AN ADDICTION charity has hailed a “lockdown lifeline” grant to run its helpline.

The Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service has become one of the first in the area to benefit from a £500 Tesco grant.

The helpline supports people who are worried about relapsing or developing unhealthy habits during lockdown.

Leigh Williams, the charity’s chief executive officer, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Tesco for the grant which has been a lockdown lifeline.

“We encourage people to make the most of our hotline and come to us for any advice they might need if they’re struggling to cope.

“We know that many people are coping with the effects of lockdown, restricted movement, bereavement, loneliness, boredom, redundancy and financial concern, by drinking more than they usually would – or by gambling or spending more time online.

“For some, it won’t be a habit that they can easily break once things return to normal, which is why we’ve used Tesco’s funding to ensure people across the region can call our freephone hotline if they’re worried about themselves or others when it comes to addictive behaviour.

“A key pillar of our work sees us meet thousands of people per year via awareness-raising and educational workshops in schools, communities and the workplace, but this has simply been put on hold.

“The hotline gives an opportunity for people all over Cumbria to have someone to speak to if they’re worried about addiction, recovery or relapse, and also a whole new raft of people who may be developing unhealthy habits as a result of Covid-19.”

David Ford, Tesco’s local communications manager for the north, said: “We’re doing everything we can to provide support for all at this difficult time and hopefully the £500 Bags of Help grant will go some way to help those groups still committed to helping others during this uncertain time.”

Tesco chief executive officer Dave Lewis recently unveiled a package totalling £52m support package including £25million in food donations and a Bags of Help COVID-19 Community Fund, to support groups with grants of £500.

Any local groups that would like to apply for funding go to