Addaction moves into Leven’s Greig Institute

George Ruckert & project manager Gareth Balmer. Picture by Fife Photo Agency.
George Ruckert & project manager Gareth Balmer. Picture by Fife Photo Agency.

As a new hub for the third sector, the Greig Institute in Leven is fast filling up, now welcoming a brand new tenant in the form of Fife harm reduction service Addaction.

Formerly based in Glenrothes, the organisation made the move at the beginning of the month, and staff are keen to welcome locals who may need support, or who might just be curious about the services they provide.

Open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, – with Clued-Up operating a drop-in service out of the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays too – Addaction acts as a first port of call for those interested in receiving support for drug and alcohol issues.

Gareth Balmer, project manager, said: We’ve been in Fife for four years now, and had an office in Glenrothes, but had always wanted to move to Leven.

“So when the Greig Institute came up it was a great opportunity, given that it’s kind of a hub for this sector. Plus, it’s nice and busy here in the town centre and there are lots of people in Levenmouth who need this kind of support.”

As well as offering counselling, it works closely with other drugs support agencies across Fife, opening other doors of help for those who need it.

Gareth explained that as one of Fife’s harm reduction services, Addaction offers a softer approach to those interested in receiving support, “not counselling with a capital C”, and will work with people who might not be quite ready to give up.

“Even if a person isn’t ready to give up drugs or alcohol, we can offer them advice on how to be safe. For some people it just isn’t pragmatic to give up completely, so we’ll support them with that.”

Open all day on a Monday and Friday, and half day on a Wednesday, there’s no need for an appointment, and anyone interested can simply drop by.

“We’re not here to judge and I think what we have to remember is how hard it actually is for someone to walk through that door and ask for help.”

The organisation also offers a range of other services, including free sexual health advice and condoms, BBV testing and The Take Home Naloxone programme, which offers an antidote to heroin overdose.

“Last year in Fife and Scotland, we had the highest number of deaths from overdose –but with the Take Home programme, people can come in, get a little bit of training and we can give them the Naloxone to take away.”

Last year, staff from the local branch held an event at Victoria Hospital as part of Overdose Awareness Day, and following that, were able to get funding for a memorial bench from Fife Council which is now situated in the grounds of the Greig.

“The plan is to create a memorial garden too,” said Gareth, “ where we can hold future events, and just give people a place to go and reflect if they want.”