A CENTRE which helps support people affected by drugs has been awarded £100,000 ahead of a visit by the leaders of Scotland's two biggest political parties.

Bluevale Community Club in Glasgow is due to host First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross today.

The pair agreed on the unusual joint visit after a heated exchange about Scotland's drugs crisis during First Minister's Questions last month.

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Bluevale has been calling for more funding so it can extend its programmes, providing a "whole system approach" to drugs recovery.

Ahead of this morning's visit, the Scottish Government announced the organisation based in Glasgow would be receiving almost £100,000 over the next two years.

The organisation's founder Kenny Trainer, welcomed the funding and encouraged Ms Sturgeon and Mr Ross to "put their political differences aside".

He said: "We welcome the visit by Scotland’s two main political leaders today to see first-hand not only what we are trying to achieve here at Bluevale Community Club but also meet the people who remind us daily why we do it."

Commenting on the funding, Mr Trainer added: "We have run our club on a voluntary basis and welcome the investment from the Scottish Government that will allow us to employ two part time members of staff, allowing us to focus more on developing a whole community response to recovery.

"Prior to this funding we were unsure if we would last beyond Christmas."

He has also publicly backed the Tories' Right to Recovery bill, which guarantees treatment for anyone who needs it.

The Bill has also been backed by Annemarie Ward, CEO of Faces & Voices of Recovery UK.

She said: “Scotland’s politicians coming to our communities is welcome but only if it means they start acting. For years we have campaigned behind the slogan, ‘You keep talking, we keep dying,’ because that’s what has happened.

"Politicians keep fighting while more lives are lost every day to addiction because we can’t access services that can help us get well."

She urged all politicians to "stop the blame game and back the Right to Recovery Bill" adding: "The solutions we have seen so far are not working. More lives are being lost needlessly every day."

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The number of people who have died from drugs in Scotland reached its highest level last year, and makes Scotland the drugs capital of Europe.

Ms Sturgeon said: "The work being done by Bluevale Community Club in their local area helping people to live healthier lifestyles through their activity classes and recovery drop-ins is fantastic. It is an excellent example of how sustained, meaningful activities and supportive social networks are key to building stronger communities.

“The funding of almost £100,000 will help them focus on expanding these services further and give employment to young people who have given their time free until now."

Mr Ross said the drugs crisis was "our national shame" which "demands political leadership."

He said: "“Communities scarred by drugs need action, not more empty words. This visit must result in solutions, not more of the same.

"Frontline experts and families who have lost loved ones back our Right to Recovery Bill. We need the government to come onboard.

"I want to directly appeal to Nicola Sturgeon - put the politics aside, back our Bill, and let's finally give people in our communities hope that things will get better."