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£50,000 TO CARE FOR DEVON CHILDREN AS EXETER SCORES A NATIONAL FIRST

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Exeter City today celebrates a key local project being the first to receive three awards from the New Opportunities...
Exeter City today celebrates a key local project being the first to receive three awards from the New Opportunities Fund - for health, education, and the environment - the fund's three programme areas.

The city has attracted millions of pounds of national lottery funding for a wide range of activities that is being celebrated today at the Phoenix Arts Centre with mayor Granville Baldwin and representative members of the community.

St Sidwell's Centre in Exeter was one of the first schemes to win cash for a Healthy Living Centre with a£466,559 grant. Within weeks in November 2000, the centre was awarded£50,000 by the New Opportunities Fund to set up an information and communications technology learning centre. Twelve days ago St Sidwell's again hit the jackpot and was awarded a further£6,667, through the conservation group BTCV - a partner in the New Opportunities Fund Green Spaces programme - to support the creation of a community garden that will promote biodiversity, recycling and composting.

Today, a group of after-school clubs and day nurseries has scooped an award of£49,106 from the national lottery to look after over 100 children across Devon.

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the New Opportunities Fund, said: 'The fund seeks to improve the quality of life of all communities, particularly the deprived and disadvantaged. Exeter has areas where communities are in need, and today's event demonstrates the city's success in winning lottery cash to help those communities.'

A£50,000 childcare grant is today awarded by the New Opportunities Fund to Playlines to provide 68 after-school places; 22 holiday places; and 20 wrap-around places (before- and after-school care for nursery and pre-school children) to children in Devon.

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The childcare grant from the New Opportunities Fund, the National Lottery distributor to 'good causes' in education, health, and the environment, will help the consortium of clubs, Playlines, provide childcare places in Exmouth, Crediton, Stoke Fleming, Bideford, Okehampton, Woodbury, and Chulmleigh. Over the past two years, Playlines has received£2,390,782 from the fund since the start of the childcare programme an has created 6,288 places in Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth & Torbay. This is a tremendous achievement. Projects provide before and after school club places, child-minding facilities, and holiday club schemes. All include activity- and learning-based childcare of a high quality at affordable prices, thus meeting the needs of children as well as parents. Playlines also works in Cornwall, Plymouth and Torbay. The announcement of awards from the New Opportunities Fund for those areas will be made on 7 November. Further announcements on grants to childcare projects nationwide will also be made on 7 November.

St Sidwell's Centre scores a first in the UK as it works with its local community on education and training in computers and information and communications technology, in health with a wide range of services such as homeothapy clinic; weight management classes; parent-toddler groups, creche provision for those on courses; reflexology, back massage and head massage. Their latest grant for the community garden brings green life to the city centre and fresh produce for the café.

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