£44m Funding for 160 Projects Helping Those in Need

  • The BIG Lottery Fund has announced the funding of grants ranging from £10,000 to £500,000 to various people needing desperate support.

    The funding is part of the Reaching Communities programme and will help 160 projects across England, varying from families caring for a disabled child to those reducing the chances of ex-offenders reoffending

     The BIG Lottery Fund have released details of their £44 million funding project to help those who need it most.

    A grant of £292,789 has been given to a service specifically for families with a child who has a disability, to give specialist advice on benefits, tax credits and other financial assistance. The organisation, Contact A Family, will use this to further develop the support they have, as well as increase the services available to reach a wider are, including a range of face to face and online workshops.

    A charity The ART Studio has received it's biggest ever grant of £250,000 to help develop their work with people with mental health issues. They have been running for 26 years and currently provide art therapy to between 20 and 30 people with mental health problems and want to expand their workshops so they can help more people.

    The Green Team, a volunteer project for under 25s and people with learning disabilities, has been awarded £292,345. This is to help recruit more volunteers who are currently unable to secure regular employment due to lack of qualifications and experience by helping older and disabled people who live alone to maintain their gardens.

    The project will undertake assessments of the volunteers' training needs and they will be set individual learning plans such as literacy and numeracy training.

    The Thorpe Edge Community Project has been given a grant of £274,924 as part of the development of the Bradford North Family Survival Project. The initiative provides support to more than 1,000 vulnerable people living in disadvantaged areas in Bradford whose health and wellbeing have been severely affected by the recession.

    The money will go towards helping people become more self-sufficient and manage their finances better, as well as access things like low-cost furniture and transport.

    A £333,695 grant has been given to a project called Raising The Bars, for one on one support with community workers for offenders who have 12 months or less to go before their release to work towards completing employment workshops to help change behaviours and integrate into the community upon their release, and encourage them to attend job interviews and settle into accommodation.

    The project is ran by Beyond Youth CIC (BY) in partnership with St Giles Trust (STG) and Home Connections (HC).

    See a full list of the 160 Reaching Communities grants announced.

    Anne Brook, Head of Advice and Information at Contact a Family said:

    We are delighted that Contact a Family has been awarded Lottery funding to help the families of the 770,000 disabled children in the UK.

    This vital funding will ensure Contact a Family is able to develop a team of specialist helpline and online advisors who will give up-to-date, reliable and individualised advice to parents regarding the benefits available to them - more important than ever in the current economic climate.

    Barnaby Craggs, The ART Studio manager, said:

    We are working with between 20 and 30 members now and are looking to expand that. This money from The Big Lottery Fund means we can move forward, and we are very grateful for that.

    John Sheen, community development work manager at the Thorpe Project, said:

    It will help people become more self-sufficient and manage their finances better. People will be able to access things like low-cost furniture and transport, as well as advice on cooking on a low budget.

    It is all about trying to help people survive on a low income.

    Emma Morris, Managing Director for Beyond Youth, part of the Raising the Bars project, said:

    Offending and reoffending costs this country around £11 billion every year and there is a clear need for an innovative approach to tackling the issues faced by people leaving prison.

    Raising the Bars will offer a unique package of support by addressing the lack of joined-up services that are currently available, including emotional support and guidance, as well as access to employment and housing.

    We are confident that our approach will in time prove that this is a robust solution that delivers real and lasting results for people who are returning to the community from prison.

    Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund Chair, said:

    At a time of significant economic and social hardship for people and communities most in need the BIG Lottery Fund is investing £44 million to support and empower vulnerable communities to lead more fulfilling lives.

    The 160 projects across England that have successfully accessed BIG's funding are doing everything from supporting families with disabled children who are in crisis with their finances, though to reducing crime and repeat offending.

    Each of these demonstrate that people can turn their lives around with the right support and the right approach.


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