Gary will face up to his fears

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A former alcoholic is set to overcome his fears in South Africa – and inspire others to tackle their addiction to drink.

Chesterfield man Gary Topley, who celebrated five years of being sober on January 1, will spend a week in Cape Town in March.

Despite being afraid of heights, Gary is set to abseil 367ft down Table Mountain – a peak 1,000 feet above sea-level.

To add to the adrenalin rush he will put himself through cage diving with sharks, bringing him face-to-face with deadly great whites.

Gary said: “After 15 years of personal issues with my own alcohol addiction, I have first-hand experience of developing and managing fears.

“I also know that these fears lead to barriers being created, preventing people from overcoming addiction.

“I have an extreme fear of heights so this will be one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced in both my personal and professional life.”

Gary hopes that people gain inspiration from his journey to South Africa and when he overcomes his own fears so they can find empowerment to face theirs.

He added: “I really hope that people facing addiction can bring down their own barriers and go on to lead better lives.

“If I can do it, anyone can.

“I really want to show those people who are dependent on alcohol, or struggling with it in another way, that their fears can be overcome.”