A DRUG and alcohol recovery service has opened a new facility to help people gain new skills and qualifications, to help in their long-term recovery.

NY Horizons, which operates from five main hubs across North Yorkshire, has opened a new IT suite from its Harrogate centre.

The organisation provides early intervention, prevention and recovery and mentoring services to help people address alcohol or substance misuse.

The new computer room will also now allow volunteers and mentors to help them access online training and offer clients one-to-one support in accessing IT equipment and develop skills and knowledge around technology.

It received funding from the friends and family of a former user of the service, Jake Bryan and a grant of £1,661 from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund.

Commissioner Julia Mulligan was invited to officially open the suite and to unveil a plaque that highlighted her support and donations in Jake Bryan’s memory.

She said: “The first time I visited NY Horizons, I met service users first-hand who talked about the work that is done there and it made a really big impact on me, particularly trying to understand a little more about the problems that they have to overcome and how difficult it is to stay on track in the long term.

“For me, that’s what was so important about the facility, that it’s an opportunity for people to get skills and qualifications that will help with long-term recovery and that’s why I wanted to support it so much.”

The funding paid for four desktop PCs and an all-in-one printer, scanner and copier.

Steve Flood, peer mentor and volunteer coordinator at NY Horizons, expressed his gratitude to Mrs Mulligan, the Bryan family, and local businesses for supporting the event.

He said: “To offer a facility like this gives our clients the chance to link into community resources, to access new skills, training courses and education, as well as opening an essential gateway to employment.

“Julia’s support has been outstanding throughout the process and it’s her taking time out to see what we do that made this happen in the first place, so thank you to Julia and her team.”

As a service, NY Horizons has been commissioned to support clients to not only address their substance or alcohol misuse, but to also start exploring the next steps they can take in other areas of their life.

A 59-year-old service user from Harrogate, who has been sober for seven months, puts her recovery down to the support provided by NY Horizons. She said: “They were extremely patient with me, they helped me to stop drinking by providing the support that I needed. And now there is always someone I can ring when I feel vulnerable.

“These computers will help a lot of people. It’s a homely environment for people like me who may not feel comfortable in a different setting. I am more likely to do an educational course now. I am looking into doing alcohol and drugs counselling because of the life experience I have, so I am sure the computers will help with that.”

Launched in May 2013, Julia Mulligan's Community Fund is for local organisations or individuals who need money to help fund a new community safety project or scheme.

Funds from £500 up to £20,000 can be awarded to projects that support communities within North Yorkshire.

If you have a project that could benefit from the fund, you can apply by visiting; northyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/CommunityFund