Adapted golf sessions to reduce loneliness in care homes and a beach hut holiday haven for soldiers recovering from injury are amongst thousands of community-focused projects across England to receive a share of more than £65 million of National Lottery cash.
The funding has been announced today by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
In the first quarterly funding announcement since revealing its new name in January, The National Lottery Community Fund (formerly the Big Lottery Fund) has revealed that more than 2,250 projects have received a share of the money, raised for good causes by players of The National Lottery.
A wide variety of activity is being funded across the country, from projects that aim to get more women and girls involved in skateboarding to storytelling groups for those with learning difficulties and social clubs to tackle feelings of isolation. All of the community projects being awarded money are led by people who help their communities thrive.
One of the projects celebrating is me&dee, based in Derby, which has been awarded £10,000 to purchase a beach hut in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire for recovering soldiers and their families to spend time together. This will support people who currently serve, or have served, in the army and who have experienced mental or physical health issues as a result, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, severe burns or amputations. Each year, the charity provides 100 families across Derbyshire and the UK with a much-needed break where they can spend quality time together in a safe and relaxed space.
Maria Hanson MBE, Founder and CEO of me&dee, said:
“This National Lottery funding is fantastic news and has helped us to buy a beach hut at the end of Queens Park Promenade in a beautiful and secluded spot. This is a perfect location, as many recovering soldiers find it really difficult to sit in the open on a busy beach, but they can feel safe inside the beach hut and still see the sea and enjoy spending time with their family.
“We’ve heard from recovering soldiers and their partners and families that these breaks have strengthened their relationships, giving them the time and space to recover from what can be traumatic experiences. This beach hut will help them to make new memories and provide a positive outlook on the future.”
James Harcourt, England Grant-Making Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“National Lottery money continues to change the lives of thousands of people across the UK. From community-led projects that reduce loneliness and isolation to those looking at ways of tackling bullying and violence amongst young people, this quarter’s funding has one thing in common – it’s all been awarded to groups with the ideas, knowledge and passion to make the changes they want to see in their local area. Thanks to National Lottery players, people all over the country are able to take action what matters most to them and their community.”
Other groups in today’s funding announcement include:
- The Golf Trust, in Hertsmere, which has received £10,000 to deliver the Chipping Away at Loneliness project. The project works with care homes and sheltered housing accommodation to deliver adapted golf sessions for the residents. The project aims to improve physical fitness levels and reduce loneliness, as well as support memory improvement and increase a sense of belonging within the group.
- Croydon FM, in Croydon, which has received £10,000. The funding will go towards expanding its community radio training, which is designed to support young people who are at risk of violent crime. The aim is to improve community relationships across the borough and encourage positive social engagement, as well as ultimately reducing crime locally.
- The One Life Music Festival, on the Isle of Wight, which has received £10,000 to provide a safe and fun family festival for people with learning and physical disabilities. The festival will provide an opportunity for people with disabilities to come together to be themselves and enjoy a full festival experience, without fear of judgement.
- Future Roots Ltd in Dorset, which has received £70,000 for The Countrymen’s Club project, which offers outdoor activities for isolated men. The project, which is based on a 36-acre farm, works with men who are bereaved, suffer from dementia or have acquired brain injuries, who may have worked in farming or agriculture. They take part in activities such as craft, woodworking and growing produce outdoors and in the greenhouses. The project uses the environment to engage men in activities, offering them the company of male peers who may also suffer from rural isolation.