A NEW Inverclyde service for couples and families suffering relationship difficulties has been given strong backing by a local MSP.

The SNP's Stuart McMillan visited the Scottish Marriage Care premises in Port Glasgow and said he was very impressed by the services on offer.

Mr McMillan met Scotland West area manager, Paul Burnside, and his colleagues at their base in the 7� John Wood Street Centre.

The MSP said: "I welcomed the opportunity to meet with Paul and his team in order to learn more about the relationship services they provide.

"I could tell from speaking to them they were passionate about their work and the support it can provide for people who are going through relationship difficulties.

"I'm delighted the organisation has opened a branch in Port Glasgow and hope the service will be fully utilised. I wish Paul and his team every success for the future." Mr Burnside said the meeting was very useful and helpful. He said: "Mr McMillan gave us a lot of his time to discuss issues. We discussed relationship support in the wider context as well as within the Inverclyde area." SMC links up with local services in health, education, social work and criminal justice, and also has a service for young people called 'REACT', delivering counselling and groupwork with other services, including violence reduction programmes.

Their services are supported by a helpline which is open during the week.

Its number is 0845 122 8655 and the national appointment number is 0845 271 2711.