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Families with loved ones experiencing drug and alcohol problems have new hope thanks to a peer to peer group starting in Oban later this month.
Next Thursday (October 28) sees the first of a new family support group at Hope Kitchen in Soroba Road, offering a confidential and speak-easy space.
Covid and its aftermath has increased numbers of people in the Oban area with drug and alcohol issues as a result of anxiety, uncertainty and isolation, affecting more and more families, says Hope Service manager Catriona Petit.
AlAnon meetings stopped in the town some time ago and although carers can get help from the Carers Centre, there was nothing specific to fill the gap for this kind of help.
With funding from the Scottish Government’s Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) the new family support group will meet weekly from 6pm to 8pm, every time starting with a meal. Some of the people helping at the meetings will have lived experience.
Catriona said: ‘The burden of supporting someone can be long-term and can be a lonely road. This is about us about providing a space where people can come and meet other people who can understand the complexities they face.
‘We will expect people to respect that whatever is said in the room will stay in the room. People can come and use the backdoor.’
As well as talking to others and sharing experiences, the meetings will also be offering strategies and tools to give support.
Advice charity We Are With You will be involved too.
‘We want this group to be here for the duration. We saw there was a specific need for it and we hope people will come and use it. We want to give it a good go. The power of love when someone is experiencing pain can be huge and often the best person to give that love is a family member,’ said Catriona.
To find out more you can call 01631 565730 to speak to Catriona or you can get in touch by private messaging Hope on Facebook.