A safe space for people who are found drunk on the streets of Aberdeen has been given the offer of a year’s reprieve.
The designated place of safety at the Albyn House centre on Dee Street, which had been under threat of funding cuts earlier this year, provides a bed and support for those found drunk and incapable in the city.
The Aberdeen City Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP), of which NHS Grampian and Police Scotland are members, has offered funding to keep the drying-out centre open for another year.
The publicly funded charity Alcohol Support run the scheme which provides care and support for around 800 people a year.
Police Scotland are said to have had a change of heart having held discussions with staff at Albyn House.
Last night, north-east MSP Richard Baker, who visited the centre last week, said: “It’s great news that Police Scotland have reconsidered their decision to withdraw funding from Albyn House, it was always going to be a very damaging decision and counter-productive.
“The point is that if Albyn House wasn’t there the people who are currently using the service would have to be taken to accident and emergency by ambulance or put in a police cell.
“The whole proposal made no sense in the beginning. I think it’s great news.”
Although the charity receive donations, it relies primarily on funding from both Police Scotland and NHS Grampian to keep its doors open.
The offer comes after the news a month ago that Police Scotland said they would be withdrawing their portion of the funding from April 2015.
Brian Cowie, the service manager of the facility, said: “We have always maintained a hugely good relationship with the police, and are delighted that they have joined the NHS to offer to fund us for another year.
“The important part of what we do isn’t helping people to sleep off their problems with alcohol, but to intervene in their struggles and support them in the future with a care plan.
“By being part of our group, it can stop people struggling with alcohol from feeling that they have to suffer alone.
“We’re over the moon that we have been offered another year, it will give us breathing space to go forward with our current work and keep appealing for more funding from elsewhere.”
Aberdeen City ADP said in a statement: “This further year will allow time for a wider group of organisations, including the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership and the Community Safety Partnership, to closely examine medium/long term outcomes that they want to achieve for vulnerable people who are acutely affected by alcohol and other drugs.”