groups reach out to those most in need by supporting their services
that are creating vibrant, healthy and safe communities across
Volunteering plays a vital part in community life without them many
small voluntary organisations would not be able to continue their
work. It is fitting then, that in the 'Year of the Volunteer', Big
Lottery Fund is supporting projects that encourage volunteering in
Families with children under five in rural areas of Shepway will be
supported by a£248,943 grant to Home-Start Shepway recruit
volunteers to visit them in their homes. Families will receive closer
support to help them overcome acute difficulties arising from
problems such as parental illness or hospitalisation.
Lynda Burchett, scheme manager of Home-Start Shepway said: 'Many new
families living in isolated and sometimes deprived communities will
benefit immensely because of this grant, making a real difference to
the lives of children and their families. Home-Start Shepway supports
around 200 families a year in their own homes or group settings, and
this grant will enable us to expand and improve family support
services in the rural areas of Shepway.'
Community Service Volunteers (CSV) will use their grant of£43,840 to
empower older people to take an active role in helping to design and
deliver voluntary services to support the development of children in
Hackney and Tower Hamlets. Volunteers will support pupils, especially
those who are having problems with certain skills and to which
English is an additional language.
Denise Murphy, director of retired and senior volunteers programme
CSV said: 'This grant will enable us to develop our intergenerational
work by going into the community to recruit new volunteers. Many of
the pupils we place volunteers with need to improve certain skills,
particularly in numeracy and literacy, and this grant will help us to
offer support by providing volunteers who can also act as positive
Clive Booth, chair of the Big Lottery Fund said: 'Volunteers are
often the life-blood of many small organisations and it's crucial
that the Big Lottery Fund supports the vital work they're doing.
Volunteering gives people of all ages and abilities the chance to
learn new skills and the opportunity to work with people that they
might not ordinarily come into contact with.
'Lottery players can take pride in the fact that they are helping the
Fund to roll out£2m in lottery good cause money every 24
hours, often meeting some of the sharpest needs in communities. This
latest announcement illustrates the reach and diversity of this
support with funding going to every corner of England supporting the
wellbeing of people and the communities in which they live.'
People with learning disabilities are also set to benefit from the
£15.2m awarded in the latest round of grants from the regional
programme targeting specific community needs and addressing local
The Supporting People Achieving Real Choice (SPARC) project, based in
Warrington Collegiate is receiving£290,814 to support people with
learning disabilities. This project will provide young people in the
area with access to specialist employment services to maximise their
development and help prepare them for work. SPARC believes the best
form of social inclusion is open employment and SPARC services
provide job coaches and travel trainers to helps its members achieve
Mick O'Gorman from SPARC explained: 'Life for disabled people and
their carers has improved immensely due to this programme. We are now
able to provide a wide range of services to help empower disabled
people, giving them greater confidence to pursue their rights and
entitlements, and particularly access to work. Our partnership with
Warrington Collegiate and financial support from the Big Lottery Fund
has been central to our success. We aim to combat isolation and help
disabled people to become more independent by helping them into the
world of work.'
The Big Lottery Fund is improving how it makes grants for voluntary
and community groups in England. The fund expects to launch its new
funding programmes throughout 2005 and will announce a timetable in
the spring. In order to do this, the fund's current large, medium,
international, strategic and research programmes are winding down.
The final deadline for receipt of applications is 31 May 2005.
Different dates apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To
help the Fund to help you, it is encouraging applicants not to wait
until the last minute to apply.
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are
available at: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk