Swindon’s community organisations are celebrating after being awarded a more than £65,000 in National Lottery funding for the quarter. The money will be distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
Community projects in Swindon - ranging from arts-based activities for deaf young people to bespoke cookbooks for survivors of brain injury - are receiving a share.
The news was announced ahead of Loneliness Awareness Week (17 – 21 June), an annual event to highlight the growth of social isolation and loneliness in local communities. A large share of the funding was awarded to projects which put local people in the lead to tackle this issue.
Headway Swindon has been awarded £6,300 to create bespoke cookbooks for survivors of brain injury, helping to support independent living, improve wellbeing and reduce loneliness.
Inner Flame, in Rodbourne, has been awarded £9,300 to run a programme of virtual reality (VR) courses for young people with mental health issues. The project hopes this innovative method will help those who take part build confidence, improve self-awareness and reduce anxiety.
Prime Theatre will use its £10,000 grant to set up ‘Inclusive Arts for Deaf Young People’, a programme of art-based activities for deaf children and young people in the town.
Mark Powell, Artistic Director at Prime Theatre, said: “We’re over the moon to receive this National Lottery funding, which will allow us to make the arts more inclusive and accessible for deaf young people. We’re confident that this grant will make a huge difference to the lives of participants, reducing stigma and social isolation in the process.”
Tom McCulloch, Head of Funding for the South West region at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we are able to support more projects addressing loneliness and social isolation than any other funder in the UK. We’re delighted that many of the projects we have funded this quarter are focussed on bringing communities together, enabling people to make new connections and empowering their communities to thrive. With their ideas, knowledge and passion, this money changes lives.”
Swindon’s community groups aren’t alone in being awarded lottery money – Wiltshire as a whole is receiving over £300,000, which is being distributed across 24 community projects and organisations.
The National Lottery Community Fund is responsible for giving out money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded over half a billion pounds (508.5 million) and supported over 11,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.