South West Wales

Swansea Drugs Project building 'offers new services'

Drug addict drinking a measure of the drug methadone
Image caption The drugs project helps people tackle substance misuse

A drug and alcohol misuse centre is promising to deliver more services with the opening of a revamped building at a cost of almost £2m.

Swansea Drugs Project is moving from "two cramped terraced houses" to a renovated former British Legion club.

The four-storey office includes a kitchen to teach catering as part of the skills development of clients.

Director Ifor Glyn said: "Now we've got a building that can house all the staff and can house a lot of new services."

The project has grown from when it was started 27 years ago by a group of local residents concerned about drugs and alcohol misuse in the area.

The number of staff has risen in that time from three to 33, with the project outgrowing its leased premises in Calvert Terrace in the city centre.

In 2008, the project landed a £1.3m grant from the assembly government, and a further £450,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

In addition to the kitchen, the facilities in the converted British Legion club include an IT suite, gym, a creche and a complementary therapy room.

Mr Glyn said that as well as targeting substance misuse reduction, the new facilities should enable the project to help develop individuals' skills and encourage clients to look at training opportunities and employment.

He said: "It's probably the biggest grant that the assembly government has made in substance misuse in Wales and hopefully they will be really pleased when they see the result.

'Health team'

"I'm not aware of a substance misuse centre with such modern facilities.

"The centre is not just about offering a sympathetic ear and cup of tea, it is about enabling and supporting individuals and families to make changes and improvements in their lives."

He said other agencies, including a health team, would be using the building to help clients.

Social Services Minister Edwina Hart is due to open the building on Thursday.

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