THREE local councillors visited a local facility last week to see what was on offer for service users.

Last week, SNP members Christina Larsen, Davina McTiernan and Jean McClung paid a visit to the Simon Community in Saltcoats.

The Simon Community offer emergency accommodation through referrals from North Ayrshire Council and has 19 rooms and four flats at their Green Street base.

They also have a small garden which allows for service users to learn about planting with a local Garden Tutor. The councillors met with Service Manager Stewart Nixen and Operations Manager Margaret Graham and were given a tour of the facility as well as having the opportunity to learn and discuss the process and support Adult Service Users receive during and after their stay.

Councillor Larsen said: “The facility is fantastic.

"You could feel there was a very relaxed atmosphere and from speaking with a Service User, they were very clear they found it to be a positive environment.

"The support someone receives when finding themselves in this situation is important as it is fundamental in assisting them to move onto a positive destination." The staff are very good at looking at the individual and being guided by them as to how they can best offer support to them. It is also great to hear staff have built up a close working partnership with the Community Police and local businesses”

Councillor McTiernan added: “I have so much praise for the staff of this centre. You walk in and the enthusiasm is there to see and feel. With a homely atmosphere and wonderful garden area.”

Councillor McClung said: “It was a privilege to meet the highly committed and caring staff at the Simon Community as well as some of the Service Users.

"Experience has taught me that homelessness is an issue which transcends social boundaries.

"Due to break-ups within families and relationships, any but the most affluent within society could be in this situation.

"Indeed, there are many within our community who are a mere pay-cheque removed from this position.”

Cllr Larsen concluded: “We were delighted to spend time at the Centre and will continue to visit and offer our support in any way we can.”