A CUMBRIAN alcohol and drugs charity says that half of all people who request help say coronavirus is the reason for their problems.

Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS) said it had seen the number of people asking for help rise by 25 per cent between May and June, when compared with the same period last year.

"People are coming to us after Covid, people who already have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and drugs but their coping mechanisms have gone, as they're not seeing friends, they're not going to AA meetings and they've not been seeing family," explained Leigh Williams, CADAS chief executive officer.

"A lot of people are relapsing and are coming back to us. We are also supporting a lot of new people.

"Some people who have been on furlough have felt quite isolated and some people have lost jobs or a business and have felt quite vulnerable.

"People are having a much more unhealthy relationship with alcohol as they are drinking more, especially during the day and drinking through the week, which means people could develop problems with alcohol."

Mrs Williams says the charity was already oversubscribed before coronavirus.

Now it is faced with the challenge of adapting its usual fundraising methods to the current situation, as things like bag-packing in shops is no longer viable.

As the charity battles to raise the £10,000 a week it needs to run its services, CADAS is hosting a sunrise Helvellyn walk fundraiser on September 13.

The cost of the walk is £25, with each participant asked to raise between £100 and £200 in sponsorships, although this is not mandatory.

In time, the charity hopes to offer more services in one area of Cumbria.

"In west Cumbria our operation is small and it needs to grow, it needs to be bigger.

"But it's like that due to a lack of funding."

The group is also looking for volunteers who can be trained up to help.

Call 0300 111 4002 or email contact@cadas.co.uk.

To donate, text CADAS5, CADAS10 or CADAS20 to 70039.

To sign up to the walk, go to www.adventuretrails.co.uk/product/cadas-helvellyn-sunrise-trek-sunday-13th-september.