Self-help group’s 25-year milestone

Lily Wilson . Lily Wilson (right) with  Maud Whitaker and Irene Monaghan members of Shiregreen Tranx.
Lily Wilson . Lily Wilson (right) with Maud Whitaker and Irene Monaghan members of Shiregreen Tranx.
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A GROUP in Shiregreen which has helped hundreds of people kick their addiction to tranquillisers is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Shiregreen Tranx was set up in 1987 by local resident Lily Wilson, who was once dependent on the drugs herself and still runs the self-help group today aged 86.

Lily said she ‘can’t believe’ that a quarter of a century had passed since Tranx began - and that she was proud of its achievements.

“Our group is unique, there’s not another one like it in Sheffield,” she said.

“What I’ve liked to see through the years is someone saying, ‘I’m feeling better, I’m free of my drugs, I’m going out into the world now’.”

Lily said that, when she founded the organisation, doctors regularly prescribed highly addictive tranquillisers for conditions such as stress and depression.

“I had a nervous breakdown myself and was put on tranquillisers - it was Ativan, which is now known as lorazepam. I didn’t know it was addictive at the time.

“It took me a long time to come off those tablets. I don’t think people realise just how good self-help can be – 95 per cent of the work is done by the people that come here.

“If people are put on tranquillisers it shelves their troubles, it stops them dealing with it. They’ve got to deal with the underlying problems.”

Tranx meetings have been held in numerous venues, including St Christopher’s Church Hall on Bellhouse Road and the Shiregreen Neighbourhood Centre.

They now take place every Monday in a function room at the Roman Ridge care home, where Lily lives.

“I’m getting older but I’ll carry on doing this until I die. I will do whatever I can,” she said.

Call 0114 243 8769 for more information about Shiregreen Tranx.