Big Lottery Impact of Alcohol Programme

Status: Ongoing


Background

Alcohol misuse in Northern Ireland has resulted in physical and mental health problems, accidents and violence, debt, poverty and family issues, pre- and post-natal harm, all of which affect children and young people. The Big Lottery Impact of Alcohol Programme funds projects that aim to reduce the harm caused to individuals, families and communities by alcohol misuse.

CES is working with the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) to provide support to projects funded under this initiative. The role of CES involves supporting projects to use evidence and develop their capacity in self evaluation. 

The Programme is being delivered Northern Ireland-wide via two funding strands. A portfolio of projects totalling over £7m will be delivered by five Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Trusts working with voluntary and community sector organisations. These projects are expected to be complete by the end of 2016. Between three and five direct grants totalling over £3m will be made to voluntary and community sector organisations to deliver projects, the last of which is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.

Overview of CES work

Supporting collaboration within projects as well as across them and throughout Northern Ireland is a key aim throughout the life of this initiative. The work of CES involves developing a high level evaluation framework for the initiative, delivering training workshops and providing one-to-one support on commissioning and undertaking evaluations. Events, regular bulletins, sharing case studies of good practice, and the use of social media to facilitate networking and learning all form part of the CES support programme.

Activities which support grant holders are based on three key themes:

  • Building on Shared Learning: This project will create opportunities for participants to come together to share practice, update learning and discuss common issues. This will help them forge a strong expertise network.
  • Building Influence: The project will help participants to learn how to influence government policy and spending on programmes related to alcohol and its impact, by learning about the policy making process.
  • Building an Evidence Base (Evaluation): The project will work with grantholders to ensure that learning from the programme can inform best practice. It will also be used as an evidence base to influence government policy.