A POPULAR ex-Coronation Street star is delighted after receiving £10,000 from the National Lottery.

Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts from 1983 to 2003, and his wife Clare have received the cash windfall to help people in Brighton in recovery, or looking to enter recovery, from addiction.

The money will help their charity, Kennedy Street, continue to provide support throughout the pandemic.

Mr Kennedy, who has been sober for 22 years after his own issues with alcohol, is “over the moon”.

He said: “One of the bonuses in the pandemic is the sense of community and we’ve always been community-led.

“The answers to problems in Brighton and Hove can be solved with the community in connection with local businesses.

“We are an advocate of viable recovery - the people putting their hand up for help, not just the hand outs.

“We can put people on the right path to recovery and make them responsible and useful citizens again –there’s a whole wealth of untapped talent.”

The initiative started about two decades ago and has been operating as a community interest company.

It has now been given charity status, which provides it better access to grants and funding.

Their project, Kennedy St & Co, will allow people to take part in training and coaching development, hear from others who have lived with the impact of addiction and improve their wellbeing through arts and creativity.

Online and remote support being offered by the project during the lockdown includes a dedicated recovery helpline, operated by a team of highly trained volunteers.

The volunteers have experience of active recovery from addiction themselves.

The project will also be using National Lottery funding to deliver an online support group for people who are brand-new to recovery and are not sure what recovery means or what it involves.

Attendees in the group will hear from people who have been in similar life situations to themselves, with an opportunity to ask questions and gather further information about what other forms of support are available.

Mrs Kennedy said: “Now more than ever, individuals, families and businesses who are struggling with addiction and mental wellbeing issues need new, innovative ways of accessing support, inspiration, reassurance and recovery.”

“The COVID-19 National Lottery funding has allowed our Kennedy St’s team to think creatively in offering new ways to connect and offer support online.”