A PIONEERING scheme empowering residents of Bury East to tackle problems with alcohol misuse has been backed by victims commissioner Baroness Newlove.

Bury East was one of only 10 areas to successfully bid for £90,000 of a £1 million government alcohol fund early in 2012.

The fund was launched by Baroness Newlove to help areas find innovative, community-based approaches to tackle problem drinking and alcohol related anti-social behaviour.

Baroness Newlove attended a conference at Bury Football Club which brought together many of the 15 projects funded through the Bury East Alcohol Prospectus Scheme (BEAPS), which has been hailed nationally as good practice.

The projects have provided education and intervention particularly focused on young people.

Speakers included Dr Mark Limmer, a lecturer in public health at Lancaster University, who spoke about alcohol education.

Barbara Jack and Vicky Maloney, chief executive of the young people’s substance service Early Break, talked about challenges in tackling alcohol misuse.

Workshops outlined the physical and mental effects of alcohol misuse, parental substance misuse, how to tackle alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour and alcohol misuse among young people, within troubled families and within the black and minority ethnic community.

Cllr Sandra Walmsley, cabinet member for communities, referred to the recent announcement that Greater Manchester is one of 20 locations selected to be a local alcohol action area and one of only five to be chosen for intensive support.

She said: “Bury will play an important role in developing the Greater Manchester strategy and use our experience to expand local work on tackling problem drinking.”

Cllr Mike Connolly, leader of the council, added: “This event was the perfect opportunity to welcome Baroness Newlove to our borough and showcase the positive impact that the BEAPS had on the lives of our residents over the past two years.

“With the great partnerships, services and community assets that exist in this part of the borough, we will continue to tackle all forms of alcohol nuisance for the benefit of our communities.”

Among those who attended the conference were Bury Council, Integrated Youth Support Service, Youth Cabinet, Early Break, Alcohol Dependency Solutions, Victim Support, Streetwise, Barnardo’s, ADAB (Asian Development Association Bury), the police and Six Town Housing.