Brighton based addiction project set up by former Soap star is awarded £10,000 National Lottery funding

A Brighton-based community project that helps people recovering from addiction has received £10,000 National Lottery funding to ensure its programme of support remains open to all who need it during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brighton addiction charity gets funding SUS-200526-111849001

Kennedy St & Co was set up by former Coronation Street actor Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts, and his wife Clare.

It offers people who are in recovery from addiction, or are looking to enter into recovery, the opportunity to take part in training and coaching development, hear from others who have lived with the impact of addiction and improve their wellbeing through arts and creativity.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Thanks to the grant, Kennedy Street is able to deliver a range of online services, courses and inspirational talks to keep people connected and motivated while in isolation.

The project aims to create an inclusive, supportive recovery community that offers community connection virtually, combats stigma and improves wellbeing.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the project has worked tirelessly to ensure support remains available to people in isolation who are looking to abstain from addictive behaviours, as well as family members of those living with addiction, people already in recovery who need support to continue during the lockdown and people who are seeking recovery for the first time.

Online and remote support being offered by the project during the lockdown includes a dedicated recovery helpline, manned by a team of highly trained volunteers, all of whom have experience of active recovery from addiction themselves and a digital platform giving people the chance to share their own inspirational stories and tips for recovery with the aim of helping others.

The project will also be using the National Lottery funding to deliver an online support group for people who are brand-new to recovery and are not sure what recovery means or what it involves. Attendees in the group will hear from people who have been in similar life situations to themselves, with an opportunity to ask questions and gather further information about what other forms of support are available.

Kennedy Street will also be running an online training program encouraging people who understand what it means to be in recovery who want to become volunteers, offering them the chance to give back to their local community by helping others. The ‘Recovery Connectors’ will be on-hand to answer the project’s helpline, offer dedicated 1-2-1 support and provide signposting to other community-based online recovery help where necessary.

Kennedy Street was set-up by Clare Kennedy and her husband, Kevin Kennedy who are both 22 years clean and sober. It is open to anyone and everyone who’s interested in active recovery and consists of an inspirational group of men and women who share their experiences, strengths, and hopes with each other.

Clare Kennedy said: “Now more than ever, individuals, families and businesses who are struggling with addiction and mental wellbeing issues need new, innovative ways of accessing support, inspiration, reassurance and recovery, the COVID-19 National Lottery funding has allowed our Kennedy St’s team to think creatively in offering new ways to connect and offer support online.”

Kennedy Street is one of two community groups in Brighton and Hove to receive a share of almost £20,000 last month from The National Lottery Community Fund. This funding, raised by National Lottery players, is part of the comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million, recently unveiled by National Lottery distributors as a whole, going to charities and organisations supporting communities, the arts, heritage, education, environment and sports.

Helen Bushell, Head of Funding for the South and East of England at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “It has been heartening to see how communities in the South East have been responding to the crisis. Kennedy Street in Brighton is just one of the many projects, from grassroots groups to larger charities, working tirelessly to support their community through these extremely difficult times.

“National Lottery players can be proud that the money they’ve raised is making a real difference at a time when it is most needed. We will carry on getting vital funding out to charities and voluntary sector organisations, so they can step up to overcome obstacles caused by the pandemic and help their community to rebuild and recover in the future.”

The COVID-19 crisis has sparked an influx of groups seeking funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to support their communities through these times. Overall, compared to the same time last year*, requests for funding have increased by 55%, while visits to the funder’s website have shot up by 47%. The most apparent spike in applications has been for smaller grants, with requests for funding up to £10,000 increasing by 51% year-on-year.

Going forward, The National Lottery Community Fund will continue to prioritise getting funding to groups best placed to support their communities at this vital time and also towards those seeking to rebuild as the crisis abates.

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded £1.4 million a day on average to projects that help people and communities thrive.

To find out more visit