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Lottery funding to tackle the roots of social problems in local communities

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Reaching Communities England
Awards for All England
Release date:
10 11 2015

Projects tackling the roots of social problems to help prevent them happening and impacting on people’s lives are included in 751 awards made to community groups across England who are sharing £25 million from the Big Lottery Fund.

Much of the grant-maker’s funding is based around the principles of ‘early action’ – heading off issues before they occur and reducing the cost to individuals and communities.

One grant recipient, Little Fish Theatre Company, receives £305,435 to work with 3,600 young people in Bexley to prevent them either perpetrating or accepting domestic and sexual violence. It will use role play and creative workshops to raise awareness of boundaries in healthy relationships and offer one to one support and counselling with girls and young women who can’t identify abusive behaviour or its warning signs. It will also focus on boys and young men who don’t recognise their own abusive behaviour or at risk of perpetrating abuse or sexual violence and help them understand the impact of their actions.

Alex Cooke, Artistic Co Director, said: “Little Fish produces quality innovative theatre and drama experiences for young people to inspire personal growth.  It has teamed up with Her Centre, a local charity committed to female empowerment & supporting young women in crisis. The project was a result of a successful small pilot project. One young woman was referred because she was involved in a sexual act which had been filmed and distributed throughout the school. By the end of the pilot, she had gained a substantial amount of confidence and disclosed that she would be able to make better choices in the future.”

Sadie (not her real name) said: “I was very distressed and would suffer nausea and thoughts of self-harm. I didn’t understand the law and lacked self-esteem. The project made me aware of how manipulation is involved and has warned me about how difficult things can be. We need to realise how things can happen and the consequences.”

Active Communities Network receives £250,526 to work with young people in east Hull at risk of being involved in crime and becoming welfare dependant. The project will use sports, art and cultural activities led by young people, together with personal development and accredited training courses, to steer away from antisocial behaviour and onto a path towards further education or employment. 

Kevin McPherson, Director at Active Communities Network, said: “Hull ranks as the 10th most deprived area in England with child poverty levels at 33 per cent, significantly above the national average for England of 21 per cent. Twenty-three per cent of young people across our target area are unemployed. Young people growing up in such circumstances have heightened risk factors. They have more negative influences to deal with on a day to day basis including issues such as high levels of crime, drug and substance abuse, family breakdown, poor mental health and exposure to generations of worklessness. Our project will provide support mechanisms to raise their aspirations, broaden their horizons and create opportunities. We use sport as the primary medium to deliver this, providing positive activities, developing and harnessing their capacity and creating a culture of youth leadership within their community.”

Meanwhile Nottinghamshire Advice Network is offering a new financial support service to people with mental health problems, particularly those managing stress, anxiety and depression. The service receives £288,917 to help individuals build their financial skills and confidence to plan their own finances whilst reducing the risk of them falling into debt. Two specialist case-workers will provide on-going support tailored to the needs of around 400 people per year. Support will also include self-help groups and one-to-one help. Training will also be provided to frontline advice workers to help them identify the signs of mental health issues.

Briarfield Action in the Community receives £315,628 to deliver workshops in Pendle, Lancashire to prevent and tackle antisocial behaviour, substance misuse, sexual exploitation, the grooming of both sexes, radicalisation and gangs. Art, sport, and music activities will help to boost confidence and improve educational achievement. The organisation will also tackle social isolation for older people by providing social activities and offering volunteering opportunities.

In Derby, Charnwood 20:20 receives £229,348 to pair up 300 deprived and disengaged 16-19 year-olds with 180 mentors. The mentors will befriend teenagers, build up trusting relationships and encourage them away from antisocial behaviour and crime by involving them in new social groups, experience new social settings, engage in education and find ways into employment.

The above awards have been made through the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme which awards grants of £10,000 and above for long term projects. The Big Lottery Fund is also announcing grants from its Awards for All programme which provides grants between £300 and £10,000 to voluntary and community organisations. 

For a full list of all 751 awards across England click this link

Lyn Cole, Big Lottery Fund, England Grant Making Director, said: “It’s really great to see these projects making a positive difference to people’s lives, whether that’s by helping young people to forge healthy and respectful relationships or supporting people to learn new skills to improve their prospects. These projects are all strong examples of empowering people facing a range of challenges to play an active role in their community.”

Website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
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Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFund

For funding and general enquiries call:
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Notes to Editors:

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.