Graduation to celebrate breaking free of drug addiction

A special graduation is being held in an Aberdeen church later this month to celebrate a group of people – a number of which are from the Fraserburgh area – who have broke free from drug addiction.

The Teen Challenge North East Scotland graduation ceremony will take place at the King’s Community Church, on the city’s King Street, on the evening of Friday, February 25.

The event is being held to mark a total of eight men and one woman completing a Christian rehabilitation programme, Teen Challenge, which helps people who have developed life controlling problems. The Fraserburgh graduates entered the programme after being referred by the town’s Solid Rock Café, which was established on Broad Street, in 1999, to tackle the drug epidemic that occurred in the Broch and surrounding areas at the time, and which continues to wreak havoc in the region.

The men completed the course at the charity’s Sunnybrae centre, near Fyvie, whilst the female graduate successfully completed the course at Teen Challenge’s women’s centre, Benaiah, near Mintlaw.

On the night of the graduation, attendees will have the opportunity to hear life stories from a number of the graduates – who will each receive certificates at the event – and Pastor Gordon Cruden, who oversees the running of both Sunnybrae and Benaiah, is encouraging anyone interested in attending to head along on the night.

He said: “This graduation is shaping up to be another tremendous celebration of restored lives.

“Usually when drugs and addicts are discussed, it involves harrowing stories of hurt and heartache, with dark tales of crimes being committed and families being destroyed. However, there are young people out there who are having their lives utterly transformed and it’s vital that these remarkable success stories are celebrated.”

Teen Challenge is a structured programme, based on Christian principles, which combines a mixture of class-based studies and practical workshops, which equip students with a range of skills in, for example, cooking, bricklaying, carpentry, painting and decorating, gardening, plumbing, electrical and administration. After completing the programme, the graduates continue to receive support from the charity in, for example, establishing homes, career and further education opportunities, and finance management.

For further information on Teen Challenge, please call Sold Rock Cafe on 01346 515608 or visit www.tcns.org.uk