On Friday I was given the privilege of awarding certificates to Gail and Stephen who had completed their 3 month intensive course with Lothian and Edinburgh Abstinence Programme (LEAP).
Both spoke honestly about the challenge it had been and the long struggle that they have both gone through to tackle their addiction.
It was a moving event as many of those attending spoke up to offer their support and congratulations. Gail’s achievement was covered in the Evening News last week.
The ceremony was a landmark as over 300 people have now successfully completed the course. It was clear to me in talking to some of the members of the audience after the event that the personal journey that they have each made has been a huge personal achievement.
What’s particularly important about the service is that there is follow on support for jobs, training and housing – absolutely crucial in helping people rebuild their lives and move on from addiction.
I’ve visited the Transition project which helps with training and education and been impressed by their services too.
I got involved last year in the campaign to try to keep the LEAP service in Malta House, Stockbridge where it has been welcomed by the local community since its establishment a few years ago.
From next month though LEAP moves to a new base in Astley Ainsley, in the South of the city and everyone is very enthusiastic now about the move given the public support that was received for the project. It is jointly funded by NHS Lothian and the City of Edinburgh Council – but extra funds are always needed so if you can help out with fundraising or want to get in touch with LEAP you can contact the project on 0131-332 3228.