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£1.76 million to boost skills and job prospects in London and Kent

Two projects that aim to equip people with the skills and opportunities to gain work and improve their lives have been awarded a total of £1.76 million by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

Prevista in South London has been awarded £1,108,800 to deliver targeted activities to support 531 black, Asian and minority ethnic women in the local area. Working with long-term unemployed women from hard to reach communities, the project will help them into work and sustain jobs, training or education.

Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) in Kent has received £653,100 to support 350 people struggling to find work, including disabled people and those with substance misuse issues. Activities will include basic skills and vocational training and a pioneering two week programme to help people manage change, incorporating health and wellbeing, motivation, reflection and confidence-building. The group will also aim to engage the wider family unit tacking issues such as long-term dependency on benefits.

Lyn Cole, England grant making director at the Big Lottery Fund said: “These projects will provide a comprehensive package of support to help people overcome challenges and improve their long-term job prospects. They will not only offer education and training but also address the root causes of long-term unemployment, and help people increase their confidence and wellbeing. These are skills that they will have for the rest of their lives.”

James Clements Smith, managing director, Prevista said: “Prevista is delighted to have been awarded a grant from the European Social Fund and Big Lottery Fund to work with people most excluded from the labour market. Our programme is a testament to the local partners we have assembled to work with us: grass roots, close to this client group and with a track record of helping people back to work or to education. We look forward to delivering this programme in partnership with our local partners and the Big Lottery Fund staff - we are very grateful and there is much to do.”

Liz Rickaby, assistant director, RBLI said: “Supporting individuals to achieve independence through work is a primary objective for RBLI and helping people to identify and overcome barriers that can lead to long term unemployment is something that we have been doing effectively for many years. We are therefore delighted to have secured funding which will not only enable us to extend our services further, but also provide the opportunity to continue to build strong local partnerships which will maximise the potential for both success and ongoing sustainability.”

These are the first two full awards made under the Building Better Opportunities programme, which sees the Big Lottery Fund matching funds from the European Social Fund to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty.

Further Building Better Opportunities awards will be made throughout the year. The funding will be delivered in 38 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas and projects have been designed to respond to local need. More information is available at:


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Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Every year we fund 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.
  • Building Better Opportunities is jointly funded with the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, European Social Fund funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, skills development, job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit to different website.
  • Prevista Ltd (Prevista) was established in 1996. The organisation delivers government funded services across the four key strands of Employability, Skills, Enterprise and NEET; for funders including Business Innovation and Skills, Skills Funding Agency, Department for Work and Pensions, Education Funding Agency and Department for Education. For more information visit to different website or contact James Clements Smith, managing director on 020 7609 4198.
  • Royal British Legion Industries Limited (RBLI) was established as Industrial Settlements, incorporated in 1919 and registered in 1962. Based in Aylesford, Kent, it was taken over in 1925 by the Royal British Legion. It was set up originally to provide treatment, training and support to service personnel returning from World War One. It still supports the armed forces community, as well as those affected by disability or health conditions and those with social welfare needs. For more information visit to different website or contact Liz Rickaby, assistant director on 01622 795948.


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