Man buried alive to raise awareness of drug abuse to be dug up this evening

John Edwards has been broadcasting live from a coffin this weekend.
John Edwards has been broadcasting live from a coffin this weekend.

A charity worker who has spent the weekend buried underground in a coffin in Halifax to highlight the plight of people with substance abuse problems will be exhumed this evening.

Former drug addict John Edwards has been live broadcasting his time buried alive and taking phone calls from people looking for support with their problems.

Mr Edwards, 61, was buried in the grounds of the Threeways Centre in Ovenden on Friday at 8pm and will be dug up at the same time this evening.

Prior to his burial, Mr Edwards said: “It’s a way to reach more people. When people first hear about the idea they are a bit surprised but when they hear about why they have a ‘eureka’ moment and love the idea.

“We know it’s a bit out-there but it really grabs the attention.”

Mr Edwards, of East Morton near Bingley, formed the charity Walking Free after experiences with drug addiction, stints in rehab and homelessness.

He said: “I’ve had a liver transplant, cancer twice, 41 pints of blood transfused last year to keep me alive. Now I’m recovered from all illness and got my strength back. I’m determined to leave a legacy of hope.”

A team has been on hand to support him and he has received food and water through a pipe. A second pipe was connected to a caravan toilet.

The coffin is an 8ft long, 3.5ft high and 4ft wide (2.4m x 1m x 1.3m).