A GROUP which helps people battle booze problems is going from strength to strength as it celebrates three years as an official charity.

Greenock Recovery Alcohol Support Project (GRASP) held an event at the Auchmountain Resource Centre to mark the occasion and thank everyone who has supported them over the years.

The group, which has around 17 regular members, has been running since 2013 but only started operating as a charity three years ago and has grown since.

Treasurer Robert Whaley said: “The group is really starting to build.

"It is great to see more people attending and looking for support.

“This is a place for people to go for friendship and everyone is made most welcome.

“Celebrating three years as a charity is great and we are now working towards being self-funded by making and selling jewellery and crafts."

Robert says a lot of the group's success is down to one unsing hero in particular.

He told the Tele: “Our charity status is down to Alan Deans from Inverclyde Council community and learning development (CLD) , who helped us out in his spare time.

"He has been instrumental and we can’t thank him enough for his support.”

Alan says he is delighted to see the charity reach another milestone and is confident they will be around to support people for years to come.

He said: “I moved from West Dunbartonshire Council in 2016 and this group was one of the first I came across in the area.

“They were struggling to get charity status and weren’t sure how to go about applying for funding.

“I supported and encouraged them and now they are relying less and less on funding and are becoming more self-reliant.

“The membership is steady but there is still room for them to grow.

"The project will hopefully be here for years to come.”

Member Mary Kelley has been attending for a year and says she has made many new friends.

She added: "The people here have made me feel like a new person and I know we can talk about anything.

“The group is fun and we really see people blossom.

"It really is such a special group.”

Councillor Jim McEleny was invited along to the celebration and praised the project team for their work to help vulnerable people in our community.

He said: "The support they offer is great - they reach out to people and are there for them.

“They have great support from Your Voice and the CLD team and will go from strength to strength.”