THE latest phase of Kendal's ground-breaking project to help people fighting addiction has been launched.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster, Patrick O'Donoghue, dropped in to check progress on a barn that is being converted into workshops and a conference room at Dodding Green, Mealbank, the home of Britain's first Cenacolo Community.

The community is part of a worldwide Christian association that welcomes desperate young people who may have abused drugs, alcohol or other substances.

Life in the community is simple, with no television, radio or newspapers. Cigarettes and alcohol are also not permitted, as members are encouraged to recover for a new and useful life in society.

The bishop said: "The first thing is to encourage addicts to get away from the scene of their addiction. Once this has happened the process of rehabilitation can begin.

"Recovery does not happen overnight. Sometimes people will remain in the community for one, two or three years."

Charity staff who run the Cenacolo Community are hoping the visit by the bishop will add weight to a fund-raising campaign to raise £180,000 to pay for the barn conversion project.