A NEW event has been launched for people to enjoy a night out in Bolton without alcohol or drugs.

Shaken Not Slurred — a pop-up night on the first Thursday of the month — gives people the chance to meet up, relax and have fun.

The next will be a race night with fun bets and karaoke with prizes at Downtown, Bradshawgate, from 7pm until 10pm on Thursday, May 7.

A group from Recovery of Addiction and Dependencies (ROAD) spent six months putting together a bid to the Big Lottery Fund, who granted £10,000 for the year-long project.

About 30 people attended the first two events and it is hoped the project will attract more people and continue after the initial run ends next February.

Committee member Tina McCoy said: "It would be good for the community because there is nothing else like this.

"They love the fact that they are able to come out and get dressed up and have a really nice night out.

"We've had live music twice, with food, in a safe environment.

"We don't want recovery to be that you are just at home and can't go out."

The event — open to people in recovery, former service users and the general public — is backed by research from Bolton Integrated Drug and Alcohol Services (BIDAS).

There are plans for future nights to feature a range of events and activities including comedy, a samba band and bingo.

The group advises that anyone who considers that going to an event in a pub or club environment could be a threat, enticement or encouragement to lapse should not attend.

It adds that they should not feel excluded, but there are other ROAD activities for them to get involved with, such as car boot sales and raffles.

Treasurer David Fryer said: "The main thing is, everybody must be safe.

"Some people are very fragile, and it's their first bash at anything like this.

"There is no intention of putting temptation in anyone's way.

"If you think you are in the right place with your recovery, or if you just want to see what it's like to have a night out without a drink, then come along.

"If you're scared, come and see us.

"It gives people a choice."

One of the founder members, Stephanie Milburn, aged 42, from Breightmet, said: "I used to be in recovery myself — I still am.

"I used to like coming into the town centre but I haven't been in for years because I used to think there was a lot of fighting and people being drunk, but here there's no alcohol and it's safe.

"I think it's a brilliant idea.

"There are a lot of good people to support you and you make new friends."

Downtown owner Steve Hoyle, who is supporting the project, said: "Come along — it's a social night where you can drink coffee and soft drinks.

"It's a way of bringing people back into the community."