An award-winning scheme that helps people battle drug and alcohol addiction has been hailed a vital inspiration to the city’s hardest-hit, according to a Wigan MP.
Lisa Nandy attended Addiction Dependency Solutions’ (ADS) ‘Bridging the Gap’ graduation ceremony in Wigan to celebrate the achievements of 24 people and their families who have turned their lives around.
The flagship scheme, unique to ADS, helps people overcome alcohol and drug misuse and gain the confidence, skills and qualifications they need to get jobs and rebuild their lives.
The programme also offers help to family and friends who have often suffered themselves, supporting a loved-one through difficult times.
Jennie Archibald, ADS Wigan’s Training Co-ordinator said: “The benefits of this scheme are immense. When students go on to secure full-time employment or into further education you get a measure of the programme’s importance to people and their families.”
The emphasis of the course is getting people back into employment, providing work placements and support to gain new qualifications.
Students are required to attend for 15 hours a week, with help available to pay for transport and childcare costs.
Ms Nandy said: “At a time when public money is scarce, helping people to overcome addiction is crucial to individuals, our local communities and our local economy.
“We are fortunate that Wigan has such a pioneering scheme. I was inspired by the graduates, staff and volunteers who I met today. They demonstrate that it is possible to overcome addiction and that it is never too late to rebuild your life.”
The scheme is particularly necessary in Wigan, which has a significantly higher rate of drug and alcohol misuse than the national average.