Free booze for alcoholics

27 July, 2007

Recovering alcoholics can stock up on their favourite tipple courtesy of a scheme to get them back into work.

Working Links, a public-private voluntary partnership set up to help long-term unemployed people back into work, gives newly-employed workers a voucher to tide them over until they get paid.

The voucher can be spent in more than 70 shops - including Threshers and Wine Rack.

One new worker in the scheme told

The Sun: "I couldn't believe it when I saw you could use them at Threshers.

"I used some of the vouchers

for other things, but I was straight down to the offy first. My mates

were too. It's too good to turn down."

Working Links said in a statement: "Vouchers are distributed to help clients pay for

essentials in preparation for heading back to work . These vouchers can

be spent on goods ranging from new work clothes and

tools to food for the family. We believe the voucher system provides important assistance to individuals and their families at a time when they are entering employment and may face additional household spending.

"The system is carefully managed

and in most cases vouchers are provided only once. Our people invest in getting to know each individual, their needs and expectations, and tailor our service to meet their individual needs."

A spokesman said: "We would be very depressed if people were actually spending the vouchers on alcohol."

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