Almost £100 million of National Lottery funding has gone to communities across England over the last three months, supporting local and grassroots projects.
The investment, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, has been awarded to more than 3,000 community groups and projects across the country. 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% (almost £43 million) of funding awarded in the past three months has reached 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 to people’s lives. We’re proud to support them.”
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.”
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 wellbeing 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.”
In the last 12 months the National Lottery Community Fund has given out nearly £600 million to 12,500 organisations reaching every local authority and constituency in the UK.
It has a range of ongoing funding opportunities, from its National Lottery Awards for All England, as well as Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, which offer grants from £300 to £10,000, its Reaching Communities England Fund, and its People & Places programmes. Details of all can be found here.