THE legacy of a singer who died tragically young will live on as part of a new initiative to battle addiction.

A five-year educational programme about drugs and alcohol will come to schools in Bournemouth thanks to The Amy Winehouse Foundation and charity Addaction.

The scheme has been backed by a £4.3 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, and will be rolled out in 10 areas nationally.

Amy’s father Mitch said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this Big Lottery funding.

“It won’t solve the problems in itself, but it allows us to keep going with the great work being done in Amy’s name. And that’s what we want – to get on and do something.

“We could have spent our time trying to get the programme on to the school curriculum, but in all honesty that would have taken years and years of kids missing out on something that really helps them. We couldn’t wait, and thanks to this funding support, we don’t have to”.

Since Amy’s death in July 2011, her family have battled to raise awareness of addiction issues, and their new project aims to provide education and support for young people affected by substance misuse at home.

Children of secondary school age will have the opportunity to speak freely and openly about their lives, as well as speaking to people in recovery from addiction.

Mr Winehouse said: “The programme really helps thousands of kids who need to talk about drugs, drink and other concerns in an honest and straight-talking way.

“This isn’t about ‘just say no’. It’s about understanding why kids feel they want to get drunk. Why they might smoke something. We help them find ways of dealing with difficult issues that don’t involve turning to drugs and alcohol. And our volunteers talk about their own struggles with doing just that. It’s all about building emotional resilience.”