£300,000 to help families

Celebrating after receiving �300,000 in Lottery funding are (left to right) PINS committee member Ethel Hall, administrator Stuart Watson, treasurer Teresa Falkingham and manager Kay Barron

Celebrating after receiving �300,000 in Lottery funding are (left to right) PINS committee member Ethel Hall, administrator Stuart Watson, treasurer Teresa Falkingham and manager Kay Barron

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A DRUGS and alcohol support group is celebrating after being handed a cash injection of more than £300,000.

Hartlepool’s Parents In Need of Support group has been given the money from the Big Lottery which will enable them to continue functioning for the next five years helping over 300 mums, dads and carers, and around 320 young people involved in substance misuse,

The initiative was set up 15 years ago in 1996 to help parents and carers of young people with a dependency on drugs or alcohol to cope with the trauma and anxiety they experience.

It also tries to help the young people to reduce or abstain from drugs or alcohol.

Kay Barron, manager of PINS, which is based in Dimensional House, Stranton, Hartlepool, was delighted that the important service has been saved for at least another half-a-decade with the £307,230 grant.

She told the Hartlepool Mail: “It’s absolutely fantastic. Funding is very difficult at the minute for any organisation so for us to get that through is absolutely brilliant.

“It will give us five years of being able to provide the service.”

She added: “We help to advise and support parents and carers to cope with the situation and that in turn helps them to be a support network for their loved ones involved in substance misuse.

“It can be very stressful when a child becomes involved in substance misuse and even though it’s been a problem in our town for a long time, there’s still a strong stigma attached and many families we work with feel isolated. We try to help them overcome this.”

A further £368,695 of Lottery cash has been ploughed into sports and community groups in Hartlepool and East Durham, with £173,909 of it going to the Durham County Football Association (CFA).

This will help more than 3,000 people in the area gain football training and qualifications, and to set up teams, leagues and coaching opportunities.

The FA’s development manager Chris Smith, from Durham CFA, said: “It’s fantastic to receive this award from the Big Lottery Fund.

“We aim to remove some of the cost barriers associated with football courses as some people find it is difficult to pay for these out of their own pocket.

“We will be providing people in deprived areas with better skills and qualifications that will allow them to coach and set up local football clubs in the future. ”

The Nouveau Fitness Community Interest Company, in Peterlee, has also received £194,786 to deliver dance and fitness activities to improve health and tackle social exclusion in Hartlepool, Easington, and Sedgefield.

These include a Nifty Fifties programme, open to older adults at risk of isolation or with health problems, and an Urban Dance project.

James Turner, Big Lottery Fund head of region for the North-East, said he was “impressed” with all the projects, and was particularly excited about Durham CFA’s idea “particularly as our region is football-mad”.

He said: “Encouraging volunteering, high quality coaching and new football teams to be set up is a great way of bringing communities together.

“BIG’s funding is making a real and positive impact on the lives of vulnerable people.”

The grant comes from the Big Lottery Fund’s flagship Reaching Communities programme, which aims to help those most in need and build stronger communities.

More than £1m was being awarded to projects across the North-East today.