CHARITIES and community groups across the UK have received £300 million in funding since the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown began – all thanks to National Lottery players.
The money, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has reached over 7,400 community organisations across the country, funding activities ranging from peer support groups for vulnerable people experiencing loneliness to digital therapeutic sessions for children in hospital.
Grassroots groups, small local charities and UK-wide charities have been awarded this funding to enable them to continue their fantastic work supporting communities through challenging times.
Almost 20% of this life-changing money (£53 million) has gone to micro (annual income of less than £10,000) and small groups (income between £10,000 and £100,000) and a further £120 million to medium-sized organisations (income between £100,000 and £1 million), as communities rally to recover from the impacts of the crisis.
Clowndoctors on Call were awarded just over £28,000 to deliver a Scotland-wide digital programme of ‘therapeutic clown support’ for children in hospitals, hospice care, and special needs schools and also for adults affected by dementia in residential care homes. The live, interactive sessions – delivered to around 250 children and adults – are designed to help build resilience, reduce stress, improve mental wellbeing, and create new connections during the lockdown period.
Bury Asian Women’s Centre, in the North West of England, is now able to offer the local community a taste of home thanks to its food delivery service, which provides culturally appropriate meals for members of the BAME community, providing comfort and helping to reduce feelings of loneliness. The group recently received more than £9,000 to set up the Fusion Foodbank and create a befriending service to keep people connected and less isolated whilst social distancing.
In Northern Ireland, Blackie River Community Groups was awarded a £10,000 grant to purchase tablets for isolated older people to keep in touch with their families and to help with children’s education requirements. The funding is also being used to distribute food parcels to those most in need in the local community.
Kingsmeadow @ Made Forever in the South West of England, supports some of the most vulnerable people in the local community, including those who are at risk of social isolation and on low incomes. Thanks to over £75,000, it has been able to provide personalised emotional support packages, help with welfare and benefits, regular ‘check-in’ calls, vouchers for essential items and opportunities to join peer support groups during the crisis.
In Wales, Giddo’s Gift will use a National Lottery grant of more than £8,000 to provide gifts for teenagers and young people with cancer who are self-isolating due to the pandemic. They will also provide food vouchers and a book library for young people’s families.
Catherine Sama, Chief Officer at Kingsmeadow @ Made Forever, said:
“The people we support and from the community are losing their jobs, struggling financially, dealing with debts and other complex issues. Many are also experiencing anxiety, loneliness and social isolation – all of which have been made worse by COVID-19 and lockdown. This funding is absolutely vital for us – it has allowed us to provide urgent and immediate support to anyone who needs it in our community. From everybody at the centre, we’d like to say a huge thank you to National Lottery players.”
Mandy Giddins, Founder of Giddo’s Gift, said:
“A huge thank you to everyone at The National Lottery Community Fund for awarding Giddo’s Gift a fantastic £8,200 to help us continue supporting young people and their families battling cancer. During the lockdown, we have continued to help young people and unfortunately have also supported bereaved families after the devastating loss of their child to cancer. The funding has enabled us to provide them with books on grief and beautiful memory boxes.”
Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“Money raised by National Lottery players has been vital in helping people and communities across the UK support each other through the pandemic. Volunteers and charity workers have played an incredible role in keeping people safe, supported and connected. Over the coming months, National Lottery funding will continue to bring people and communities across the UK together to build solutions and recover from the crisis.”
Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for the UK’s good causes, and £41 billion has been distributed to 565,000 good causes across the UK since 1994.
In addition, since May The National Lottery Community Fund has been responsible for distributing £200 million in coronavirus community support on behalf of the Government. This funding closes to applications on 17th August.
To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk