DACA Dumbarton – 01389 731456
DACA Clydebank – 0141 952 0881

New Year, New You?

Swapping the Booze for the Hills

Did you kickstart 2020 with a Dry January?

If so we hope you are enjoying the benefits and we’d love to hear how you got on.

Two members of our team signed up for the national month-long alcohol-free challenge and within a couple of weeks were already noticing the benefits.

Reset Regular

Maryanne is a regular to the monthly alcohol reset button. Doing both Dry January and Sober October for several years now, she welcomes the time to focus on her overall well-being.

“For me, it’s about starting the new year healthy. That includes looking at my diet and thinking about what gives me the most energy over the winter months.

“Alcohol definitely takes up most of my energy — and I don’t consider myself a problematic drinker — but as I get older those couple of glasses of wine definitely make me feel sluggish.

“Having a busy social calendar I would have the opportunity to drink every week, so making a conscious decision not to do so during January, or October, helps remind me that it doesn’t have to be part of my social life.

“This can be a challenge for a lot of people, particularly if you grew up in the West of Scotland where alcohol is just seen as part of a night out. Thinking about it is probably more daunting than doing it though.

Feeling The Benefits

Energy to Get Outdoors

“Once I make the decision I don’t find it a challenge as I feel healthier, fitter, I have more energy, I’m out doing more walking and it doesn’t stop me from going out — I actually find myself enjoying that better as well.

“It’s probably easier for me as I’ve done it a few times now so there’s no pressure from my friends and I know I’m going to feel the benefit.”

While she isn’t being pressurised by friends or family to have a drink, Maryanne said the dry month does make her more aware of the subtle alcohol messaging that is all around her.

“I started noticing it in the run-up to Christmas when I was looking for wee gifts, and everything from coasters to cuddly toys to Christmas jumpers seemed to have alcohol promotion messages on them.

“It wasn’t advertising a specific brand but just drinking in general — the ‘wine o’clock’ and ‘time for a gin’ type slogans. They seemed to be everywhere.

“It normalises the idea of drinking and for a lot of people in the West of Scotland it is normal.

Habit-Breaking

“I don’t think it is the advertising that persuades me to have a drink, I think it is a series of habits that I’ve built up over a lifetime from having a glass of wine or two with a meal or enjoying a drink with my friends when we’re on holiday.

“Doing Dry January makes me think about these habits and recognise that a lot of it is in my mind.”

Maryanne found her month without alcohol left her with more time and energy to do the things she might put off after a glass of wine. It also gave her time to do more walking and the things she enjoys.

Give It A Go

She added: “I think everyone should try it — no matter how much you drink or how long you stop for. There’s no need to wait for one of the official ‘dry’ months — why not set yourself a challenge, start with two or three weeks and see how you feel.

“At the start of the year when the weather is miserable and everyone seems to be battling the winter blues, it’s a good time to take some time off alcohol — you’ll be surprised at how much more energy you have.”


Dry January First-Timer

As a complementary therapist Anne is well versed in activities that improve health and wellness, but as a newbie to the Dry January challenge she was quite daunted at the prospect of not drinking for a month.

“I thought it would be difficult going out for something to eat or going to the pub without having a drink, but it’s been a lot easier than I expected.

“I also enjoy watching a film and having a few beers or wine in the house to relax at the weekend and I was dreading that, but instead I’ve had friends up and I’ve bought in alcohol-free beer for myself and I’ve not missed it.

“I didn’t have any cravings for alcohol, which I was really surprised about as I’ve never been without alcohol, apart from when I was pregnant.

“It’s always been part of the weekend whether socialising with friends or having a few drinks with my partner.”

Inspiration

Anne found a book by Cosmopolitan writer Catherine Gray — ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober’ — a real help throughout the month and, like the author, Anne is now contemplating pushing herself to a three month target.

Holding herself to account by keeping a daily journal which focuses her mind on her goal has also helped Anne.

Finding New, Healthier Ways to Socialise With Friends

“It helps you reset your habits which was a big factor in my drinking, and re-programme your brain so you don’t feel you need to drink in a specific place or time.

“I am really noticing the difference. I used to do a lot of running and that’s a good reason for me to keep off the alcohol as it means I can train harder.

“I did a race last week and was pleasantly surprised at my time. I’m also noticing I have lost a lot of bloating around my stomach — I weighed myself at the start of the month so I’m looking forward to seeing what the difference is at the end.

“I’ve also changed what I’m doing so when I’m socialising with friends we’re going to a tribute night rather than just meeting in the pub and if we go out for something to eat I’ll drive so we’re saving on taxis.

“It’s amazing how alcohol is part of every day life without you realising it. All in it’s been a good learning curve and I have really enjoyed it.”


If you fancy trying your own dry spell and want some help or advice contact DACA on 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881.

Want to Save Money, Lose Weight and Sleep Better?

2020: A fresh start…

As we bid farewell to 2019 and look forward to not just a new year but the dawn of a new decade many of us reflect on what we would like to do differently.

Personal health and fitness are usually top of our lists. Gym memberships are renewed, walking and cycling gear dusted down and dieting groups joined.

Yet there is one other healthy lifestyle choice which will not only help you lose weight but also save money, improve sleep patterns and long-term health and well-being.

Simply sign up to Dry January, kick the booze for a month and reset your relationship with alcohol.

It doesn’t cost a penny — in fact last year 88% of participants saved money!

And the benefits didn’t stop there, with 71% of participants reporting improved sleep patterns and 58% losing weight.

Plus research published in the British Medical Journal in 2018, showed that a month off booze lowers blood pressure, reduces diabetes risk, lowers cholesterol and reduces levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.

And you won’t be doing it alone — in 2018, four million people enjoyed the benefits of a Dry January.


The campaign, which was launched by Alcohol Change in 2013 with just 4,000 participants, is now a popular way for people from all walks of life to improve their relationship with alcohol.

Whether you like a few beers at the weekend, a couple of glasses of wine to unwind after work or a heavy session with your pals, taking one month out can make a huge difference to your health.

And the benefits don’t just disappear at the end of January. Research shows that Dry January participants are still drinking less six months later.

This has long term benefit for all aspects of health as alcohol is linked with over 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression and seven types of cancer.

In fact, alcohol is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability for people aged 15–49 in the UK.

Cutting back on alcohol reduces your risk of developing these conditions.


So if you’re interested in a new you for the new year but you’re not sure where to start, check out Alcohol Change’s Dry January Toolkit.

You can download a free Dry January app to your phone which helps you track the units, calories and money you’re saving.

And read how others are coping with the challenge in their Dry January blog which also has lots of tips, advice and alcohol-free reviews.

If you’re struggling to stay off the booze and looking for some extra support or wanting help to make this a long-term life change give us a call at DACA.

Our team of staff and volunteers have helped thousands of people from our community over the years and we’re here to help you too.

Just call us on 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881 or pop into our offices at Westbridgend Lodge, Dumbarton G82 4AD or 82 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank G81 1UG.

And don’t wait until January to sign-up, download the app now or add your name to the millions of others who will be starting 2020 on a healthier footing, sign up now. Let us know how you get on — we’re rooting for you.

A Manifesto To Tackle Alcohol Harm

At Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol (DACA), we see first-hand the human cost of alcohol harm.

We see people suffering with chronic poor health, dying well before their time.

We see spouses struggling to stay together as the ripple effect of a partner’s drinking takes its toll.

We see children separated from their parents because home is not a safe place to be.

We see vulnerable people trying to dull the pain of childhood trauma inadvertently creating a whole new world of harm for themselves.

And we only see a fraction of the people in our community who are suffering from alcohol-related harm.

We know that the scale of the problem is so large that most people reading this will know someone — a friend, a neighbour, a family member or a work colleague — who has been affected by the harms of alcohol.

Alcohol is an integral part of our culture which we associate with having a good time but the societal costs of our collective hangover is now reaching epic proportions and, as usual, it is the poorest communities and families who are hardest hit.

The Problem

It doesn’t have to be like this. Evidence from around the world shows there are effective laws which governments can enact to drastically reduce the harm of alcohol across the whole population, and particularly for high risk groups.

The most effective way to change behaviour and reduce alcohol consumption is legislative, although the drinks industry has a powerful lobbying machine which doesn’t want to see measures introduced which will impact their profits. The Scotch Whisky Association went to considerable lengths to try and thwart the Scottish Government’s minimum unit pricing policy, and was able to hold up its implementation for over five years. And they continue to push government towards a reduction in domestic taxation on alcohol.

At DACA we are asking our parliamentary candidates to listen to the needs of our community — not just the drinks industry.

Here are some policies and laws they could support which will have long-lasting positive impact for people in West Dunbartonshire.

The Solutions

So next time a parliamentary candidate comes calling and looking for your vote why not ask them what they intend to do to reduce the harmful impact of alcohol on our community.

Bill Nye, The Science Guy explaining a simple principle of economics. Ask your candidate what’s more important to them — alcohol industry profits or community health?

The Questions

  • Will you support mandatory unit/calorie/ingredient labelling on alcohol? Why should the drinks industry be allowed to regulate this themselves when all other food and drink products are clearly marked?
  • Will you vote in favour of increasing alcohol duties, particularly on high strength ciders and spirits?
  • Will you support establishing an independent body to regulate alcohol marketing and advertising?

We’d love to know how you get on — DM us on Twitter or drop us an email to email@daca.org.uk

Alcohol & Me…Christopher’s Story

Photo & quote by Barry, who took part in one of DACA’s photography groups

For most young people drinking is about going out and getting off your head and then when you sober up the next day you just get on with your business.

From the outside my drinking probably looked the same as this but when others went to get on with their lives I just wanted to keep drinking. I just didn’t seem to have an off-switch, it was either all or nothing, I would just keep going until I couldn’t see or couldn’t walk.

Alcohol made me feel much better and more comfortable with myself.

I was always paranoid about being an alcoholic. I had an idea in my head what an ‘alcoholic’ looked like and it definitely wasn’t a 22 year old.

It was someone who was old and who was drinking every day so I couldn’t be an alcoholic and then when I was drinking every day I moved the goalposts and you had to be drinking on your own to be an alcoholic, so that couldn’t be me — until it was. No-one else was saying anything to me, it was just in my head but there were fewer places to hide from myself.

Towards the end of my drinking I was living a day at a time but in a negative sense. I would wake up every day with a hangover and tell myself I wasn’t drinking again and then consistently failing.

As the day went on something would happen in my brain and it would start building a case as to why drinking was a good idea, it was so insidious and sleekit.

By the time they were calling last orders later that evening it was like it was last orders for the last time, ever. That was my normal.

The idea of being 22 and sober wasn’t much fun. All you see is everyone out and enjoying themselves.

I remember a pal asking me what I wanted to do with my life and I told him I just wanted a job that paid enough so I could get my own flat and drink. I just couldn’t imagine myself beyond 30, I just didn’t expect to be around.

Before I went to AA I was hitting my rock bottom on an almost daily basis. The day of my last drink wasn’t much different to the rest of the nights when I was walking home having a good cry to myself and going to bed hoping I wouldn’t wake up.

The only difference was the next day I didn’t drink, I went to an AA meeting.

After I accepted I couldn’t do it on my own and went to AA I heard others sharing versions of my story. I started to do the things they advised — I went to meetings, joined a group, got a sponsor and did the 12 Steps.

Together this made a difference, it’s the recipe that worked for me.


Did You Know?

Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol provides 1–1 counselling support, groups and activities to help reach your drinking goal — you set the goal and choose what works for you.

A lot of our clients use the AA fellowship for additional support — and that’s completely fine. There’s no single pathway that works for everyone, so we encourage people to try as many different services as they need until they find the ‘recipe’ that works for them.

Call 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881 or pop into our offices at Westbridgend Lodge, Westbridgend, Dumbarton G82 4AD or 82 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank G81 1UG.

#AlcoholAndMe

Alcohol & Me…Amanda’s Story

“Alcohol wasn’t really a thing when I was growing up. My parents only drank an occasional sherry or half lager on special occasions and from my teens I was taking medication for epilepsy which meant I couldn’t drink — if I did I increased my risk of a seizure.

So my first encounter with alcohol as a destructive force was a real shock, one that left me quite literally scarred for life.

To be fair it’s not a big scar — about two inches long at the top of my right thigh.

That was the side the car hit me in the college car park.

I had just come out of the college welcome disco with my friends and was looking for my Dad’s car for my lift home.

From nowhere a car sped towards us and, uncomfortable in heels, I was unable to run fast enough to get out of the way. I remember rolling on to and then back off the car bonnet before watching its tail-lights as they disappeared into the dark.

Turns out the driver was a fellow student a couple of years older than myself who had a few drinks and thought he would still be okay to drive home. Since he didn’t stop he never got charged with drink-driving. When he was tracked down he claimed he only had a couple of drinks and would have been under the limit.

Maybe he was, who knows?

Today, if I’m driving I won’t have a drink — not even one. Legally I could have a small wine or a gin and tonic, but I know my brain isn’t functioning at its full capacity after that first drink so it’s just not worth the risk.

I don’t want to scar anyone else’s life.”

Do You Know If You Are Over The Limit?

Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol provides information on the Chief Medical Officer’s low risk drinking guidelines and unit measures.

Call 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881 or pop into our offices at Westbridgend Lodge, Westbridgend, Dumbarton G82 4AD or 82 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank G81 1UG.

#AlcoholAndMe #MakeAChange #SaveALife

Alcohol & Me…Mags’ Story

It’s good to talk: DACA’s alcohol counsellors are on hand to provide support if you need it.

Growing up, I would have sooner sewn my own mouth closed than tell anyone that my daddy was a drinker.

I thought it was shameful, something to keep within the family — because I always heard the adults — usually my aunties and my mum — talking about it in hushed tones. It was never openly discussed with me, and I never felt it was my right to ask.

I was only five when my dad moved out of the house, but even at that age I could tell that this event brought some relief to my mum as well as sadness and hardship.

Throughout all my childhood, I never told a single soul about my dad’s drinking; not a teacher, not a priest, not even a best friend.

I suspect a lot of people knew because in a small town like this, that sort of thing is hard to keep quiet, but denial and obfuscation became my skillset.

I didn’t know what to think about my dad; there were so many conflicting emotions swirling around in me, and I couldn’t settle on an overriding one. So how could I speak to anyone else about him?

I was 14 when my dad died. His death certificate said the cause of death was ‘ischemic heart disease’ but it was the drink that killed him.

I was resentful for a very long time about losing my dad, and I carried it all, silently, inside me.

It wasn’t until I started working with people who were struggling with alcohol misuse disorder that I started to heal.

I’m now in a position to see that the way my family dealt with our situation wasn’t healthy. I had no opportunity to ask all the questions that plagued my thoughts; to vent, to cry, to share emotions and feel solidarity with my brothers.

It’s so important to talk and get things out in the open.

There’s nothing shameful about asking for help.


Did You Know?

Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol provides support for family members affected by a loved one’s drinking.

Call 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881 or pop into our office at Westbridgend Lodge, Westbridgend, Dumbarton G82 4AD 82 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank G81 1UG.

#AlcoholAwarenessWeek #AlcoholAndMe

Alcohol & Me…Charlie’s Story

DACA’s one-to-one counselling can help you find light at the end of the tunnel.

Ten years ago I realised my relationship with alcohol had changed from having one too many on a night out, to sneaking up to the local Spar to buy a carryout at times when I was least likely to meet someone I knew.

I had become totally withdrawn, a nervous wreck. I would then sit in my flat alone, drinking and feeling sorry for myself.

This pattern continued for the last 18 months of what I now call my ‘drinking to escape myself’ period.

Most folk who know me now would see me as a sociable, out-going person that maybe talks too much sometimes (they have a point). However, back then, that was not the case, I had lost all confidence in myself and life. I saw myself as one of life’s losers.

Although I did not know it at the time, as I thought I was just another ‘alky’, I was drinking copious amounts of alcohol to escape from myself and my ever increasing negative outlook.

One morning, after another stealth mission to the Spar, instead of getting tore into the eight cans of Stella as soon as I got back to my flat, something clicked in my mind.

For hours I sat and stared at the cans, with a mantra just repeating itself over and over in my head ‘this has to stop, one way or another, you can’t go on existing like this.’ I’m not afraid to say I cried my eyes out.

I now believe my body was telling me it had had enough, both physically and emotionally, what I have now come to know as hitting my own personal rock-bottom.

Instead of drinking those cans of Stella, I emptied each one of them down the sink, with each of them draining away, reaffirming my decision that I wanted to reclaim my life back.

Initially I attended AA meetings to help me with my alcohol cessation and, to be honest, to get me out the flat. Sitting alone without drink to ‘help’ me escape was a whole new set of horrors.

However, it did not take me too long to realise that I was not an alcoholic, I’m not saying drink was not a problem, obviously it was, I began to realise that turning to alcohol was a symptom of what was really happening with me; depression which in turn had led to a complete lack of self-esteem, leaving me with no sense of self-worth and no confidence whatsoever.

I knew I had to get my head sorted and over time, thankfully I have achieved that to a point where I have begun to like myself again. To me that was a major achievement as I hated who I had become back then.

For seven years I did not consume one drop of alcohol, I’m convinced I would not still be on this planet if I had done. Now though, I have a ‘normal’ relationship with drink. I do enjoy the odd beer or two, never to excess though.

My life has completely turned round from those dark days ten years ago, now the future seems to be full of endless possibilities as opposed to the vision of a dark tunnel I was staring down back then.”

Did You Know?

Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol provides 1–1 counselling support, groups and activities to help reach your drinking goal — you set the goal and choose what works for you.

Call 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881 or pop into our offices at Westbridgend Lodge, Westbridgend, Dumbarton G82 4AD or 82 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank G81 1UG.

We’ll be in Clydebank Leisure Centre today, November 14 from 10am — 3pm with some therapy tasters, info & advice.

#AlcoholAwarenessWeek #AlcoholAndMe #TalkToMe #AAW

Alcohol & Me…Marie’s Story

Soclalising and making friends: DACA’s groups are all alcohol-free and encourage people to grow and flourish without having alcohol as a prop.

I’m not naturally outgoing and I’ve always found social events and groups to be quite daunting. When I was at university, I started having a few drinks before going out in the evening, which I believed took the edge off my social anxiety, and helped me to be more chatty and fun in company.

I thought that alcohol made me a better version of myself — a social butterfly, or the life and soul of the party.

There was a trade-off though.

I nearly always felt unwell the next day and quite often had a nagging sense of regret over some of the choices I made when I was drunk.

I remember one time I came home very late at night and woke up my elderly neighbour by singing and shouting in the close with my friends. I thought it was harmless at the time — just having a laugh — but a few days later my neighbour told me that she’d been really frightened by all the commotion. I was horrified.

Then a few years ago, I saw a video from a wedding party I’d been at, and it really made me re-evaluate the effects of my drinking. I’d been tipsy at this wedding, but not ‘falling down’ drunk and I thought I’d been on top form.

But the video showed an obnoxious lout, making crass, insensitive remarks and loudly mocking people. I knew it was me, but it was like looking at a stranger. I also saw the faces of my relatives, including the bride, looking embarrassed and disappointed at my behaviour.

That’s when I decided to change.

I didn’t drink alcohol at all for nearly two years after that, and I felt so much better for it. I still felt a bit anxious in social groups, but I reassured myself with the knowledge that I was fully in control of how I presented myself and what I did. That became more important to me than seeming naturally confident.

I’ve had a few occasions in the last year or so where I’ve had an alcohol drink — but I’ve always limited myself to one. I don’t ever want to be that version of myself that I saw on the wedding video.

That’s not the real me.”


Did You Know?

Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol provides 1–1 counselling support, groups and activities to help reach your drinking goal — you set the goal and choose what works for you.

Call 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881 or pop into our offices at Westbridgend Lodge, Westbridgend, Dumbarton G82 4AD or 82 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank G81 1UG.

#AlcoholAwarenessWeek2019 #AlcoholAndMe #RethinkYourDrink

Alcohol Awareness Week 2019

We’re hosting a series of pop-up events across Clydebank and Dumbarton to talk to people about the impact of alcohol on their lives.

We will have a stall in Clydebank shopping centre and Clyde Shop Mobility on Monday November 11, Clydebank Health Centre on Tuesday November 12 and the Chest, Heart & Stroke community hub in Dumbarton Town Centre on Wednesday November 13.

We’re also hosting a larger event in Clydebank Leisure Centre on November 14 which will include therapy tasters, quizzes and information stalls.

The events are part of the national Alcohol Awareness Week, which this year focuses on the impact alcohol has on our bodies, our lives and our loves.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Mags Mackenzie, explained: “Alcohol is part of our culture — almost our national identity, so it can make it difficult for people to recognise when it is having a negative impact on their lives.

“You don’t need to be a problem drinker for alcohol to cause problems in your life. It can affect your health, your family, your work and you might not be aware of the scale of the impact.

“We’ll be out and about with our alcohol awareness pop-up stalls chatting to people about low risk guidelines and sharing tips and ideas on how to reduce drinking levels.”

Although alcohol is associated with socialising and relaxation it is in fact a depressant, so our Steps to Well-being team will be joining some of the pop-up sessions to offer therapeutic tasters as a healthy alternative to booze.

Mags added: “A lot of people will pour a couple of glasses of wine or have a few beers when they go home from work to de-stress and relax. They don’t see that as a problem. But if you’re doing this most nights and perhaps socialising with friends at the weekend it all adds up.

“Alcohol is linked to over 60 medical conditions including at least six forms of cancer and anything over a bottle of wine or five pints of normal strength beer a week is above the government’s low risk drinking guidelines.

“Our Steps to Well-being team provide a range of complementary therapies. They have been offering this service to people accessing support at DACA for nearly a year and the benefits it has both on drinking and overall well-being are significant.

“So if you want to have a chat about your drinking or that of a loved one please come along to one of our events and tell us about alcohol and you.”

For more information call 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881 or pop into our offices at Westbridgend Lodge in Dumbarton and 82 Dumbarton Road in Clydebank.

DACA’s AGM and Annual Report — 2018–19

After 43 years of working in West Dunbartonshire, there are few local charities with the organisational memory, knowledge and experience which Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol (DACA) can bring to the community.

Our AGMs are always a timely reminder of this as we welcome back past and present clients, colleagues, volunteers, Board members, partners and funders.

DACA’s AGM at Dumbarton Burgh Hall on Tuesday October 22nd 2019

This year was an opportunity to reflect on both the successes and challenges we have encountered in 2018 and share some of our plans for the future.

One of the biggest hurdles we face at present is the number of people who are referred to the service but don’t make it in to attend an appointment. This isn’t a new problem; we’ve always been challenged by this. But our budgets are tighter and our services are busier, and we’re really feeling the impact of missed appointments at the moment.

So we’ve put in place several measures to try and address this, including our new START service. This provides a rapid triage response to anyone seeking support with their drinking, which allows us to ‘strike while the iron is hot’ and get people appointed very quickly.

We’re also directing people to our Open Social Drop-ins — including our Wednesday evening Supper Club in Dumbarton. These groups are light touch and unbureaucratic, offering people support in a very gentle and unconditional way. People who use these groups can give as well as receive support and encouragement, meaning that the groups have become stand-alone recovery communities. Our team love being part of the development of these compassionate communities.

So with the combination of a swift professional response and regular peer support, we hope that accessing our services is becoming easier for anyone looking to reduce their drinking. And we hope we’ll see an increase in new people coming over our threshold in the coming year.

AGM guests reviewing our Annual Report

Every year at DACA, we support around 400 people in direct service provision, and, on average, around 80% of these people enjoy a positive outcome in their recovery goals.

But research shows that 1 in 4 people are drinking above the government’s low risk guidelines — in West Dunbartonshire that’s close to 20,000 adults.

There are also at least 3,600 people in our community who are alcohol-dependent or drinking at hazardous levels — and we are only seeing a fraction of them.

Despite delivering a service in Dumbarton since 1976 and in Clydebank from the early 1990s we know we need to raise the organisation’s profile to reach different audiences.

To this end we will be doing more community events and improving our digital and social media presence in the coming year. We will also be making our Clydebank office more physically accessible.

We’ve always had a wide range of services for people to choose from because we recognise that no single approach will suit everyone when it comes to tackling alcohol problems. Now we’re adding in a range of engagement methods for the same reason. We hope that by using a mix of community events, word of mouth and digital/social media, we’ll open our doors to more people who need us.

Chairman David Wilson addressing the AGM guests

This year we introduced a new Steps to Wellbeing service. We have two therapists providing a range of complementary therapy treatments from both our Dumbarton and Clydebank offices every week. We pioneered this approach to tackling alcohol problems back in the 1990s but funding this service has been an ongoing challenge.

We’re delighted that at the start of the year the Board agreed to fund a one-year pilot from our reserves and we will be monitoring its impact as the year progresses.

Our Steps to Recovery project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund for five years completed its first full operational year offering a wide range of groups and activities from yoga to kayaking, craft-making to creative writing.

Our clients’ Arts and Crafts masterpieces on display

It was a pleasure to showcase some of our clients’ creative talents at the AGM, and craftwork also made a perfect leaving gift for Julie Lusk, the Head of Service for Addictions in West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, who we said goodbye to at the AGM as she moves on to a new career challenge in another locale.

At the end of the meeting, our chairman David Wilson presented some of our clients’ handiwork, along with a bunch of flowers to Julie who has been a good friend of DACA over the years and will be greatly missed.

Chairman David Wilson presents a gift to Julie Lusk, Head of Addictions, Mental Health and Learning Disability, West Dunbartonshire CHCP

Digital copies of our annual report are available to download from www.daca.org.uk or contact us on 01389 731456 if you would prefer a print version to be sent to you.

AGM guest reviewing the Annual Report
AGM guests networking
AGM guests networking
AGM guests networking
AGM guests networking
John Dalrymple from DACA’s Executive Committee (right) networking with guests
AGM guests networking