Former Derby resident, Enton Barefoot, has completed and released his new autobiography ‘Laid Bare’ in which he charts his journey through addiction, homelessness and subsequent recovery.
And it’s already caught the attention of two extremely well-known actors including Hollywood A-Lister, Russell Brand.
Russell Brand, who is closely associated with BAC O’Connor Centre – a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre based in Burton upon Trent – commented on Enton’s book saying, “What an astonishing story of the power of recovery in people’s lives. Enton’s life can serve as an emblem of hope. Change and salvation are always possible”.
Another supporter is Stephen Graham, who read the manuscript along with his wife Hannah. Stephen said, “Enton’s journey into recovery is honest, uplifting and truly inspirational … a book that’s good for your soul”.
Speaking about the release Enton said, “Everyone who battles an addiction has a unique story to share. I get that now but when I started writing ‘Laid Bare’ I really didn’t. It’s only been through the support and encouragement of friends, colleagues, family and people like Russell that I put pen to paper and came to a point where I realised that this book might just help someone either entirely avoid what I’ve been through or help them to get to a place of recovery faster.”
It was the former Chief Executive of Loughborough based charity the Exaireo Trust and one of the Directors of a community interest company associated to The Exaireo Trust, G & S Services, Scott Wheatley, who first encouraged Enton to tell his story.
“The Exaireo Trust have been very good to me. They helped me to get off the streets and into housing and through them I got to meet lots of different people and they asked, as people do, what my story was. I started giving Scott snippets and his response was always the same – he wanted to hear more. Scott and I were talking one day, and he said, ‘you really should write this down – I’d read it’. So, I did. I started writing down bits and bobs of stories and after two or three Scott asked if I’d got anymore. I said I hadn’t and he asked if I could write more. So I did.
“Scott thought my story was very inspiring particularly when you look at what I’d been through and where I was then.
“Another catalyst was the book ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’. “When I read that book it seemed to me to focus much more on the cat, Bob, than it did on James and his story of addiction and recovery. I wanted to read a book that really walked me thorough the experiences of both addiction and recovery, through the chaos of a life lived in addiction, I was challenged to find it there which then got me thinking I have a story to tell. I re-read some of the stories I’d been writing and wondered if this could be that book.”
Fast forward a few years and Enton met his partner Vicky.
“Vicky has been a massive part of this book. She has always encouraged me to write it. She used to say to me, ‘never mind about titles and headings just get it all out onto the page’. That was a great piece of advice. As I started doing exactly that Vicky started finding people who might be able to help me turn these stories into a fully formed book.”
Enter Elaine Pritchard of Caittom Publishing who acts as Enton’s Editorial Consultant.
“With a background in homelessness and addiction Elaine understood me and my book from the get-go. Vicky put me in touch with a few potential publishers, but when that didn’t work out it was either Elaine or Vicky who put me in touch with Sarah Houldcroft of Goldcrest Books and, again, we just connected with Sarah really resonating with my story.”
As Enton continued writing and personally funding the book, the support he needed to turn his story into a completed book, other wheels were in motion. Elaine’s connection with the BAC O’Connor Centre in Burton upon Trent led to a meeting with its Founder and Managing Director, Noreen Oliver MBE and staunch supporter, Russell Brand.
“I was absolutely blown away by the support and encouragement from both Noreen and Russell. It has now been confirmed that I am doing a reading on February 6, in Burton upon Trent in support of the BAC O’Connor Centre as a very small thank you for their time, generosity and support,” said Enton.
“Comments like these really make the time it’s taken to write the book worthwhile. My biggest wish now is that it helps someone who’s going through addiction or who’s started on the path of recovery. If I can help just one person via this book then I’ll be a very, very happy man indeed.”
Enton launches his book on January 30, at 6pm, in Lilly’s Live Bar, Leicester. Full details can be found on Eventbrite: here