LEAP Welcomes Royal Visitor

p> LEAP welcomed HRH The Princess Royal, who was given a tour of the facilities, met patients and staff involved in the service and heard at first-hand patients' experiences before, during and after being at LEAP.


LEAP, the first of its kind in Scotland, is an abstinence programme for people dependent on substances who want to get clean and stay clean.

The programme has been up and running since September last year.

David McCartney, Clinical Lead, at LEAP said:

"It was a great honour to have HRH The Princess Royal officially open the programme and our patients were delighted that a member of the Royal Family was keen to hear and find out more about them and LEAP. She joined a group therapy session with patients, allowing her to hear about their lives before coming to LEAP and also how the programme is helping them on the road to recovery.

Charles Winstanley, Chair, NHS Lothian said:

"It was a great privilege to have HRH The Princess Royal visit LEAP, which allowed us, with our partners, to demonstrate the pioneering work we are involved in, in the area of substance misuse and help raise the profile of the important work of the programme."

Tom Wood, chair of the Edinburgh Alcohol and Drugs Action Team said:

"LEAP is a hugely significant development in alcohol and drug treatment and credit must go to the Scottish Government in funding such a bold newapproach, and to the LEAP team for getting the project off the ground and making it happen.
"Ultimately however, it will be the clients' resolve to overcome their addiction that will determine the success or failure of LEAP".

Lee McNair, one of the latest patients to successfully complete the programme said:

"HRH The Princess Royal was really interested to hear about our lives, what led us to take drugs, how difficult the programme has been and how we are coping since graduating. I was also really pleased, although a bit nervous, to be able to present her with a posy of flowers. It's been a very exciting day."

LEAP is a three-month, community-based, intensive day programme with supported accommodation provided by the City of Edinburgh Council.

Transition, part of Access to Industry, provides training and education courses to help equip patients with skills and qualifications to allow them to move on with their lives once they finish the programme.

The programme operates seven days a week and provides aftercare support as well as access to self-help groups.

The programme is funded by the Scottish Executive. The Robertson Trust has also provided additional funding.