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£150,000 of National Lottery funding up for grabs

Five local community groups across ITV Central West are set to compete for up to £50,000 of National Lottery funding each. The People’s Projects is giving these groups a chance to go head to head by competing in a public vote to help them make an extraordinary difference to their community.

For 13 years, the Big Lottery Fund, ITV and The National Lottery have been teaming up to give the public a chance to decide where National Lottery money should go in their local area. The Big Lottery Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players to communities across the UK.

Designed to celebrate some of the incredible projects the Big Lottery Fund has supported over the past year, 95 community-based groups are now shortlisted across the UK. In each region, the three with the most public votes will receive grants of up to £50,000. This will help them to continue their work to bring people together, build stronger communities and make a difference to people’s lives. The entire amount up for grabs across the UK is a life-changing £3 million.

Voting opens at 9am on Monday 16 April at: www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk.

ITV Central West regional evening news will feature the projects at 6pm over five nights, starting on Monday 16 April when Feed the Birds by Shropshire Wildlife Trust in Shrewsbury will be featured. If successful, this community group will receive £39,249 to tackle isolation and loneliness in the community by connecting people with volunteers who visit them weekly to feed the birds in their garden. Isolated people will have the opportunity to learn about and engage with wildlife and socialise with volunteers, giving them a sense of purpose, reducing isolation and improving wellbeing.

On Tuesday it will be the turn of Feral Spaces by Feral Film in Stoke-on-Trent. They hope to receive £50,000 to provide art activities for young people, using disused local spaces and recycled materials, to promote appreciation of the local environment. Communities will then come together for a day-long festival to celebrate their achievements. Young people will develop and learn new skills, including team work and event planning, whilst getting involved with their local area.

Wednesday it will be the Moving Memories Café by Leaf Creative Arts in Birmingham. They are competing for £49,940 to deliver arts workshops, including music, dance and theatre, for people living with dementia and mental health issues. People’s memories will also be recorded to create oral histories that celebrate their life stories, which will be made available digitally for the public to access. This will improve people’s wellbeing and address issues surrounding social isolation. 

Thursday’s programme will feature Wellbeing at Wildside by Wildside Activity Centre in Wolverhampton, who hope to receive £40,610. This community group hope to use the funds to provide therapeutic activity sessions outdoors, including boat trips and nature-themed story-telling, for people living with the effects of disabilities, poor mental health or long-term health needs. People will be encouraged to connect with nature, to help reduce stress, anxiety and isolation, and improve their health and wellbeing.

The final project to be shown on Friday will be Young Carers Café by Kingstanding Regeneration Trust in Birmingham. If successful, they will receive £47,300 to provide a Youth Café for young people, where they will benefit from healthy eating and nutrition courses and gain new skills and work experience by volunteering in the café. It will also act as a safe place for them to socialise, offering affordable, nutritious meals and fun activities. Youth workers will be on hand to offer advice and guidance in a welcoming and friendly environment.

ITV’s Good Morning Britain Political Editor and presenter, Ranvir Singh, said: “The People’s Projects is an exciting opportunity for you to make a real difference to your community. We are showcasing some fantastic shortlisted projects across ITV Central West this week. All you have to do to get involved is tune in and vote for your favourite project!”

Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “As the largest funder of community activity in the UK, we are proud to support grassroots groups that are using the vision, determination and drive of local people to strengthen communities. The People’s Projects showcases the best of these and is a chance for you to have your say on how National Lottery funding can benefit your local community.”

Since 2005, around £39 million has been awarded through the Big Lottery Fund, National Lottery and ITV/STV partnership to 865 Good Causes across the UK.

Voting closes at midday on Monday 30 April 2018 and the results will be announced Thursday 3 May 2018.

People can vote once per region and will need an email address to vote*. To vote and for Ts & Cs please visit: www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk

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