LEAP celebrates success - One year on

LEAP (Lothians and Edinburgh Abstinence Programme), is set to celebrate its first anniversary and is inviting patients who have successfully completed the programme, as well as current patients to a reunion.

Special guest, Fergus Ewing, Minister for Community Safety is attending the event at LEAP on Sunday 21 September, when he will meet patients and staff.

Patients, Fergus Ewing and lead clinician David McCartney will say a few words at the event which will also be attended by the families of patients.

David McCartney, Clinical Lead, LEAP, NHS Lothian, said:


“This reunion is the culmination of a great deal of success that has been achieved in a very short time. It is also proof that a community rehabilitation programme can and does work. Patients who have been through the programme are now leading drug free lives and that is a great achievement.
“Eleven former patients have recently gained SQA certificates with some going on to college. It is down in no small way to their commitment and determination and is hugely rewarding to see them continue to improve the quality of their lives as they move on to the next stage in their recovery journey.”


Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing said:
“I’m delighted to be attending this reunion event, to meet so many people who have managed to take back control of their lives with the support of LEAP. I congratulate all of them.
“One of the most important and difficult things about recovery is sustaining the progress made and continuing to move forward into education, training and employment.
“At the core of our new drugs strategy, ‘The Road to Recovery’ which we published in May, is the principle of putting the service user at the centre of his or her care.
“The vision that we have for the drugs field is one of ‘expert patients’ where people in recovery learn to manage their recovery in conjunction with professionals, their family, friends and the wider community. “LEAP is an excellent example of a service which supports them to do just that.”
A total of forty patients have successfully graduated from the innovative pilot programme to date.
Danny, a patient at LEAP said:
“LEAP has helped me tremendously. The programme has saved my life and changed my outlook on life completely. LEAP has educated me on alcoholism and given me back my self-respect and confidence which alcohol problems destroyed. It has also given me a solid foundation and the tools to help me stay in recovery and live in society.
“I have great respect and gratitude for this service and for the excellent therapists who are guiding me from a very dark place, towards the light.”
Colin a graduate of LEAP said:
“Since leaving LEAP I am basically starting a new life. I now attend college to further my career choices and do voluntary work to integrate myself back into society, in order to lead a healthy meaningful life. Best of all, I can live a life free of any addictions while trying to help others.”
LEAP, the first of its kind in Scotland, is an innovative partnership pilot programme between NHS Lothian and the drug and alcohol action teams in Edinburgh and the Lothians. The programme has been up and running since September last year for people dependent on substances who want to get clean and stay clean.
Patients follow an intensive three-month community-based programme which includes group work, one-to-one counselling and family therapy. Training and education courses help equip patients with skills and qualifications to allow them to move on with their lives once they finish the programme.
Supported accommodation for patients whilst they are attending LEAP is provided by the City of Edinburgh Council in the city centre. Partners 'Transition' supply the vocational training element of the programme.
LEAP is funded by the Scottish Government. The Robertson Trust has also provided additional funding.