps not today, or next week, or even this year. But this constant reassurance became the bedrock of my recovery and eventually things did indeed improve, as he said they would. It is hard to express how grateful I am for his support during that terrible time.’
Other clients of BTP have commented as follows:
‘He was one of the originals, if it were not for Ian I would not be here today’
‘Terribly sad news, he was a friend and he meant so much to me, I will always remember our times in the group.’
‘For three years Ian walked a very dark path with me when I was completely alone. He really was the light that guided me out of despair. I and many hundreds like me will always remember him with heartfelt gratitude.’
CEP made a short film about Ian which tells his story and celebrates his work. It can be seen via the link below. Our thoughts are with his wife Sue and their family at this very sad time.