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Highlands Addiction Service at Risk

Monday April 25

A successful addiction support service run by Christian charities is at risk of closing by the end of June unless new funding can be secured.

The possible closure of the 10 person Dochas recovery centre based just outside of Tain, in the Highlands, would leave people who want to live a drug or alcohol free lifestyle without vital support they need to make that change.

Since opening just 18 months ago this small community based service has received over 65 referrals, with 40 people benefiting from the service provided. After an average stay of six months, many residents have gone on to establish their own homes, to find employment and to mend broken family ties.

The service is a partnership between Blythswood Care and Bethany Christian Trust, and is based on a highly successful model which has been running in Edinburgh for more than 19 years.

Iain Gordon, Chief Executive of Bethany Christian Trust said: “We have been hugely encouraged by the transformation that people have brought about in their lives as a result of their stay at Dochas. The positive affirmation received from public and third sector colleagues underlines the value of a service like Dochas to the resilience, capacity and economy of the Highlands. We would be devastated if the long-term benefits of Dochas were to be lost as a result of short-term financial pressure.”

James Campbell, Chief Executive of Blythswood Care said: “Highland Council’s housing team have been supportive of the project from the very start, with housing benefit covering 44 percent of the cost of each client. But that leaves a £20,000 shortfall each month. The pilot programme was covered by one-time grants from private trusts that shared our vision to set it up.

“Now that its effectiveness has been proven, we believe the programme merits public support. It is cost-effective, saving health care and other costs many times more than the cost of the support provided. Blythswood and Bethany cannot carry a shortfall of this magnitude for any length of time. We haven’t given up but are urgently seeking to secure funding to prevent this life-saving project from having to close.”


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