What we do
We run a workshop restoring vintage vehicles where participants who are within recovery from alcohol and/ or substance misuse issues can take part. Currently, we are running morning and afternoon sessions from 10am-12pm, and 1-4pm. Participants are also welcome to take part in the workshop for the full day.
All materials and protective equipment are provided. The programme hopes to offer individuals a space to improve their employability skills and gain volunteer work within community-based projects. We are also closely linked with Elevate and situated across from the Common Wheel in Bridgeton, Glasgow.
I would like to thank you for the tour and information today. I found it very interesting and I felt very nostalgic, taking me back to my childhood and seeing the transport that were on the roads when I was young. I think that the work you all do is fantastic in restoring and preserving the history of transport.
Outreach Worker from the North East Recovery Community (NERC)
I am really enjoying the workshop, using the machinery and getting to know others. You never really see these types of vehicles anywhere else.
Back on the Road Participant
This programme is more than about grease and oil, it is about community and employability for participants too.
Senior Officer from the Alcohol and Drug Partnership
I feel more confident now.
Back on the Road Participant
The early days
Back on the Road (BotR) was established in 1999 as the first of six Employment Projects of Scotland Against Drugs (SAD) which was a Scottish Government initiative to tackle drug misuse in Scotland. BotR was set up to provide opportunities for those experiencing addiction to gain work experience and community.
Between 1999 and 2008, participants had the opportunity to develop skills related to bus restoration such as: coachbuilding, painting, sheet metal working, mechanics and upholstering. In addition, there were opportunities to develop associated skills of driving, fork lift driving and to sit certificates in Health and Safety and First Aid.
2008 - Today
The Scottish Government published its drugs strategy “The Road to Recovery” in May 2008 and Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action in March 2009. Both signalled the need to ensure that local delivery of alcohol and drugs services was effective, accountable and able to contribute to national and local outcomes.
When it was announced by the Scottish Government that the work of SAD was being integrated into other Government departments, the Trustees of Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust (GVVT) decided that as part of its social responsibility undertaking, it would take over the running of BotR. This happened in 2004 with funding continuing initially from SAD, until its closure and then from the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives for two further years.
Between 2008 and 2009 BotR developed a business plan with partner agencies that built on these strategies and developed a programme that was integrated with local services and local community activities. Regular attendance at the East Addiction Rehabilitation Services (EARS) group meetings and East Community Addiction Forum (ECAF) meetings ensured that we could both provide alcohol and drug related services with updates on BotR activities. Much of this networking continues today and as services have changed over the years BotR has continued to develop new partnerships that complement our service user programme.
Providing a programme which allows people to feel welcome and supported is a key aspect of what BotR provides. “Listen to Bridgeton”, a short documentary directed and produced by Callum Rice was filmed in 2017. It gives an insight into what BotR and the facility has meant to one of the BotR participants, seen through his eyes. He talks about how unique the facility is and the sanctuary it had given him which helped him come to terms and overcome previous traumas associated with his experience of addiction. The participant also spoke about the characters and personalities he met during his time at Bridgeton and togetherness he felt which assisted him in his recovery. He continues to visit and keep in touch.
Back on the Road was set up as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2019. It continues to work alongside the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust but as its own entity.