A Big Lottery funded project providing support for isolated older people  living with addictions in Northern Ireland has won a high profile award.

Addiction NI’s Older Focus Team, which is funded through our Reaching Communities programme and offers counselling and support for older people with alcohol and drug problems, was presented with NIO’s top Social Work Award by Minister for Health Edwin Poots MLA at a prestigious ceremony on 8th June in Belfast City Hall.

The award recognised the innovative nature of designing a substance misuse service specifically for older people, and the excellent outcomes it achieves: 74% of older clients had decreased their level of alcohol dependence and 77% had reduced their drinking after taking part in the Older Focus programme.

Older Focus is a unique project in Northern Ireland and one of only 6 projects in the UK which focus solely on older people with substance misuse problems. It  offers specialist addiction counselling in the person’s own home, if they wish, and support for family members affected by a loved one’s alcohol or drug problem.

Addiction NI Director, Dr. Claire Armstrong, said: “This award is tremendous recognition for the Addiction NI Older Focus team and the quality and innovation of this service over the 15 years it has been running. It’s a hallmark that people are sure they are getting a top quality service from Addiction NI.”

After the prize giving Older Focus Project Manager, Alan Coleman said, “We are very proud of our Older Focus service and the support it gives to a group of people who are often hidden and forgotten. Older Focus is free of charge and you don’t have to go to your doctor first, just call Addiction NI direct for help and support.  It’s never too early or too late to seek help.”

Check out the story on the Addiction NI website:

To contact Addiction NI phone 02890664434 or email

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