DCSIMG

Vital Dearne service could be axed

Tony and Carol Sellars pictured with Kerry Mee, Volunteer and Karl Spencer, Drugs and Alcohol Advisor. Picture: Marie Caley NSYT Drug Service MC 1

Tony and Carol Sellars pictured with Kerry Mee, Volunteer and Karl Spencer, Drugs and Alcohol Advisor. Picture: Marie Caley NSYT Drug Service MC 1

A vital service which has helped hundreds of drug addicts to get back onto the straight and narrow is in danger of closing.

Conisbrough and Denaby Drug Awareness Group has provided hot meals and a counselling service for people with drug and alcohol problems for ten years.

But project leaders say the service could close within weeks because of a lack of funding and a dwindling number of volunteers to help run the service.

Manager Tony Sellars, 69, of Conisbrough, said: “We have helped to rehabilitate more than 300 people in the last decade and this is a vital service to a great number of people. We can get people back onto their feet so they can contribute again to society.

“But we are down to just two regular volunteers, myself and my wife Carol, and we are absolutely exhausted. We have also been knocked back with funding applications so money is very tight.

“If we don’t get the funds and in particular extra volunteers soon then the service may close by the summer.”

He said the group received a funding boost of about £3000 from Doncaster Council, Community First and a private donation two years ago, which has sustained the service. But this money is running out and an application for more funding from the council was knocked back a few months ago.

Mr Sellars explained he desperately needs volunteers to help serve meals at the group meetings, to speak with service users and to help with educational courses.

He said: “We can’t go on like this. We just need people who can spare a couple of hours, once a week to help in the kitchen and to speak to the people who come in. We still get about 35 people coming in every week. We need about five extra volunteers and will provide full training.

“The group helps people who have addiction problems, but also people who are generally in need of help, wether it be financial or emotional.”

People who have benefited from the service echoed Mr Sellars’ appeal.

Kerry Mee, 35, of Craganour Place, Denaby, said: “This service has been a lifeline to many people. It helped to turn my life around when I was having problems with drugs.

“I did a food hygiene course and the counselling service was so valuable. It will be a great shame if it closes.”

Sean Egan, 46, of Knaresborough Road, Conisbrough, added; “Tony has been like a dad to me, and a great many others. He helped me to get back on my feet when I was at a very low point.”

The group meets at St Albans Catholic Club every Thursday from 9.30am to 2pm. Contact Mr Sellars on 01709 869264.

 
 
 

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