Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

£100m lottery boost set to make a big difference to communities across England

ALMOST £100 million of vital National Lottery funding has gone to communities across England over the last three months supporting local and grassroots projects making a real difference in people’s lives.

This substantial investment, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has been awarded to more than 3,000 community groups and projects across the country, enabling them to bring people together and provide the tools and support they need to better prosper and thrive.

Grants awarded range from £300 up to £1.7million and have been made in direct response to community needs, including employability, mental health, supporting young people and building connections to tackle loneliness.

Over 40% or almost £43 million of funding awarded in the past three months has reached the most deprived areas in England, including Tendring, Blackpool, and Burnley.

Projects funded here include a transport service for blind and visually impaired members of the Burnley community to provide access to local activities, a counselling support service for people experiencing financial difficulties and mental ill-health in Blackpool, and new equipment for the Tendring District Youth FC so they can support all members of the community to keep fit and improve mental health.

John Mothersole, Chair of England Funding Committee at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: 

“This is a significant investment of almost £100 million of funding across England, helping to address issues and create opportunities at the heart of communities. Thanks to National Lottery players, our funding is being used by local groups and charities to power charge their projects, unleash potential and make a positive difference in people’s lives. We’re proud to support them.”

Examples of lottery projects funded in the last three months:

  • One of the groups to receive funding is Inspirate in Leicestershire, which is using almost £55,000 to run a laughter wellbeing programme that aims to tackle issues around loneliness, social isolation, depression and anxiety. Laughter Yoga will work with people of South Asian, African and/or Caribbean backgrounds to relieve tension and stress, boost confidence and improve the quality of life of participants.

Jiten Anand, Director at Inspirate, said:

“Covid and the cost-of-living crisis have only propelled our reason to deliver this project and it has come at a time where people need it the most. We are absolutely delighted to receive this support from The National Lottery Community Fund and National Lottery players – without your support we would not be able to change the lives of the many people that will participate in our programme. The legacy that will come from delivering this project will last for decades to come.”

£100m lottery boost set to make a big difference to communities across England
Lee Cooper – Solent Rescue.
  • Solent Rescue is using £10,000 funding to provide its vital land and maritime rescue services in the Western and Central Solent area. The team covers one of the busiest waterways in Europe – an area of approximately 33 square miles including Lepe Country Park – to ensure public safety. The community response team are on station during busy seasons to provide crisis response and emergency assistance.

Lee Cooper, 36, from Southampton has been volunteering with Solent Rescue for more than 15 years. He said: 

“One of the big dangers in the area is people getting caught in undercurrents and the tide. Since we are already afloat, we can respond faster to an incident rather than a lifeboat which would need to be launched.

“This funding from the National Lottery is absolutely vital, without grants like this we wouldn’t be able to operate and with the increase in running costs, we wouldn’t be able to sustain the service. We would like to thank all National Lottery players who help to keep our unit on the water and save people’s lives.”

  • Award-winning charity, Afrocats, has received £80,000 in National Lottery funding to deliver a programme of activity to reduce barriers for refugees, people seeking asylum and young people facing social exclusion in Greater Manchester. The grant will be used to provide extra-curricular poetry, dance, art, debating and theatre workshops to help improve academic performance. Along with providing health and well-being support for adults in the asylum system.

Magdalen Barlett, CEO and Founder of Afrocats said:

“The funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to support our development and bring on a much-needed team will help us to truly strive as an organisation. Thanks to National Lottery players we can build on Afrocats’ successes to reach even more communities that need that additional support to grow.”

  • South Cumbria charity The Ashton Group Theatre has received over £150,000 in funding to continue and expand its work delivering creative workshops in Barrow-in-Furness. The Theatre Factory workshops aim to reduce isolation, improve mental well-being and help young people reach their potential.

Rachel Ashton, Artistic Director of Theatre Factory, said:

“Here at Theatre Factory we are incredibly grateful to all the National Lottery players, this money has helped us to continue our work in Barrow-in-Furness where we use the arts to help people develop resilience, confidence, and happiness. The continued support has allowed us to respond to needs within the community and offer continuity to participants and partners.”

National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week across the UK for good causes. The National Lottery Community Fund as a distributor ensures a share of this funding goes straight to communities, helping them to tackle important issues such as supporting young people into employment, mental health and climate action.

In the last 12 months it has given out nearly £600 million to 12,500 organisations reaching every local authority and constituency in the UK.

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