Local charity establish an out of hours alcohol and/or drug addiction helpline.
In response to the devastating impact that drug and alcohol related deaths are having on our communities, Harbour Ayrshire was set up to deliver, in partnership, a range of solution-focused options, while creating opportunities for some of the most vulnerable people in our society, allowing them to live a life free of the stigma and suffering of addiction.
In their first ten months Harbour Ayrshire have established eight peer support groups throughout Ayrshire offering support to over 100 people per week, the most recent one a Family group, supporting family members of loved ones in addiction.
Harbour Ayrshire recently opened an out of hours helpline manned totally by volunteers with lived experience. Eddie Gorman, Project Manager said “the reason we set up the out of hours helping is because we understand addiction is not a 9.00am – 5.00pm issue and we felt we could reach people in their time of need and at an opportune moment – a reachable and teachable moment.” Anyone calling the helpline will receive emotional and practical support while being provided with resources, and if required referred into our service for further support.
Harbour Ayrshire’s mid to long term strategy is to open a Residential Treatment Centre in Ayrshire supporting individuals to access affordable and timely residential support in their local area. They have provided support to over 20 individuals to access residential support since they began operating in July, proving the need for this service in Ayrshire. Harbour Ayrshire currently runs a Residential Rehab Support Service (RRSS) supporting people to rehab (PREHAB) and Aftercare when the treatment is over, and the person returns to their community.
Project Manager Eddie said “I am delighted with the progress of Harbour Ayrshire, it has far exceeded our expectations as a year one organisation. I firmly believe there is a ‘will for change’ and this has been proven from the support we have received from our partnership organisation. It takes a village to raise a child and working with likeminded organisations that share our values has proven invaluable”.
Harbour Ayrshire is run solely by a team of dedicated, committed, and hard-working volunteers who have been the backbone of the organisation and the main reason they have reached so many individuals in our local communities.
Starting out as a volunteer with Harbour, Claire says “I was filled with excitement, and to be honest a little bit of fear. As I had been unemployed for a significant period of time, and trying to turn my life around in recovery, my self-belief and confidence in being able to help others was low. I was very proud to be part of such a forward-thinking charity and keen to make a difference where I could”.
As part of Claire’s role, she helped establish a women’s support group and says “from brainstorming to fruition came empowerHER. Initially the group was very quiet, and at times it was just me and two other women, but we were committed to making this a positive and supportive group to help women in our community”.
Claire’s determination and hard work paid off and numbers slowly grew. “As the group facilitator I grew in confidence, watching women attending the meeting, challenging themselves and overcoming struggles in their lives filled me with gratitude and in turn, helped me to grow as an individual”. The group has gone from strength to strength and Claire said “the strength and inner beauty of the women shines through every week, new faces attend, regulars attend without fail, and together we learn, laugh, cry, and grow. Every week I leave the group feeling full of love and inspired to live the best life possible”.
Claire was grateful to have secured part time employment within Harbour Ayrshire following her volunteering which allowed her to continue her work with empowerHer. “This has given me the opportunity to build knowledge about addiction and the many related problems, build relationships with services and most importantly forming relationships with incredible women. I have continued to grow in confidence and enjoy working hard to make a difference”.
Claire has now moved on to new challenges in her life and tells us it wouldn’t have been possible without the help and opportunities Harbour Ayrshire have given her. “I leave Harbour knowing that this amazing work will continue to grow from strength to strength, helping people throughout Ayrshire”.
If you would like further information on the support available via Harbour Ayrshire, then please check out their website for further information.
You can also view the flyers available for the selection of groups available across Ayrshire we as well as information on the helpline.
**Please note the volunteers name has been changed for privacy reasons**