Director | Founder | Treatment Supervisor
Keith got into recovery in the UK in 1985 after several stints in treatment centres. He became an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, notably, opening NA meetings in response to discrimination against drug addicts in AA fellowships in that era. He did 12 Step meetings in UK prisons, carrying a message of 12 Step recovery to those people who may never have heard it.
Beckoned by the sights and sounds of Africa, Keith visited the Western Cape during a 3-month holiday to the continent. Driven by his passion for recovery, he stayed in South Africa and took a position at a treatment centre in Plettenberg Bay. This vital experience helped sculpt Keith’s vision – a 12 Step-based, multi-disciplinary approach to addiction treatment that would educate and enthral inpatients.
In 2003, Keith and Julia came to view The Cedars which was being used as a bed and breakfast at the time. They were instantly struck by its grand beauty and its ineffable atmosphere, serenity, majesty, and spaciousness that they both knew would encourage personal recovery and transformation. The initial staff complement counted just three back then but grew as The Cedars recovery successes did.
Today, The Cedars have had a part in the recovery of hundreds that were once resigned to a life of despair and hopelessness. Peace, consistency, and dignity have been restored to the lives of many who have since become assets to their families, their workplaces and society. Some have started new chapters. Each one has experienced a life, not without challenges, but a far cry from the life before.
Andre Redinger, BA (Hons) Industrial Psychology
Andre arrived at The Cedars for treatment in 2008. Although he arrived with an open mind, Andre harboured some reservations that he had to explore before he could fully commit to living a life of recovery. He returned to treatment later that year, with a new attitude and a new willingness to apply the principles that have worked for countless others and experienced an inspirational awakening.
Andre was offered the opportunity to stay on and assist Keith with matters of corporate governance and the registration process of The Cedars and Inside Recovery (Pty) Ltd with the Department of Social Development. At present, the centre celebrates 16 years of existence and an excellent reputation. In the corporate world, he has experienced success in the nutritional industry.
Andre has been a Director of The Cedars from 2010 and has since helped mould the facility into a professional addiction treatment service. His vision is that the Inside Recovery Trust will one day be able to raise funds that make rehabilitation for substance abusers more effective and more accessible to the world.
Andre has also taken great strides in the world of personal fitness – becoming a talented and capable marathon participant and sponsored ultra-trail participant. In 2018 a documentary called “Hundred Mile Horizon” details some of his experiences running lengthy trails in countries such as Morocco. Living proof that dreams are possible when guided by a solid foundation in recovery and the 12 Steps.
Mbali Mvune, BSoc SW
Mbali joined The Cedars team in 2012 – her previous experience had been at The Natal Settlers’ Memorial Home. Having worked with many different kinds of clients and patients, she found the addiction field an exciting new challenge. In her role as the social worker, Mbali is responsible for all our screening and intakes and is also our direct liaison with The Department of Social Development.
During her time at The Cedars, Mbali has had a personal experience with every client that walks through the doors. Her experiences here have given her compassion for people that suffer from substance abuse and she is set to be one of the first smiling faces our new clients see upon their arrival. Mbali also liaises with the various medical aid schemes on behalf of our clientele and their families.
Dr Cherry Biden, MBChB
Dr Biden has been in the medical profession for 35 years and the consulting doctor for The Cedars for over ten years. She is responsible for creating and implementing detoxification protocols for clients undergoing treatment. After working with our clients, Dr Biden decided to make working with addicts at The Cedars her sole vocation. She is enthusiastic and passionate about her work in helping addicts.
After qualifying in 1980, Dr Biden worked in Venda for three years and then started a private practice in JHB. On a mission to further her career, she left general practice to go and specialise – jumping at the opportunity to work on a mine in Rustenburg, live on a farm, participate in research whilst earning herself a degree in occupational medicine and completing courses in trauma and cardiac life support.
In 2008 Dr Biden set up a private practice on the South Coast and thus her journey with The Cedars began. The relatively new treatment facility needed a consulting doctor, and she was fascinated. Through her experiences working with alcoholics and addicts, Dr Biden has become passionate about helping clients find recovery through an abstinence-based treatment model that is safe and effective.
Miranda Deonorain, MA Clin Psych
Miranda started her journey in the field of psychology at the University of Kwazulu Natal in 1985, completing her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology in 1991. She has worked as a clinical psychologist in numerous state hospitals, and was promoted to Head of Psychology at Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Gauteng. Miranda has lectured at UKZN and trained MA psychology students.
Additionally, Miranda has worked at numerous addiction treatment centres, specialising in addiction which has become her line of work and passion. Having passed through The Cedars program as a patient in 2015, Miranda has a special insight into what it takes to cultivate a life of recovery, and is dedicated and passionate about helping others find the same solution to a difficult condition.
Don Tait, QC, BA LLB
A criminal lawyer illustriously appointed as Queen’s Counsel in Canada, Don experienced a life of captivating successes and tumultuous excesses. After multiple treatment attempts to address his alcoholism, every period of his sobriety was followed by an agonizing relapse. Don moved to South Africa in 2002 where he met Keith and Julia at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Umkomaas in KZN.
Don was invited to volunteer at The Cedars in 2003. He had specific experience in treatment facilities having been a Director at the renowned Brentwood Rehabilitation Centre in Canada for six years. In 2017 a book was written about Don’s life, called “Getting Off: A Criminal Lawyer’s Road to Redemption.” It is his unique experience that he uses to counsel our patients on the nature of spirituality, reality, and life.
Caleb Atmore, CADC, CCS
Head of Counselling | Clinical Supervisor
Director of ACCSA (Addiction Counsellor Certifications South Africa)
Caleb came into recovery at The Cedars in 2005 after a very long journey through addiction and rehab stints in treatment facilities all over the country. What he found at The Cedars was a solution to addiction that changed his life forever. After treatment, he joined the staff as a volunteer and began training as an addiction counsellor – allowing him to share his recovery with others who needed it.
Caleb has stayed abreast of developments in the field of addiction treatment during his career as an addiction counselling professional, qualifying as a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor (CADC) under IC&RC. He is also a director of ACCSA, SA’s leading addiction education provider and Vice-President of the Board of Addiction Professionals South Africa (BAPSA).
Joshua Strydom, BSS Psych
Senior Addiction Counsellor
Joshua arrived at The Cedars in 2012, having exhausted his attempts to control his addiction. His first time in an addiction treatment facility, he blossomed under The Cedars program and gave his full commitment to living a life in recovery. Josh eventually returned to volunteer at The Cedars and worked his way from trainee to a registered institutional counsellor that also lived on-site for five years.
Aside from having helped many of our clients find a life in recovery, Joshua also started studying psychology in 2014 and has attained a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology. At the moment he is currently doing honours through UNISA as well as furthering his studies through the Viktor Frankl Institute of South Africa. In his spare time, Josh has set up a private practice in Scottburgh.
Casidy Atkins, CADC
Senior Addiction Counsellor | Office Manager
Casidy is a registered Institutional Counsellor and also attained her Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor (CADC). She began her journey after coming into treatment at The Cedars in 2011 after suffering with substance abuse for many years. Her time in treatment helped her process her past and let her build a solid foundation in recovery from which she helps other women with similar afflictions.
Casidy initially joined The Cedars team as the office administrator. From these humble beginnings, she has grown from her administration position into a senior female counsellor, office manager and advisor to the treatment team. In her personal capacity, Casidy likes to stay fit and healthy, challenging her physical boundaries with high-intensity training programs such as running trails and obstacle courses.
Trainee Counsellor | Administration
Natalie came into The Cedars in February 2006 feeling completely hopeless, having given up at leading a normal life or being happy. She completed the Cedars program, successfully treating her drug addiction and its associated behavioural problems and has enjoyed a life in recovery ever since. Natalie also has intimate knowledge and experience of applying the 12 Step program to an eating disorder.
Natalie currently looks after the client accounts at The Cedars and also liaises with the various medical aid schemes on behalf of our clientele and their families. She is also a trained counsellor, guiding our female clients in the treatment setting and working towards attaining her CADC qualification. Natalie is passionate about her family, and about helping our clientele achieve long-term behavioural change.
Stellio Coutsides, BA Comm Marketing
Trainee Counsellor | Marketing
Stellio came into The Cedars in late 2015 after a long journey through addiction to legal and illegal substances. He’d attempted inpatient and outpatient treatment before but nothing had worked. He was determined to change, completed the program and started a new chapter when he joined the team as an on-site volunteer in 2016. Stellio is passionate about recovery and helping others find it.
Stellio is employed as a trainee counsellor, working towards attaining his CADC qualification. With his background in management and marketing, Stellio has also helped shape the treatment facility’s branding efforts, refining email support and improving new client liaison. Since becoming a resident of the South Coast, he has found a love for the ocean, becoming a dive master and learning how to surf.
Enrolled Senior Registered Nurse
Mary is a Senior Registered Nurse having received her training at Addington Hospital where she got the first-hand experience in critical care, frail care, ICU, Paediatrics, and Recovery. She has dedicated her life to helping persons of every description. During her journey, she did some relief work at The Cedars which sparked her passion for helping addicts and alcoholics and eventually joined the team.
Mary has derived a lot of purpose and happiness from playing such an important role in our clients’ health and recovery. She has a big personality and is much loved by patients and staff alike. On a personal note, Mary also takes in and cares for stray animals – especially birds. Today, Mary is an integral part of The Cedars nursing staff and is always on hand to offer advice and care for clients.
Margaret Malinga, Diploma in Primary Health Care
Enrolled Senior Registered Community | General and Psychiatric Nurse
Margaret received her nurse training at Baragwanath Nursing College in Gauteng where she obtained a Diploma in Nursing (Community, General and Psychiatry) and midwifing in 1994. Margaret has also furthered her training in TB course, nurse-initiated and management of ARV treatment and HIC course. To date, she has been in employed primarily in hospital psychiatric units and as a community nurse.
Margaret is passionate about watching her patients experience behavioural change. She believes that everyone needs a second chance at life – and goes about her nursing duties treating each client in a respectful and holistic manner. A member of The Cedars team since 2017, Margaret has become an invaluable and experienced member of our nursing staff complement.
Jane arrived at The Cedars in 2012 and even though she had not used any mind or mood-altering substances in three years, her life was still chaotic and unmanageable. She restarted her recovery process with The Cedars program and the 12 Steps, and slowly but surely, Jane got her life back on track and managed to restore her relationships with her family – especially her four children.
Upon her return to the UK, Jane has been instrumental in setting up NA meetings in her local community. She has also worked as a Recovery Worker and done volunteer support work at Women’s Community Matters. She is now working as a Drug and Alcohol Family Support Worker – where Janes true passion lies – helping families that’ve been touched by addiction. Contact Jane on 07890 332 846.