A RECOVERING alcoholic who has been sober for 24 years is starting a new group for local people struggling with alcohol dependency.

Colin McLatchie, a great-grandfather living in West Kilbride wants to use his experience and knowledge to help others. T

he 69-year-old has founded New Hope, a weekly meeting for people who want to work through issues relating to alcohol dependency in a mutually supportive environment. The group is not an AA meeting, which Colin acknowledges is not for everyone.

Before having his last drink, Colin did not really believe that there was much prospect of life being any different, and that there was no hope for change. But he was wrong, and he thinks his experience can act as a spur to others who have either entered into recovery, or really want to. He believes there is hope for everybody and things can be different.

Colin has developed his own strategies for coping that he hopes can inspire others.

He told the Herald: “I’m reaching out to individuals who have never been to an AA meeting but who would like to come along and hear what I’ve got to say and see if it’s for them or not.

“There’s a big stigma attached to AA and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

“We’re looking for people who haven’t had the courage to take that first, humongous big step forward. I’m here to help people in need. If I can help one person, then that’s worth it.”

Colin is being supported in delivering New Hope with Linda Hardy, a qualified counsellor with considerable experience working with clients in recovery.

Meetings will take place every Friday at 7pm at West Kilbride Community Centre. The first meeting is on Friday, September 22.

More information is available at https://www.hardyworkshops.com/newhope.