The new project supported by Big Lottery Fund and worked with other volunteers to prepare for it. Through it people affected by addiction will learn new craft skills including guitar making, and come together with others for support and friendship. They’ll also put together a Book of Recovery telling people’s deeply personal stories.
Sheila Smyth, development officer at the Right Key, said the new Big Lottery funded project a way of giving people meaning and hope for the future.
“The people that we work with may be coping with addiction but they also have another side to them. Before their lives went into ashes, many of them would have had good hand skills like cabinet making and joinery, or had an artistic side. They hadn’t used those skills anymore because their addiction took them to such an awful place. We talked to them about what they wanted to do and they told us that wanted to be active, and make things with their hands to feel content and worthwhile again.
Sheila said people are finding so much solace in the experiences of others.
“While they are working on all this, there are conversations happening about addiction, recovery and sobriety that are amazing. That’s what it’s about,” she said.
Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said: “I am delighted to announce this grant to The Right Key under the People and Communities programme, which is investing £60 million over the next five years to support voluntary, community and social enterprise groups to work with local people to make the changes they want in their communities.
“We want to fund great projects that work with local people, build on a community’s strengths, and are well connected to other services and activities in the community. We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact these projects will make to people and communities across Northern Ireland.
“Remember this programme is open for five years so groups have plenty of time to work with local people to develop their project idea. You can call our People and Communities advice line on 0300 123 33 31 at any stage to discuss your idea.”
The People and Communities programme offers grants of between £30,000 and £500,000 for two to five year projects. More information can be found on our website, https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/global-content/programmes/northern-ireland/people-and-communities
For media enquiries, please contact Lucy Gollogly at the Big Lottery Fund Press Office. Direct line: 02890 551 432
Out of hours media contact: 07580811135