02 July 2013 You are here:

The Salvation Army launch new Drug & Alcohol Strategy for Scotland

Pictured: Ian, Service User from Stirling and Laura MacKay, Drug and Alcohol Worker, Stirling Corps

The Salvation Army today (Tuesday, 2 July 2013) announced a five year strategic plan, to help communities around Scotland suffering the effects of drug and alcohol misuse.

The launch date is significant as it is Founder's Day, the day William Booth started the Christian movement in 1865, from humble beginnings in London the church and charity, is now represented in 126 countries around the world.

In Booth’s famous speech, ‘I’ll Fight’

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains on dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight to the very end!”

Service users and project worker Leslie from Greenock

On his death bed, Booth asked his son Bramwell, to promise that ‘when my voice is silent and I’m gone from you, you will use such influence as you can to help others’, this legacy has been passed on and is the driving force of The Salvation Army’s commitment to help people suffering today.

The Salvation Army is today announcing an expansion of our social work which will increase our outreach work to support communities with alcohol dependency and its effects on health, families and futures.

Salvation Army founder General William Booth was committed to fighting alcohol addiction

Phase One of this strategy, will position experienced drug and alcohol workers in three key towns around the central belt of Scotland, Greenock, Stirling & Falkirk. Utilising our current expertise and independently audited good practice from Greenock Floating Support programme, where lives are being transformed, we will introduce the principals of ‘The Community Reinforcement Approach‘(CRA*) to support long term recovery.

The model of treatment, successful in The Salvation Army in New Zealand, includes a personal treatment plan, partnership working, functional analysis, behavioural skills, social and recreational counselling, employment skills and relationship counselling.

Our specialist drug and alcohol project staff have received training from Professor Robert Meyers, who introduced the CRA model, this professionally recognised and validated intervention complements the community focussed outreach work to bring a truly holistic approach to long term recovery.

The Salvation Army’s evidence based approach to this drug and alcohol strategy was also boosted by the announcement of a postgraduate researcher, who will enable the church and charity to address the needs of people seeking help and support. We are grateful to the University of Stirling who have agreed to provide match funding for this position.

Lt Col Ian Barr, Secretary for Programme, The Salvation Army, UK with the Republic of Ireland explained,

“We are concerned about the social and health effects alcohol is having on families and on the fabric of society in Scotland. Today’s announcement confirms our commitment to social services in Scotland and to the people we serve, we are experts in the provision of evidence based social programmes and we have drawn together a team with a proven track record in recovery, which will make an impact on the lives of many.”

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He continued, “We are committing £250,000 to fund phase one of our strategy, it is fitting that today is founders day, we are carrying on the legacy of William Booth and we are also grateful to ordinary men and women who have provided a financial legacy to The Salvation Army, their legacies have been used to provide funding for Phase One. We are hoping that as each phase develops we can attract external funding or donors who share our passion for this work.”

Phase Two will see the plan extend further with the development of more satellite hubs based within our community Corps across Scotland, a site has already been identified in North Scotland.

The Salvation Army also has vision and plan for Phase Three which will include the development of a centre of excellence, create a hub for research and development on the causes and effects of cognitive impairment due to drug and alcohol abuse and provide specialised CRA training and education.

Like William Booth, The Salvation Army will continue to fight for others.