DAPL preferred choice for counselling funds

DAPL should find out later this month if its funding quest is successful.
DAPL should find out later this month if its funding quest is successful.

ALCOHOL and drug support group DAPL has won a recommendation to keep providing counselling for drink and drug misuse.

The Leven-based agency, and other groups offering help to combat substance abuse, will find out later this month if they have been successful with revised bids for funding to continue vital aspects of their work.

Controversy flared last year when the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP) opted to award £10 million to national providers – such as Barnardo’s and Addaction – instead of local voluntary organisations, as it believed the national groups were better placed for drug and alcohol service delivery.

The Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) later instructed the ADP to re-run the competitive grants process, following an intervention by local politicians.

The recommendations for various service briefs will be considered at an HSCP meeting on January 26.

While national groups are the preferred bidders in a number of areas, DAPL is the recommended choice, at this stage, to deliver ‘Counselling for Substance Misuse Recovery’.

Leven councillor Ally Hunter, a major player in securing the repeat application process, said he was delighted.

“The reason I intervened with my colleagues during the first run at this has proven to be totally justified,” he added.

“The re-run of the funding process has been hailed by local groups as fair and accountable; that’s all we can ask for.

“The outcome is more of the contracts being won by local agencies who have the experience, networks, local contacts, trust and reputation to deliver a world-class service”.

Cllr Hunter added: “Like the agencies involved, I want to put this behind us and get on to delivering services to vulnerable individuals and families across the area, confident that the best possible providers are leading the way.

“DAPL has worked tirelessly for this area for 20 years. Martin (Denholm, service co-ordinator) and his team have handled themselves like the true professionals they are and I back them 100 per cent to do a first class job.”

The ADP said that, until the HSCP met, “these recommendations remain recommendations”, while Mr Denholm also stressed confirmation was still awaited.

However, DAPL was “extremely hopeful” that the outcome would be positive, he added.

The group was looking forward to the challenges the opportunity would bring and hopefully getting on with “the business we love doing”.