Fight is on to save addiction service from closure

Serenity cafe web

A campaign has been launched to save the Serenity Cafe, which offers a space for those in recovery to relax and socialise

3rd May 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A safe haven for those recovering from drug and alcohol problems faces an uncertain future.

The Serenity Café in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Road, provides a place for those in recovery to relax.

However the service – which is run by charity Comas – faces the challenge of finding new premises for the first time in a decade. Comas must vacate its base by the end of June, and the charity is keen to ensure there is no disruption in its services.

A campaign, entitled Save Our Serenity, has been founded to help the charity raise £25,000 to meet the costs of securing a new home.

Comas chief executive Fiona Morrison said: “Moving premises after 10 years is a massive challenge, both practically and financially. To secure our future we need funds to find a new premises, pay a deposit, start-up costs, refurbishment costs, moving costs and other expenses. We are a small charity which has achieved a lot over the last 10 years by working hard with limited resources.”

The charity has helped thousands of people in the capital on their road to recovery, and has said the closure of the café would mean a vital service is lost.

However staff are hopeful that the future of the service can be secured.

Morrison added: “While the news that we have to move was unexpected, we are very positive about this change. We are confident that we can find another suitable venue, and that this is the beginning of a new phase in Comas’ life – one in which we continue doing the great work we have started.”

The café is one of the charity’s key services, and is mainly staffed by those who are in recovery.

The ethos of the café is to provide a space where people who are facing up to their addiction issues can meet others who have been on similar journeys to recovery.

One service user said: “It made me realise that I wasn’t the only one who felt like that - overwhelmed or isolated.

“Rather than going to a therapist who has read loads of books, it was actually talking to people who have lived it and continue to live it, and being able to say, 'I tried this' or 'that helped.' And I found that much more powerful and helpful."

More information on the Save Our Serenity campaign is available online or by using the hashtag #SOSEdinburgh on social media.