Chance to Change, run in partnership by Colne Pubwatch, Communities Against Night-time Disorder (CAND) and Inspire (East Lancashire’s integrated substance misuse service), began in August 2013, to give residents banned from pubs and clubs a second chance – the first scheme of its kind to be implemented in the UK.
It means revellers who would usually be automatically banned for drink or drug related offences are given the option to attend five sessions at Inspire instead, while those already on the banned list are given the opportunity to have their ban revoked.
After rolling out the scheme five months ago, Inspire project manager Lisa Cochrane said so far six participants have successfully completed the sessions.
Councillor David Whipp, who oversees community safety in Pendle, said: "The introduction of this partnership approach is win win.
"Inspire is a friendly, welcoming service that provides recovery opportunities for people worried about their drug or alcohol use.
"It's helping to promote a safer environment for residents and visitors to the town and improve the health and wellbeing of those who attend the sessions.”
One Colne resident who has completed the scheme and wishes to remain anonymous said: "When I first received the letter to say I'd been banned I was really angry but then I decided to attend the sessions and see what they were all about. After all it was only an hour a week.
"Inspire made something click. I realised that I couldn't carry on in the same way.
"The sessions were really friendly and informal and not only highlighted what I was doing to my body and my family, it gave me the push to get on and do things with my life again."
"It was a lifeline to me. I've been given a new life, a new start.”
Mick Armfield, licensing enforcement officer at Pendle Council, applauded the team at Inspire and the members of the Colne pubwatch scheme, who are piloting the initiative.