Rob's Wish Fund
It was the inspiration of Alex Fontaine, YHT's founder, that a fund should be created in Rob's name, shortly after his death in 2012.
The fund's aim is to support those suffering from the problems of addiction. Rob's natural mother, Dee Bixley, explains part of his story below.
Tell us about Rob
Rob was born in 1970. I was an unmarried mother of 17 and my relationship with his father was destined not to last.
I was in a hapless situation and eventually accepted that the most difficult decision of my life had to be made. I chose the option that guaranteed Robert a future packed with opportunity, security and the love of two parents. He was adopted in 1972 and I began waiting for him to find me again.
What happened when he found you?
I was walking on air when he did find me. It was shortly before his 21st birthday in 1991. It was a time of enormous happiness, not just for us but for our families and close friends.
I was working at the psychiatric hospital The Priory at the time, which undoubtedly helped me to recognise that Rob was an alcoholic.
Years later, after many skirmishes with his addiction, he moved to Bournemouth, which was becoming known as an established centre for addiction rehabilitation.
Did rehabilitation work?
AA meetings and sustained work for a fellow sufferer kept him on the straight and narrow. He then progressed to an excellent job, rented a lovely flat and met a girl who would have a really good influence on him. He also embarked upon college studies to become a Counsellor. Here's an excerpt from his application for the course:
"…Four years ago my lifestyle led me through the doors of a 3-month residential rehabilitation for drink and drug abuse. This was a vital course of action to save my life, having just lost my job and made a sham of any relationships I had, be it friend or family. When I emerged from this experience, awake and conscious of how I had behaved and what I had done, close friends and the family that stuck by me said they thought I would make a good counsellor. I am sure that reading this, you will be all too familiar with that almost natural human reaction. I have given it much thought and am ready to give my all. I want to help people not profit margins. I want to feel good about my life and help others feel good about theirs…"
Rob's demons got to him first and he lost his battle with alcohol. He died in January 2012, with sufficient alcohol and prescription drugs in his system to cause his vital organs to cease working. He was in the third year of his counselling studies and doing extremely well. His flatmate told us that Rob was having his final fling before starting on the course of Librium, which would help him come off alcohol and which waited in the bathroom cabinet.
So Rob's Wish is to help others like him?
I am absolutely thrilled that by creating the Rob's Wish Fund, the Yellow Heart Trust brings to life Rob's desire to help people. And if Rob knew about it (and once he had got over the 'can it really be true?' stage) he would be bursting with excitement and joyful tears.