Lottery fund boosts alcohol misuse project

Young women and teenagers at risk of alcohol misuse will be helped by a new project which has received a £241,708 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

It is one of five projects across the region and 62 nationally to share a total of £14.9 million from the Reaching Communities programme.

Bright Futures will work with 720 young women aged 11 to 25 in South Tyneside by encouraging a shift in attitude and behaviour towards healthy choices and positive activities at weekends and evenings.

The project will educate young women on the effects of alcohol misuse, risks to sexual health and aims to reduce teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

It will provide activities on evenings and weekends, when alcohol is being consumed on the streets, such as dancing, art, and cooking.

"Young people, particularly those from deprived areas, can misuse alcohol for a number of reasons - whether it is out of a lack of aspiration, little hope for the future or in a misguided attempt to relieve boredom in their lives.

"Bright Futures will steer young women in South Tyneside away from such risky behaviour and towards more positive activities to put them on a better path."

– Tessa Wiley, Big Lottery Fund spokeswoman

"This significant grant means that Bright Futures can now extend our reach across South Tyneside to make a real difference to the young women we will work with.

"Bright Futures has been working with a number of young women through our pilot project last year which was also funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

"This grant will enable us to offer young women in South Tyneside safe and interesting things to do on evenings and weekends, the opportunity to take part in accredited programmes of work and work with others in the community as well as improved access to education, training and employment."

– Nicola Common, Project development worker