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Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Carla Tal­bot

It said the move is part of its com­mit­ment to sup­port­ing the lo­cal econ­omy.

Coun­cil­lor Roddy McCuish said: “Over that week­end peo­ple can come to He­lens­burgh, park free of charge in the pay-and­dis­play car parks and en­joy ev­ery­thing the win­ter fes­ti­val has to of­fer, as well as so­cialise and shop.

“Win­ter fes­ti­vals in our main towns are big draws and we’re com­mit­ted to do­ing what we can to sup­port them.

“Ob­vi­ously to keep our roads and car parks in good con­di­tion we have to charge for park­ing but we are happy to waive charges to sup­port lo­cal events.”

Park­ing machines in the off-street car parks will be bagged up on De­cem­ber 1 for the du­ra­tion of the fes­ti­val. A group of lo­cal peo­ple re­cov­er­ing from drug ad­dic­tion will take to the stage to per­form a show that helped them change their lives.

The men and women have spent months pre­par­ing for the per­for­mance along­side staff and vol­un­teers at re­cov­ery cen­tre Jeri­cho House.

For many it has pro­vided them with a chance to over­come their fears and build their self-es­teem and con­fi­dence.

This will be the third and fi­nal show of the year at the Denny Civic Theatre, where they will per­form in front of packed crowds in­clud­ing their loved ones.

Kath­leen McCal­lion, from Dum­bar­ton, said she strug­gled to look peo­ple in the eye un­til she be­gan tak­ing part in the drama work­shops.

The 31-year-old moved to Jeri­cho House in Greenock, set up by Dum­bar­ton wo­man Mar­garet Di­a­mond, in March this year af­ter strug­gling with her ad­dic­tion for 16 years.

But now she look­ing for­ward to get­ting up on stage in front of her hus­band and chil­dren, who are go­ing along to sup­port her, and show them how far she has come.

She told us: “I was so shut-down when I first came to Jeri­cho and I didn’t want to speak to any­one or take part in any­thing.

“I had all these masks that I put up from tak­ing drugs for so long but slowly I started to en­joy the things I was tak­ing part in.

“At first get­ting on stage was re­ally daunt­ing but now I feel like a to­tally dif­fer­ent per­son.

“My hus­band and chil­dren are com­ing to watch me and I can’t wait for them to see me on stage and to make them proud.”

Six staff mem­bers will also join the group on stage on the night.

All the staff and vol­un­teers are also in re­cov­ery, in­clud­ing Stacey Buck­ley, 32, who re­turned to Jeri­cho House six weeks ago af­ter suc­cess­fully com­plet­ing the pro­gramme.

Stacey said: “It’s a good bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery­one here. We are all work­ing to­gether and it helps cre­ate unity among us all.

“We are all go­ing through the same thing.

“It re­ally helped me dur­ing my time at Jeri­cho and that’s why and wanted to come back and help.

“It re­ally helps peo­ple grow. It helped me change my life.”

The show on De­cem­ber 21 is ti­tled ‘Jeri­cho X Fac­tor’.

The re­cov­ery cen­tre puts on a num­ber of shows and per­for­mances. This year res­i­dents per­formed in the suc­cess­ful ‘An­other Habit’ and ‘Jeri­cho Takes The Bis­cuit’.

Mar­garet Di­a­mond set up the drugs re­cov­ery cen­tre in 2002 and has helped hun­dreds of men and women from across Dum­bar­ton, Alexan­dria and be­yond get their lives back on track.

She de­cided en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to over­come their fears through drama 120517JERICHO_ HOUSE_SHOW_001 would be a good method to help with their re­cov­ery, while help­ing to raise funds for the cen­tre.

The shows are writ­ten and starred in by the res­i­dents and staff, al­low­ing them to ad­dress ex­pe­ri­ences they have faced be­cause of their ad­dic­tion.

Mar­garet ex­plained: “It is part of the pro­gramme and it helps ad­dress some of the is­sues they face dur­ing their time at Jeri­cho House.

“And the feel­ing they get from do­ing it is just bril­liant.

“It also re­ally helps peo­ple en­gage with their fam­i­lies who come to watch. A lot of the peo­ple who come along have gone through the dif­fi­culty of ad­dic­tion with their loved one so it’s an op­por­tu­nity for them to un­der­stand the sit­u­a­tion from their point of view.

“It can also help them make light of some dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions and make it eas­ier for peo­ple to un­der­stand.

“It can be a re­ally help­ful to help re­build fam­ily re­la­tion­ships.”

Jeri­cho X Fac­tor is com­ing to the Denny Civic Theatre on De­cem­ber 21. Tick­ets cost £5. Con­tact 01475 741950 or 01475 742383 for more in­for­ma­tion.

We are all go­ing through the same thing. It re­ally helped me.

Look­ing the part Stacey Buck­ley, left Stage stars Res­i­dent Kath­leen McCal­lion and staff mem­ber Carol Docherty

Play The cast of last year’s show

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