Trust give £30,000 to project in the fight against addiction

Pictured are the Reverend Tommy MacNeil and Shona Macleod of the Hebrides Alpha Project with, from left to right, Point and Sandwick Trusts chairman Angus McCormack, vice chairman Duncan Mackay, developer Calum Macdonald and general manager Donald John MacSween
Pictured are the Reverend Tommy MacNeil and Shona Macleod of the Hebrides Alpha Project with, from left to right, Point and Sandwick Trusts chairman Angus McCormack, vice chairman Duncan Mackay, developer Calum Macdonald and general manager Donald John MacSween

The Hebrides Alpha Project, which offers supported accommodation and a rehabilitation programme for islanders recovering from addiction, has received £15,000 from wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust.

The money is the first instalment of the £30,000 which Hebrides Alpha will get every year. It amounts to nearly half the money staff have to raise themselves every year, on top of public funding, to keep the project going.

The Hebrides Alpha Project is a charity which has been running since 2006. The residential unit in Upper Coll opened in 2011 and incorporates an in-house recovery programme for up to six people.

Its subsidiary is Hebrides Alpha Trading, which offers window cleaning and other services to also provide therapeutic employment for people with addiction problems.

The Hebrides Alpha programme requires residents to spend two days a week in therapeutic employment, geared towards improving their job prospects, and some of them choose to work with Hebrides Alpha Trading.

People also attend a community self-help group, either Alcoholics Anonymous or Road to Recovery, twice a week. Research has found self-help groups to be particularly effective. The programme also offers one-to-one counselling but detox always begins in the community, under nursing care.

Shona Macleod, manager at the Hebrides Alpha Project, said they were “so grateful” for the support from Point and Sandwick Trust, which will go towards revenue costs such as salaries, administration and travel.

“The money is so appreciated,” she said. “It is an incredible contribution to this project and the wind farm trust really are contributing to people’s lives in this community.

“The money has impacted very positively and it means that we can continue to run the service and can continue to take residents in who have serious alcohol and drug dependencies in addition to other psychological and practical problems.”

Hebrides Alpha is one of the key projects identified in the Trust’s community development plan.

Hebrides Alpha Project appreciates even small monthly donations. If anyone would like to support the project, telephone 01851 820830.