Community led projects in Horncastle could hold one of the keys to tackling concerns about drug abuse and anti social behaviour.
That’s the opinion of deputy mayor Councillor Angela Birchall who has praised the positive impact made by several initiatives in the town.
Coun Birchall was speaking after residents raised concerns at this month’s town council meeting about drug-related issues.
As reported in last week, residents asked the council if they could do anything to help after revealing some elderly people were frightened by the situation.
There were calls at the meeting for police to take stronger action - especially against drug dealers.
Coun Birchall supported residents, but stressed the community projects had a vital role to play.
She said: “There are so many people around Horncastle who do so much to tackle this kind of problem.
“A lot of that work goes unseen but really is having a positive impact.”
Coun Birchall went on to mention one project that targets vulnerable people.
Lee Bowman, a former chef, launched the Urban Foundation Outreach Project - which aims to help individuals gain a catering qualification.
The project, based at the town’s Community Centre on a Sunday evening, supports vulnerable people - including former alcoholics and drug addicts.
Individuals who gain a qualification will potentially be able to earn money from catering for events like weddings and parties.
Mr Bowman stressed that the qualification could lead to jobs within the catering industry.
Coun Birchall said she was a guest at one of the project’s recent Sunday evening sessions.
She said: “Mr Bowman and his team are working with disadvantaged people - people who might have come out of prison or are on probation, or can’t get a job.
“Mr Bowman is teaching these people how to cook and they are working towards a qualification which should help them get a job.
“He asked if the sessions could include an extra hour to introduce education, helping people get their English and maths up to scratch, which should help them get a job.
“If we can help people who haven’t got a lot going for them then that has to be a good thing for this town.”
*Police have asked residents to report concerns about drug use.