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£1.4m National Lottery boost gives older scots new lease of life

Older people in many parts of Scotland are today celebrating a £1.4m National Lottery cash boost that will help them get out of their homes and into their communities for tea dances, lunch clubs, men’s sheds, fitness classes and much, much more.

The cash goes to 16 community run projects – the first in Scotland to receive funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, previously known as the Big Lottery Fund, which rebranded at the end of January. The new name makes a clearer link between playing the National Lottery and the community projects that benefit. See a full list of awards announced today in your area

In Barrhead the local men’s shed is already changing lives and giving retired and often lonely people, a place to call home. Today the Barrhead Men’s Shed SCIO receives £49,150, to expand its activities so that it can boost its membership from 50 to 80 people who will get the chance to learn and share new skills whilst building new friendships.

Treasurer, Barrhead Men’s Shed SCIO, Ross McKemmie,said:

“Thanks to the National Lottery, this award will give us greater sustainability which allows us to reach further into our community and encourage more isolated men to come along to our shed.

“We have a great range of skills to pass on and our members get great satisfaction carrying out a range of services for the local community including children’s nurseries and care homes. Our members still have a lot to contribute and The Shed means a lot to them so it’s absolutely brilliant that we will be able to keep going well into the future and support even more people who need our help.”

In Musselburgh, The Hollies Day Care Centre provides a wide range of support for local people aged over 60. After an award of £120,000 the Centre will add a daily lunch club, exercise classes and tea dances to the programme of activities they already have on offer.

Manager, The Hollies Day Centre, Liz Shannon, said:

“The difference the award from The National Lottery Community Fund will make to the members and customers of the Hollies is immeasurable. It will allow us not only to maintain existing services but to expand what we already offer to the elderly population of Musselburgh and the surrounding areas.

“We will now be able to provide a programme of entertaining and structured activities for the over 60s in a warm, safe and comfortable environment. This funding will help us to prevent social isolation and give them a place to meet friends and to make new ones.”

Lightburn Elderly Association Project Ltd (LEAP) today picks up an award of £47,140 for a wide ranging programme of life-long learning classes and leisure activities for isolated older people aged over 50 in South Lanarkshire. Over the next three the project will help around 1,200 people to make new friends, learn new skills and support them back into their community again.

Catriona MacGregor, LEAP’s Learning Co-ordinator, said:

“People come along because they want to fill their day or they feel they are becoming more cut off from their communities and being in a group changes all that.

“This funding will allow us to develop our programme into other areas of South Lanarkshire and will help even more people who might otherwise find themselves isolated and lonely.”

The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said:

“Our name might have changed recently but our focus remains the same - funding projects which matter to people and communities.

Feelings of isolation or loneliness are not just something that affect one particular age group or generation but can become more acute in later life. So I am delighted that some of this funding will go to projects supporting older people to engage with their local communities and also contribute to them using their skills and experience.”

Last year The National Lottery Community Fund (previously the Big Lottery Fund) gave out over £48m of National Lottery funding to community projects across Scotland. Over 1130 projects benefitted from this, enabling people and communities to bring their ideas to life.

Notes to Editors

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland is focused on helping communities across Scotland thrive through its five year £250m funding scheme as well as small grants programme, National Lottery Awards for All Scotland.

Since March 2007 The National Lottery Community Fund in Scotland has taken devolved decision on National Lottery spending. The committee, led by Chair, Maureen McGinn, plays a strategic role in the future direction of the Fund in Scotland.


Lorna McNiven:
0141 242 1451


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