AN army veteran who has battled alcoholism and homelessness, is looking to not only turn his life around but also help those who have been in similar positions.

Edwin Willis, aged 64, served three tours of Northern Ireland, including during Bloody Sunday, before returning to England to start a family.

Unfortunately, having returned from the army he slipped into alcoholism, causing not only the break up his marriage but the loss his home as well.

For the last 25 years Edwin has been sofa surfing and staying with friends leaving him without a place to call his own.

That was until his GP pointed him in the direction of Addaction, a charity set up to help people suffering from addiction.

With the help of the charity Edwin has now been able to an apartment from himself in Redruth much to his delight.

“Now I’ve got a flat, a roof of my own over my head, a bed, TV and settee that’s mine. I’m over the moon, as are my daughters,” said Edwin.

“I’m still drinking a little bit, but it’s far less than I was. I feel I’m getting there now.”

Having been able to start to turn his life around, Edwin is looking to help others who have been in similar situations as him, through the formation of new help group, Right Turn.

Addaction's group lead Andy Kent said: “Getting a home has helped greatly with Edwin’s motivation to change his alcohol use. We’ve learnt a lot together and Edwin’s going to be a Recovery Champion for the new veteran’s group - Right Turn - which starts at the end of March.”

“With people like Edwin on board, we can help others in similar situations to address not just alcohol or drug problems, but the bigger picture issues like housing and mental health.”

If you’re struggling, don’t suffer in silence – help is available. If you want to take the first step, Addaction has a free and confidential webchat service at