Prison to Rehab Protocol

The Prison to Rehab Protocol sets out the process for prison based staff, residential rehabilitation providers and individuals on accessing the Prison to Rehab Pathway. The pathway supports individuals leaving prison who would benefit from accessing abstinence based treatment on release.

6. Hebrides Alpha Project

Location: 48b Upper Coll, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0LT

6.1 Ethos

The Hebrides Alpha Project provides the only residential recovery facility in the Western Isles of Scotland. Serving a community of approximately 27k people from The Butt of Lewis to the small island of Vatersay. We have a six-bed unit which has four spaces for men and two for women. This facility is staffed by five full time support workers, and four relief staff.

Hebrides Alpha Project is an abstinence based supported accommodation service. We run a program which has both in-house and external recovery meetings. Our residents are regularly signposted to whatever groups may be of benefit to them in their own circumstances. We aim to get all residents into some form of employment or volunteering while in the project and if this is not possible for whatever reason we have a polycrub adjacent to the buildings which offers a space for growing and for taking part in various art projects. Our aim is that we support people to grow in multiple life skills through recovery, so that they are ready to go to their own tenancy and have options for work.

Residents are encouraged to stay for six months and have the option of up to twelve months. It is in those timescales where we see a far higher percentage of people remaining abstinent. It is possible for detox to take place within the project under the supervision of the local drug & alcohol nurses. The project has a strong working relationship with other services such as GPs, CPN's, homeless services, housing services, pharmacies to name but a few.

We use several approaches as part of our therapeutic recovery program. Residents who are not in some form of employment or volunteering would receive three 1-1 sessions per week, following methods based on the principles of CBT and motivational interviewing. We also use 12 step, and the Life Recovery Bible. Those who are working, or volunteering would have two of these sessions per week. There are two in-house group meetings every week which are compulsory, and also a range of external meetings in community which residents attend.

The Hebrides Alpha Project is faith based, and we recognise that some persons seeking recovery may not wish to consider this aspect of becoming well as being important or relevant to their own lives. They may even have alternative ideas in terms of faith. This to us is no barrier to anyone coming into the project. All are welcome regardless of personal persuasion.

The program is followed up with six months of aftercare for those who have completed the program.

6.2 Admission criteria and process

Criteria for suitability

  • Desire for changed life through abstinence
  • Any referral would potentially need to involve our local Drug/alcohol community nurses or GP for side-by-side assessment.
  • If detox is required a robust plan should be in place between services.
  • Demonstration of desire for sobriety is essential. This can be evidenced through the attending of work/support groups within the prison.

The Hebrides Alpha Project can only take referrals who are from the Outer Hebrides or have accommodation there.

Assessment process

Project is staffed from 09:15 – 21:45 during which time it can be contacted regarding referrals.

Assessment can be carried out virtually. Video calling is preferred. Staff are happy to work with SPS to work on good contact avenues. We require health assessment/Risk assessment from SPS.


The project can pick up from local ferry terminal or Airport.

Contact details

David Graham
01851 820830



Back to top