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Funding boost for alcohol treatment services

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Lancashire County Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council have secured funding to provide extra support for problem drinkers and people at risk of developing alcohol issues.

Public Health England have announced that £480,000 will be handed to the two councils.

This is part of a national scheme which focuses on supporting parents and homeless people. A total of £6m has been awarded to 23 projects across the country.

The funding will help to support people who have recovered from alcohol and drugs related issues to stay alcohol free and reduce the number of problem drinkers avoidably using NHS resources and causing nuisance in public areas.

The money will be invested in:

· Three new treatment units at homeless centres in Preston, Lancaster district and Burnley. The services will make it easier to help tackle alcohol addiction, prevent relapses, and provide wider health advice.
· Refurbishment of St John’s Court, Blackburn to include a new treatment and recovery hub, and a new treatment hub in Lancaster to house services to support parents and homeless people.
· Major improvements to the Academy, part of the Inspire treatment services centre in Burnley including shower facilities, a multi-use space where people can access treatment services, a new kitchen where people can develop cooking skills and knowledge of healthy eating and facilities, and offices where other health and wellbeing services can work alongside alcohol services. Improvements to Gateway East Lancashire, a Burnley-based facility which supports homeless people.

Lancashire County Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council commission Change Grow Live to provide alcohol treatment services across the area.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council’s director of public health and wellbeing, said: “It’s important we provide the right alcohol treatment support in the right place for people who are homeless.

“By accessing these services alongside other health, employment and housing services, people will be able to address any alcohol related issues while improving their wellbeing and quality of life.

“We’ll be able to open three new facilities in Preston, Lancaster and Burnley bringing support right to the heart of the communities that need them. We’ll also improve the facilities at the Academy and Gateway East Lancashire.

“I’m pleased we’ve secured this funding and look forward to working with Blackburn with Darwen Council and CGL on this important scheme.”

Dominic Harrison, director of public health for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “This money will ensure we can continue to improve services for Blackburn with Darwen residents. It also means we can work across Pennine Lancashire with our local government, health and substance misuse provider partners to support and protect against the harm that can be caused by alcohol abuse and addiction.

“It will enable us to look at providing some innovative solutions to the issues, including use of new technology, improved detox services, spaces where people can improve their wellbeing by taking part in activities such as mindfulness, and opportunities for integrated care between health, social care, housing and alcohol treatment services.”

Nikki Armitage, director at Change Grow Live, said: “Increasing access to and engagement with alcohol treatment services is a major priority for us. Unfortunately, we know that there are some members of our community who, for often different reasons, find it particularly hard to access the support they need.

“This funding is a welcome boost that will allow us to work in partnership with Lancashire County Council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to reach more members of the community who need us.

“This includes functioning dependent drinkers living and working in our communities, as well as vulnerable groups such as the homeless population, who are not currently engaging with alcohol treatment. Ultimately the aim is to ensure that as many as possible get the help they need, before they reach crisis point.”

For more information about the Funding, visit: www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-awarded-to-23-projects-to-help-those-affected-by-alcohol

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