Saturday, 20 April 2024
Saturday, 20 April 2024

£252m of National Lottery funding helps communities build healthier, happier lives

THIS week, it has been announced that almost £252 million of vital National Lottery funding has been awarded to over 5,000 charities and community groups in England over the last four months. 

In this bumper round of funding, grants awarded range from £2,800 to over £30 million and will collectively drive forward The National Lottery Community Fund’s four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives. 

The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK, awards grants to strengthen society and improve lives across the UK. Thanks to National Lottery players, it will distribute at least £4 billion by 2030, supporting activities that create resilient communities that are more inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

Emma Corrigan, England Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“Thanks to National Lottery players and the hard work and dedication of local groups and projects, this funding will make a big difference to people’s lives. The quality of applications we receive speaks volumes of the care and ingenuity of local people – we’re delighted that our grants are being used to support great projects that strengthen communities and improve lives across the country in many ways.”

The largest grant was awarded to The Access to Justice Foundation, which received £30 million for its Improving Lives Through Advice project. Funding will be used to provide access to specialist social welfare legal advice. Approximately 75 expert organisations will be supported to help some of the most marginalised communities in England – including people with disabilities, women fleeing abuse and families facing eviction. 

Examples of other projects funded in the last three months:

National charity Sense has received over £1.2 million for a new national early intervention and play programme for children aged 0-8 years with complex disabilities and their families. The new service, called ‘Connect and Play’, will show families how to engage with their disabled children, provide them with a better understanding of their children’s needs, reduce isolation for these families and provide fun experiences.

Richard Kramer, Chief Executive of Sense, said:

“We’ve seen from our Birmingham pilot how impactful this service is for improving the lives of disabled children and their families. Thanks to National Lottery players, this grant for Connect and Play means we can expand early intervention support for children and families across England and allow Sense to reach more families with this essential service.”

Meanwhile, in York, The Recycle Project CIC has been awarded over £9,700 to provide 100 recycled bikes to those who can’t afford to buy their own. This will divert waste from landfill and give people their own transport to get around the city. The project will also run workshops on looking after the bikes and simple repairs, bringing people together in a supportive manner. 

Bradley Mulhearn, Managing Director at The Recycle Project CIC said:

“Thanks to National Lottery players, our new campaign will provide 100 bicycles to individuals in need within our community. This initiative not only promotes eco-consciousness but also empowers individuals with transportation options, fostering a sense of independence and accessibility. Together we can create a greener future and uplift our community by making a positive difference, one bike at a time.”

In Worcestershire, Wyre Community Land Trust will use its £9,900 grant to develop at least 20 volunteers to become wildlife champions. The Trust will run 12 workshops and events over 12 months, on various aspects of wildlife found in the Wyre Forest, followed by six small group working sessions to build volunteers’ confidence. The project aims to develop skills, build relationships and improve people’s physical health and mental well-being.

Kate Quinton, Volunteer coordinator and project leader for the WCLT said:

“We know that engaging with nature and spending more time in its presence has huge benefits for both mental and physical health. Not only do we hope to record and monitor the wildlife present at Ruskin Land and in the wider forest, but also provide more opportunities for our local communities to connect with nature.”

In Cumbria, Signal Film and Media Ltd have received an over £9,300 investment in their Cooke’s Crew project, which will deliver film and media training to young, disadvantaged people. It aims to help young people learn new skills, forge friendships and connections, and reduce isolation.

Joanne Hewitt, Youth Programme Manager said:

“It’s wonderful to see how the young people light up with confidence and ideas – they are really proud of their film. The skills they’ve learnt and the friendships they have made are so important. Thanks to National Lottery players for supporting our local young people to experience new things and learn so much.”

The National Lottery Community Fund recently launched its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’, which will underpin its efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030. The funder is taking an equity-based approach to its work, investing most in places, people and communities experiencing poverty, disadvantage and discrimination.  

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£615.4 million) of life-changing funding to communities.  

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