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Over 2,250 community-led projects win £65m of Lottery funding in first quarter

The Countrymen’s Club project, who received £70,000.

In the first quarter of 2019 over 2,250 projects shared £65m of Lottery funding, the National Lottery Community Fund (formerly the Big Lottery Fund) has announced.

Community-led projects to win funding include schemes 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.

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.’

One project who received £70,000 was Future Roots Ltd in Dorset who set up The Countrymen’s Club project to offer 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.

In January, the National Lottery funder announced they will devolve 80% of its funding decision-making to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and three English areas.

Prior to this change, there were seven decision-making English regions (London, South East, South West, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, North West, North East, Yorkshire and the Humber) but these will now be reduced to three (The North, Midlands & East, London & South).

Decision-making on grants up to £1m was made locally and the board would make the decisions on grants over £1m. Now decisions on awards up to £5m will be made locally, and the board will take the decisions on the major grants over £5m.

See the full list of funded projects here.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter

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