The New Year celebrations can be an added hurdle for people with addictions, but a recent grant means there’s more support for people in West Cumbria.
Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS) provides 1:1 support for people who use substances and want help to change.
But pressures on resources meant its operation in West Cumbria was lagging behind other parts of the county until it won two years funding to employ a volunteer co-ordinator.
The £24,000 received from United Utilities Legacy Fund means CADAS has been able to start training a cohort of committed community activists in West Cumbria to help coach and support people on an individual basis.
CADAS manager Leigh Williams said: “We know from first-hand experience in other parts of the county that using community peers in recovery support is very powerful and effective. Some of our volunteers are people who are recovering themselves, and being able to give something back has a positive impact on their well-being too.
“Before we got the grant back in March, we could not advertise our services very well in West Cumbria because we didn’t have a robust infrastructure of support. But we were still inundated with referrals and people were having to wait around 3 months for support.
“Our new co-ordinator is helping us train volunteers and deliver our much needed service to communities which can be isolated and not well served with public transport. Our volunteers are champions who help down break down stigma and barriers and this year will be helping us deliver campaigns like Dry January.”
CADAS is one of 25 charity and community groups so far to get cash from United Utilities’ £1m West Cumbria legacy fund which is investing in areas affected by work on the company’s new West Cumbria Water Supply Scheme. When complete, the scheme will boost local water supplies while protecting the environment.
Some of the money is also being allocated to woodlands projects.
John Hilton, United Utilities West Cumbria Project Director said: “We’ve been blown away by the great work being delivered by unsung heroes all over West Cumbria and it’s an honour to be able to help. The idea behind the grants is to leave a long-term legacy which will keep improving the lives of West Cumbrians long after construction finishes.”
Community applications to the Cumbria Legacy Fund are administered by Cumbria Community Foundation while woodlands projects are administered by Cumbria Woodlands, on United Utilities’ behalf.
For more information or application details please visit:
Cumbria Legacy Fund: www.cumbriafoundation.org
Cumbria Tree Fund: www.cumbriawoodlands.co.uk