Opinion Former Article

Booze-free bar for recovery alcoholics and addicts gets BIG funding in Liverpool

A booze-free Liverpool bar, that provides an inviting social space for people who have suffered with addiction, has received £10,000 in Lottery good cause cash to expand its community choir. This comes in the same week that the National Lottery celebrates 18 years of changing lives through its funding.

The Brink is one of 125 enterprising projects across the North West who will be sharing over £1,084,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s popular small grants programme, Awards for All. Like The Brink, many of the groups will be using funding to improve the futures of people in their communities.

The Raucous Caucus Recovery Choir will enable those taking part to develop confidence and self-esteem and integrate into their community. They will perform at voluntary and community organisations and also at local and national events. Members of the choir have dealt with serious and life-threatening addictions, including addictions to drugs and alcohol but also addictions to gambling and eating disorders. Choir members must be sober for 24 hours before they can join in rehearsals and family members are also welcome to take part.

Jacquie Johnston-Lynch, Head of Service Action on Addiction Merseyside who run The Brink, said: "So many people with addiction issues that I speak to say they don't really feel like they belong anywhere. Taking part in this choir helps them to feel part of something, improves their confidence and begin to understand all about communities - just through singing."

Also receiving funding this month is Chronicle Community Outreach in Oldham, who will use their £9,980 grant to run journalism and reporting workshops for local young people so they can get involved in setting up a magazine. This will enable the young people to increase their skills and employment opportunities, while helping to tackle social issues and increasing community cohesion amongst the young people.

Moor Nook Allotment and Gardening Society in Trafford receives £9,676 to set up a community beekeeping project on their allotment site, and will be creating a landscaped beekeeping meadow. Local people will then get the chance to learn about environmental issues and get involved with volunteering with the project. It will also create an educational space for local schools and community groups to enjoy.

Meanwhile in Bolton, Lever Park School will be using their £8,844 grant to set up a new afterschool club and a radio station, which will broadcast at lunchtimes. There will also be a celebratory event for children at the school, which they will get involved in organising. This will provide opportunities for pupils to develop communication, negotiation and teamwork skills and reduce their isolation by making new friends.

£9,800 also goes to West Lancs Ark CIC in Skelmersdale, Lancashire to deliver one-to-one and group advice sessions on job search techniques, drugs awareness and life skills. This will give local unemployed people the chance to improve their employment prospects, grow in confidence and learn how present themselves at interviews.

Helen Bullough, Big Lottery Fund’s Head of the North West region, said: “With the National Lottery’s 18th birthday this week, it is the perfect opportunity to announce yet more life changing funding across the North West. If there are any communities out there with an exciting idea for a project that will help to change lives, please visit the Awards for All website to see if a Big Lottery Fund grant could help to get your idea off the ground.”

Further Information
Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours media contact: 07867 500 572
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
Ask BIG a question here: https://ask.biglotteryfund.org.uk
Follow BIG on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BigLotteryFund #BIGlf
Find BIG on facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFund

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 £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

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