The Amy Winehouse Foundation launched today on what would have been the late singer’s 28th birthday.
The charity – set up by the ‘Rehab’ singer’s father Mitch and family and friends – aims to help a number of causes close to Amy’s heart including providing support for young people especially those in need due to “ill health, disability, financial disadvantage or addiction”.
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Amy’s father Mitch said: “I was in New York when I received the terrible news about Amy. It was almost instantaneous, this feeling that we need to help people she cared about. Amy was very generous and we kept coming back to the thought of how much she loved children. It seemed appropriate that the focus of our work should be with young people, those who are vulnerable either through ill health or circumstance. Amy touched millions throughout the world and I know she will continue to, through the foundation.”
Her mother Janis added: “We want to give money to projects that make a direct difference. It is a source of great comfort to know that Amy would be proud of this and right behind it.”
One of the first major donations to the charity will come from sales of ‘Body & Soul’, the track Amy recorded with Tony Bennett at Abbey Road Studios in London in March.
While Mitch admits Amy’s death in July came as a total shock to him, he revealed he had once saved her life before when she suffered a fit after taking drugs.
During an appearance on CNN show ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’, he said: “We were there all of the time. In fact, I once inadvertently I saved her life. This was maybe four years ago when I said to her P.A. check her every hour. He checked her five minutes previously. Then I came into the house she was living in and he had checked her five minutes before but I went to give her a kiss good night because I had to go. And I went up and she was having a fit on the bed.
“Giovan was not due to check her for another 55 minutes. And had he waited, that would have been it then. At that point, I could have honestly held my hands up and said, fair enough. She was very ill. She was taking an inordinate amount of drugs. And I don’t know how she survived. It was because she was so strong that she somehow managed to survive.”
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