Big Lottery Fund: Big Support sets drug users on road to recovery

A London project that supports people in recovery after undergoing substance misuse treatment is one of seven projects in the capital receiving Lottery good cause funding this month.

Over £1.7m is being shared across London from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme, which aims to help those most in need and build stronger communities.

Foundation66 receives just over £291,000 to work with people who have recently completed substance misuse treatment and need help to stay clean and improve their future prospects. All participants will have complex needs such as low confidence and mental and physical health issues. The project with work to ensure they don’t become isolated by encouraging and supporting them to volunteer in the community and even set up their own community projects.

Prior to this, participants will take part in group sessions where they will undergo training in life skills and drug and alcohol awareness while also gaining qualifications in volunteering, peer mentoring and community involvement. Participants will remain heavily involved in the running and development of the project and many of them will be encouraged to become peer mentors and deliver some of the training to new beneficiaries.

Sally Scriminger, Chief Executive of Foundation66 said: “Our Recovery in the Community scheme will help hundreds of people across London to maintain recovery after treatment for drug or alcohol misuse. We’ve placed a great emphasis on giving people the skills, confidence and support to carry out volunteering activities that benefit the communities they live in; reduce the stigma surrounding substance misuse, and help people to develop positive social networks.

“Many of our service users are very motivated to help in the community but currently don’t get the opportunities or have the confidence to do it alone – this scheme should go some way to address that.”

Just under £263,000 also goes to Age UK Bromley & Greenwich to reach out to isolated men over 55 through their Men in Sheds project, which is already running very successfully in other areas of the country. The project gives men the chance to meet up with other men in a workshop environment where they can make new friends, learn new skills and put existing skills to good use, which helps to improve their health and wellbeing. The project also provides an opportunity for participants to access information, advice and other services which they might not otherwise seek out.

Also receiving funding this month is Contact A Family in Lambeth which has been awarded just under £300,000 to support parents with disabled children to increase their skills, knowledge and confidence in parenting a disabled child. Parents will be offered face-to-face advice, information and support through a programme of workshops and activities. A family worker will also support families and help them apply for benefits, specialist equipment, home adaptations, respite and other financial assistance.

Alison Rowe, Head of Region for London said: “All of the projects receiving funding this month are working with vulnerable people and supporting them to increase their confidence and future prospects. Whether this is through helping addicts to remain in recovery or supporting parents so they can feel more confident in caring for their children, it all goes a long way towards helping people to face a far more positive and happier future.”

Further Information
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Notes to Editors
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded over £4.4bn.
• The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £28 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.