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Chris Saunders

Drugs worker Chris Saunders is a beacon of hope to the countless young people whose lives he's helped rebuild - and given how far he has travelled himself, his success is even more remarkable.

 

Bullied at school, he was smoking cannabis at 13, using amphetamines and ecstasy a year later. By 18, he was in jail and addicted to heroin. Soon he was dealing drugs. In 2003 Chris,from North Devon, was jailed again for drugs offences - his 176th conviction.

But it was the death of a close pal from a heroin overdose that finally forced Chris, now 33, to go to rehab.
On his release from prison, he stayed at Ovis Farm in Devon, a charity housing project for men battling drink and drug addictions.

A couple of years on, he was encouraged to take over as manager by his Prince's Trust mentor. "I realised this was my reason for living," Chris proudly says. "Helping others was my purpose."

He's now married to Amanda, 30, and has a baby son, Zac, and two step-daughters, Emma, 12, and Holly, 10.