MEMBERS of a Greenock support organisation remembered absent friends as they held a poignant get together.

Greenock Recovery and Support Group (GRASP) organised the event to allow people to take time to remember those they have lost.

The event also gave them a chance to speak to other people who have experienced the same grief and difficult times as them.

Around 30 people turned out to the drop-in session.

Treasurer Robert Whaley said: “We had a good turnout, which meant a lot.

“Many people brought in pictures of family members they had lost and shared their stories.

"They were able to speak to people who understood.

“I did a speech at the event telling people about the group and how we can help because that’s all we want to do - help as many people as we can.”

Robert said the group members made a real effort to reach out to other people.

He said: “I take my hat off to the group.

"Some of them are shy and quite reserved but they mingled and shared and I saw a real boost in their confidence.

"I was so proud of them.”

Also attending the event were pupils from St Columba’s High School, pictured, who Robert had visited to give a talk about the impact alcohol can have.

He said: “I visited the school and the boys were really interested and tuned in to what I was saying.

"They asked if they could visit the group and I told them about the absent friends event.

“They came along and met the group, were so well mannered and it was lovely to have them along.”

Provost Martin Brennan also attended the event and says GRASP play a very important role in helping people come to terms with grief.

He said: “Any form of addiction inflicts misery on its victims and, tragically, on their families.

“It is an illness and people die of it.

"At this event the members of GRASP recognised and celebrated their absent friends and that is absolutely right.

“Mother Theresa said that the noblest work we can do here on earth is to look after others.

"That's what GRASP is trying to do.”

The group have been joined by five new members and Robert is hoping that it will continue to grow.

He said: “We want people to know we are there for the community, not only at meetings but all the time."

* Anyone interested in finding out more about the GRASP group can stop by the Crown Care Centre on Tuesdays or Thursdays between noon and 4pm. Alternatively Robert can be contacted on 07766692045.