A local charity supporting people in recovery is looking for new volunteer Board members.
Alternatives’ depute manager, Anne Dyer, explained they’re not looking for particular skills or experience, but for people passionate about the community.
She said: “Our Board members come from all walks of life and together their knowledge and expertise helps us grow and develop.”
As well as the recovery bases in Dumbarton and Clydebank, Alternatives runs the Safe as Houses residential service in Drumry and a range of community-based recovery social enterprises across West Dunbartonshire.
Anne explained: “We helped establish Skylark IX Recovery Project which provides opportunities in woodworking, boatbuilding, creative arts and much more, both for people attending the service and for the wider community.
“We also have the Sweet Success Café in the Concord Centre and have plans for other community cafes.
“Here our people learn home-baking, do barista training and learn how to serve the public.
“Up at Knowetop we have allotments and growing spaces and the fresh produce for our cafes will be grown here.
“These social enterprises are for our people but also to benefit the wider community.”
Board member George Elliot knows from personal experience how successful Alternatives’ community-based recovery approach can be.
When he first tried to come off drugs he had to move to Bournemouth to get a residential rehab place.
He said: “I was in and out of recovery for years. In 2011 I came back here and met staff from Alternatives, they invited me in here.
“The ones on the programme then were a lot younger than me; I thought it wasn’t for me, but I decided to pop back for a day and that became every day for 18 months.”
After completing their 18 months recovery programme George was employed to set up a peer support team for the charity which is now a core part of the organisation.
He retired at the start of the pandemic but wanted to stay involved so was delighted when invited to join the Board.
Anne said: “George will come out with little gold nuggets of advice because he sees things from a different perspective and knows how our service works from the inside.”
Kate Hamill also joined Alternatives’ Board when she retired from working with local recovery services.
She said: “I wanted to give something back but without the pressure of work.
“I like Alternatives’ ethos, how they work with people from absolute chaos when they have nothing and no-one in their lives through to stability and then moving back into society.
“They are very encouraging and support people to move on, the social enterprises are a great route for this.”
To find out about joining Alternatives’ Board email Donnie@alternativeswd.org or call 01389 734500