Recovery cafe closes as founder slams lack of addiction support

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A Mid Argyll group set up to help addiction recovery is set to fold.

Gill Hutton

Grub’s Up recovery cafe was established in 2017 to help people recover from addiction – and to serve delicious food to the public.

Initially using Lochgilphead Parish Church Hall, in recent months Grub’s Up has been searching for its own premises to expand its services.

The search, though has proved unsuccessful.

In an email message to addiction support agencies dated December 7, Grub’s Up founder Gill Hutton said: ‘…after Grub’s Up Christmas Lunch next week, Friday December 14, we will be closing the cafe down indefinitely.’

Ms Hutton claimed volunteer numbers had tailed off for various reasons, adding: ‘We recognised there were issues with people’s motivation about four or five months ago and we have voiced our concerns for months about this.

‘Many people will understand that a huge part of one’s addiction is boredom. We have only provided recovery options for our volunteers, but the cafe is just not enough for people to maintain their interest.

‘We had hoped to have secured the Red Cross building where we wanted to open a community hub, where Grub’s Up would play a small but vital part. We would still have run the cafe on a Friday and had a full recovery day during the week.

‘Our hope was that the whole community used the building and ‘dropped in’ for numerous activities throughout the day and night.’

Existing addiction support services are also in Ms Hutton’s sights.

She said: ‘It has become clear that there are absolutely no provisions or help for people actually in recovery. Services and money only cater for people who are still living through the horrors and despair of addiction and/or mental health issues; well, you get to see a practitioner once a fortnight.

‘There are no peer support groups, no survivor groups, no group activities, no holistic approach understanding.’

Ms Hutton concluded: ‘We would like to apologise to everyone who attends every week and assure them that although we have to shut the cafe we will not go down quietly.’