Drop-in for those who suffer from addictions

Community pastor Mike McLeister says 'difficulties can be talked through' at the new drop-in
Community pastor Mike McLeister says 'difficulties can be talked through' at the new drop-in

A DROP-IN centre has been launched for locals struggling with addictions.

The scheme, which is situated at ‘The Well’ in Bourtree Terrace, is being run in partnership with Newcastleton-based charity Grafted, which does innovative work with those who are living with drug and alcohol addiction and mental health-related issues.

It will also cater for those on the fringes of the community.

Mike McLeister, community pastor at Hawick Baptist Church, told the Hawick News: “Figures released recently show that the Borders area is one of the worst in Scotland for hidden drug addiction and it recognised that more rural areas don’t have the resources and funding that urban areas enjoy.

“Grafted recognised that there was a need to do more with people suffering from addictions and to provide a space for people who are struggling.

“Somewhere that they can come together, where we can offer counselling and support or just a befriending scheme.”

Held every Thursday from 11am until 2pm the drop-in, which previously operated at the youth centre in Havelock Street, is supported by many local agencies including the social work department at Scottish Borders Council, the Borders Drug and Alcohol Team and criminal justice.

Those who attend are promised a relaxed atmosphere where they can play snooker, pool or table tennis, have lunch, take part in group discussions or have one-to-one talks.

Mr McLeister added: “It’s obvious that there’s a need for this. It’s just looking at giving some hope to people who want to get their lives turned around.

“It provides an opportunity for people to talk through difficulties so that they can be addressed in a real and relevant way.”

There will be an open day on Thursday, February 16, when representatives from social work, criminal justice, addiction agencies, the police, councillors and other community providers will be in attendance.