Cheshire man who ‘drank 24/7’ turned his life around and now helps others

A man battling alcoholism who turned his life around has been rewarded for helping others. Dominic Lisle, who has now been sober for 17 years, has won a ‘Hero Award’ from Macclesfield Town Council.

He recently celebrated 10 years of volunteering at the town’s Disability Information Bureau where he helps people with benefit forms and finding employment. His role sees him provide support for disabled people and offer advice.

Dominic also volunteers at Alcoholics Anonymous where he provides people who are struggling with drink and drug issues a listening ear and reassurance.

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Before turning his life around, Dominic was homeless, had lost jobs and seen relationships fail. He says he “drank 24/7 and hated the life”. Receiving the award was a shock to Dominic, who said: “The award was a complete surprise. I didn’t know anything about it. I was told to go to the church to do networking for the Disability Information Bureau.

“I went with a colleague and when the awards were given out, my name was mentioned and I was gobsmacked. I was kind of forced to go up on the stage. It was very special, and I celebrated 10 years volunteering at the Disability Information Bureau, which I love.”

His story is part of a long road to recovery. He explained: “I went to the doctors and then to Millbrook Centre in Macclesfield from a two week detox. Then moving into support and accommodation, and housing, with my support worker and that’s when the hard work began to stay sober and deal with life’s problems, which I did.”

As part of his year in office, the Mayor of Macclesfield, Town Councillor David Edwardes, presented 14 Hero Awards to people from all walks of life who have contributed to the community. He said: “The Hero Awards are to reward people who have gone the extra mile in Macclesfield to to help us. Many are volunteers, some are employees who are paid.”

Another Hero Award winner was Christine Earles, the Chair Lady of Windyway Trust. It is a Macclesfield charity that helps animals by housing rescue dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens, rabbits and ponies.

Christine Earles, the Chair Lady of Windyway Trust, which helps animals by housing rescue dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens, rabbits and ponies
Christine Earles, the Chair Lady of Windyway Trust, which helps animals by housing rescue dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens, rabbits and ponies

The charity has raised £700,000 to carry out its vital work, with their main source of income coming from two shops and a furniture warehouse. They also carry out a number of fundraising events around the town during the year.

Christine said: “We also support the search and rescue dogs in the Peak District. We pay the costs for the insurance for that, so that if they’re hurt on any operations, we can actually help them out. We also help people in the local area, because in some cases, people have been short of money over the period of lockdown they’ve struggled with bills, lost their jobs and lost their homes. Their animals are a very important part of their lives.”

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