A NEW service is to be launched to help those who develop “crutch” addictions thanks to a £491,763 cash boost.
Sunderland Area Parent Support (Saps) will create four new jobs to help run the project, thanks to the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities Programme.
Caring For The Carer aims to support those who turn to substances to get them through hard times as members of their family struggle with their own drink and drugs addictions.
Sue Leigh, the project manager for Doxford Park-based Saps, said: “There are a lot of carers out there that use over the counter medication or alcohol as a crutch to get them through and it becomes an addiction. They might take a prescription medicine or a glass of wine to help them get to sleep, which escalates and gets out of hand for them.”
The organisation works with 187 families, although not all are facing the double trouble of a knock-on addiction.
Saps’s slice of the £6.1million Big Lottery Fund cash will be used to fund counselling sessions, a drop-in service, telephone helpline and emergency home visits.
Those who are helped will also be given the chance to become a peer mentor.
Two new counselling posts will be created, along with an administration role and a therapists job, who will offer treatment such as Indian head massage and hot stone massage as part of the scheme.
Mrs Leigh added: “This funding will a make massive difference to our project.
“We’ve gone from helping four families when we started in 2007 to over 180 families currently and that’s without advertising our service properly because we thought we wouldn’t be able to meet the demand. Now we will be able to help a lot more families in a wider range of ways.
“Substance abuse doesn’t happen to one person in isolation, a lot of other people are affected and thankfully that message is starting to get through.”