THE fight to get people away from addictions and anti-social behaviour is going from strength to strength.
The Positive Alternatives project has been awarded £667,456 by the Big Lottery Fund to help young people into employment, education or training.
East Dunbartonshire Council’s project was piloted in Lennoxtown and Hillhead in Kirkintilloch, but will now expand to offer a service across the whole of the authority area.
Teenager Nicola Newlands, from Harestanes, knows first hand the difference that Positive Alternatives (PA) can make.
The 17-year-old admits she was on a ‘slippery slope’ after leaving school, but now thanks to PA she is on the road to a career in the Army.
Nicole, who is also an unofficial carer for her mother, said: “When I left school I had no plan of what to do next. I was doing things I shouldn’t like drinking with my friends and was heading nowhere.
“Thanks to Positive Alternatives I got a job in a shop, but was laid off after Christmas.
“I went back to PA and they helped me to get on a college course doing travel and tourism.
“I’ve also just sat my first test for entry into the Army to become a medical combat technician. Without PA I would be sitting about doing nothing with my life.”
If you are interested in finding out more about the work of the project or if you think it could help you or someone you know call 0141 578 6018.
Councillor Una Walker, education convener, said: “This is great news for East Dunbartonshire and in particular the young people in our communities.”
POSITIVE STEP: Councillor Una Walker and Sandy Garvey, head of integrated support, are pictured with members of the Positive Alternatives group at Hillhead
Community Centre, in Kirkintilloch.