MSP visits ‘lifesaving’ Eva Burrows Centre
published on 1 Sep 2023
A Salvation Army initiative has been praised for its ‘lifesaving’ support by a member of the Scottish Parliament.
Monica Lennon, a Scottish Labour and Co-op Party MSP for Central Scotland, visited the Eva Burrows Centre in Cambuslang near Glasgow to see how the project provides a safe and supportive environment for people facing homelessness.
Ms Lennon, who chairs the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Drug and Alcohol Use, is involved in the anti-stigma campaign, See Beyond, See the Lives – which is spearheaded by the University of Stirling and supported by The Salvation Army.
The politician learned more about The Salvation Army’s hopes for the campaign and how the projects based at the Eva Burrows Centre support people with addictions in a non-judgmental way.
She said: “The Eva Burrows 1st Stop Project is truly lifesaving and pioneering. I was impressed by the safe, supportive environment and how the staff empower people to make positive choices.
“The project is breaking down barriers to provide direct access to emergency accommodation for both single individuals and homeless families.
“At a time when many people are losing hope, it’s encouraging to see good practice in action.
“Anyone can be affected by substance use, homelessness and trauma. People with drug or alcohol issues should be treated with dignity and respect but too often stigma is a real barrier to them getting the right support.
“The Salvation Army is at the forefront of evidence-based service delivery. From chaplaincy support to specialist addiction work, everyone in the team is doing amazing work.
“If the Scottish Government is serious about improving public health and reducing inequality, it can learn lessons from the Eva Burrows hub at the heart of Lanarkshire, where lives are being transformed.”
Helen Murdoch, The Salvation Army’s Regional manager for homelessness services in Scotland, said: "The services we provide are rooted in harm reduction and trauma-informed practice. We provide support to the whole person, family or community, that is designed for them by them. Our values are embedded in our delivery which means removing moral judgement from health and social care. Through this approach we have seen a 32 per cent reduction in drug-related deaths in our services over the past four years.
“We were delighted to give Ms Lennon an insight into our work. We were also pleased to be able to support her anti-stigma campaign, See Beyond, See the Lives with the University of Stirling. Since 2017 we have been working with the university to pioneer research on substance use and related interventions that can prevent problems and reduce harms for individuals, their families and communities."