A pilot project to provide additional free support to people recovering from substance misuse issues in Boston has been extended.

The Next Steps project was launched in 2016 by Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS), with funding from a Lloyds Bank Foundation Enable grant. Lloyds Bank Foundation has now awarded a further £75,000 via its Invest scheme to allow LCVS to continue to employ a specialist project officer and cover additional costs to keep the project going for a further three years.

David Fannin, LCVS chief executive, said: “We are delighted Lloyds Bank Foundation has enabled us to continue this important project.

“The pilot phase confirmed that the level of need was greater than the support available.  Importantly, it also showed that our particular approach to supporting the people who were referred to the project made a significant difference to them and delivered excellent outcomes.”

Next Steps provides one-to-one support to people who are recovering from addictions to help them avoid relapse. Many of those will already have benefitted from mainstream support but not yet be ready to be without reassurance and guidance or they may face additional hurdles likely to impede recovery.

Mr Fannin said: “Research shows that those most at risk of failed recovery are those who are facing additional disadvantage such as debt, life and work pressures, ill health, domestic violence and unemployment.

“Experience has shown that merely signposting people to help is not always enough, you have to help them deal with their specific personal barriers. This service offers additional support to enable individuals who often face complex and multiple challenges bridge the gap between making positive steps toward recovery and sustaining and maintaining that recovery.

“This is a complicated area but the evidence and evaluation shows the approach was successful and the majority of beneficiaries have very good prospects for sustained progress.”

In one year the pilot was accessed by 11 beneficiaries and a further nine joined a waiting list.

The focus of the project, which is unique in Lincolnshire and is designed to support the Lincolnshire Alcohol and Drug Strategy, is four-fold.

LCVS provides information, advice and guidance relating to physical needs which may affect recovery such as housing, money matters, domestic violence and unemployment.

Emotional support and counselling is offered to address mental wellbeing and other psychological factors affecting recovery.

Help is offered to build positive social networks and become part of the community.

Opportunities for skills development and work experience are also offered where appropriate to improve future prospects.

Individuals can approach LCVS directly for support via the Next Steps project. Other agencies such as housing providers are also able to refer people who may benefit.

LCVS also wishes to thank Medlock Foundation which made a donation of funds to support the project between the end of the pilot phase and Lloyds Bank Foundation decision to continue to fund the project.

For more information visit www.lincolnshirecvs.org.uk , email: enquiry@lincolnshiecvs.org.uk or call 01205 510888.

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