Lancashire Telegraph readers’ votes have shared £250,000 between 12 deserving winners (From Blackburn Citizen)
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Lancashire Telegraph readers’ votes have shared £250,000 between 12 deserving winners
MORE than £250,000 of lottery cash has been given to deserving groups across East Lancashire thanks to your votes.
Earlier this year, we encouraged groups across our readership area to bid for the Lancashire Telegraph Community Cash Awards.
And after 2,009 votes from readers, 12 of the groups shortlisted were successful, and a total of £258,592 is being given out.
Lancashire Telegraph editor Kevin Young said: “We are delighted that so many good causes in East Lancashire are going to be helped by this lottery cash.
“The recipients were chosen by our readers and they clearly identified some outstanding candidates.”
Through a partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, we were offering grants of between £10,000 and £30,000, with you, the readers, deciding who would eventually get the cash boost.
Over a two-week period last month, the 17 shortlisted groups were profiled in the newspaper and readers completed and sent in voting slips, nominating their favourite project.
Now, thanks to those votes, projects such as community gardens, a bicycle scheme for recovering wounded soldiers and a variety of ventures to meet a range of needs can get off the ground.
Two charities will also be enabled to buy essential new vehicles to help them carry out their work.
Dharmendra Kanani, Big Lottery Fund England Director, said: “Congratulations to all of the outstanding projects that you as readers of the Lancashire Telegraph have chosen to receive a share of £250,000 in Lottery funding. I am heartened to see so many examples of how people-powered change is under way in your own neighbourhoods.
“But don’t let it stop here, hopefully the projects that have benefited here will inspire you to unleash the community spirit that have helped today’s winners put their aspirations into action.”
AGE UK – £17.452
A DEMENTIA friendly community garden is to be established at the charity’s Knight Hill House in Blackburn Road, Padiham.
The development will be done in collaboration with local schools, encouraging links and understanding within the community.
The maintenance of the new garden area will also provide volunteering opportunities.
Daytime support manager Kath Mitchell said: “It is wonderful news and it will really mean an awful lot to the older people who use our service. It will also give us an opportunity to get out and about into the community and build new links.
“We want to build contacts with groups and schools who want to use the facility.
“We will probably be looking to start the planting in spring.”
ALLTOGETHER SOCIAL TRUST – £15,380
The Blackburn-based Helping Hands Project will be set up, focusing on the impact disability can have on the whole family.
The project will provide individual one-hour complementary and relaxation therapies for children and young adults up to the age of 25 with disabilities, or those dealing with acute or chronic stress and also to their parents or carers and siblings who may be experiencing additional stresses.
Charity trustee Elizabeth Toms said: “It is our second birthday and we are holding a big party so this was the perfect birthday present for us. We were absolutely overjoyed to get the grant.
“This money will help us reach so many people across East Lancashire. It is a real launching pad for our charity.”
EARLY BREAK – £30,000
THE project provides street-based early intervention for under-21s falling into drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.
Although already successful
in Bury, the project has never fully got off the ground in East Lancashire.
Area manager for the charity in East Lancashire Luke Bidwell said: “We were really hopeful we would get this money so we are very pleased.
“I have already started drafting everything ready to start the recruitment so we are hopeful we can be up and running within two months.
“This has been a huge success in Bury but there has never been the consistency in East Lancashire, it has always been in fits and starts.
“This money means we will be able to give it that consistency.”
EAST LANCASHIRE HOSPICE – £13,500
The Blackburn-based hospice will replace its old, unreliable van used to collect donations of goods to sell in its shops.
The van also delivers goods to its furniture shop and disposes of rubbish.
The charity operates seven shops with money generated going direct to the hospice.
The old van was old and in need of regular repair works, which was a drain on hospice resources.
The new van will be larger so reduce the number of trips needed and thus improve running costs.
Retail manager Dawn Neary said: “Thank you to everyone who voted for us.
“It will make a real difference and enable us to make more money via our shops which will go into the service we offer.”
PROFFITTS - £20,000
Haslingden-based community projects group Proffitts will launch a ‘Military Mountain Bikers’ project, aimed at rehabilitating wounded soldiers.
Organisers will also tour schools to raise awareness of the issues facing ex-servicemen and women.
Mountain biking team leader Martyn Gibbons MBE said: “It is fantastic news that people have supported us and got behind this initiative. I was wounded in Afghanistan in 2007 and have been through the recovery process and there is nothing else like this around here.
“We will go into schools and get kids out on the wonderful trails in the area.
“Our first session will be at Accrington and Rossendale College on December 19.”
RPMRT – £30,000
Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team will buy a new search control vehicle, equipped with all the mapping software and support equipment for missing person searches across East Lancashire.
The existing vehicle is 18 years old and unreliable and, due to it being more than 3.5 tonnes, the number of people who can drive it has reduced.
Deputy team leader Andy Simpson said: “The old one we had was donated to us by Greater Manchester Police but is now obsolete. We have now got state of the art search management tools and it would be nice to have suitable vehicles, too.
“If we have the best equipment it can save lives or reduce suffering, while making our lives easier and making us more efficient.”
Audley community junior school - £27,580
In conjunction with St Thomas’s and St Matthews’ schools, also blackburn, five different habitats will be created in the school grounds.
The habitats will be grassland, an orchard, managed food growing spaces, a woodland and a pond. They will provide a variety of projects for children at all three schools.
PSHE co-ordinator Susan Mortlock said: “We are all very excited. This project will be a boost because we run an eco-warriors class and they will
be involved in planting and growing.
“They will also improve the pond for us so we will be able to go pond-dipping.
“I hope to get this up and running as soon as possible so the children can start benefitting from it at the earliest opportunity.”
TRAVEL ASSIST SERVICES – £10,120
The community transport scheme, based in Darwen, will engage with more groups across East Lancashire to offer its service.
Travel Assist has 55 groups using its services, but a need to expand into areas with no suitable community transport had been identified.
The group offers fully accessible minibuses operated by trained, experienced and CRB-cleared staff to be used for outings such as meetings, day trips and shopping trips.
Director James Coulthard said: “We are absolutely delighted and would like to thank everybody for voting for us.
“We can now put our proposed project into action.
“We urge groups across East Lancashire who need to use our service to call us on 0845 2505506.”
SOPHIE LANCASTER FOUNDATION - £29,000
The charity, set up in memory of ‘goth’ Sophie (below), who was murdered in Bacup six years ago, will extend its educational resources to cover school pupils as young as seven.
The SOPHIE Anti-Bullying/Hate Crime Programme will include researching, developing, piloting and producing a professional resource focused on pupils in primary schools.
Sophie’s mum Sylvia, who founded the charity, said: “This money is massively important to us as, at the moment, there are only two and a half of us.
“Now we will be able to get extra staff who can go into the primary schools, which is where we really need to be.
“We need to get the anti-bullying message across at an early an age as possible.”
ST MARY’S CE PRIMARY SCHOOL – £18,160
The Rawtenstall school will establish an outdoor parent and toddler group within an enclosed safe woodland area of the school grounds.
It will provide pre-school children with an opportunity to engage with nature safely and parents the chance to bond with their youngsters.
Activities will revolve around natural play and give opportunities for both parents and children to experience the benefits of it in a safe enclosed environment.
School business support officer Kate Crane said: “We are thrilled as this means we can start to open our environmental area up to the community.
“We know toddlers and their parents are just going to love this project.
“It is very exciting and I can’t wait to get it up and running.”
COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS NORTH WEST – £19,982
The ‘foodbank with a difference’, based in Accrington, is looking to develop its service and look beyond the short-term provision of food.
The charity encourages behavioural changes and offers educational and training opportunities to anyone in recepit of a food parcel.
The cash will primarily help to fund staff costs and costs of training volunteers.
Director Mark Hirst (below) said: “This is fantastic for us and we are really grateful to everyone who voted for us. We run an extensive foodbank but this will help us concentrate on the other side, which looks at why people get into this situation.
“We try to provide people with education and training so
they can get themselves out of difficulty.”
YOUTH ACTION ENTERPRISE – £27,417
The Blackburn organisation which provides services for young people aged eight to 24 will offer advice and start-up grants for young entrepreneurs.
The enterprise club will see young people sent to Manchester Metropolitan University to take part in a certified course, which has the potential to lead to full investment and peer support.
It is hoped the project can cut down on the number of 16 to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training, by helping people create their own businesses and jobs.
Chief executive Amar Abass said: “This is brilliant news and we can start sending people on the courses immediately.
“Through this project, youngsters will create their own businesses and opportunities.
“This will impact positively on both them and their families.”
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