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£11 million gives Scottish communities hope for the future

People and communities across Scotland most affected by the pandemic are looking to the future with a National Lottery boost of £11 million announced today (TUESDAY 25 MAY).

From a programme delivered by and for people who have experienced homelessness in Dundee to an advice and support service for families affected by the devastation associated with murder and suicide in Lanarkshire, the money from The National Lottery Community Fund will help 246 community groups to adapt and recover from COVID-19. See full list of awards by local authority here.

Div, 44, from Dundee

Div, 44, from Dundee is a Time For Change Peer with National Lottery awardee Shelter Scotland’

People with lived experience of homelessness are at the centre of a Dundee based group today receiving £137,580. Time For Change, delivered by Shelter Scotland, will train 15 people, like 44 year old Div from Dundee, to reach out to and offer support to up to 300 people experiencing homelessness in the city.

After a difficult time in a hostel on release from prison last year, Div is now living in a permanent social home thanks to intervention from Time for change. He can relate to those who are experiencing homelessness or bad housing.

He said:

“When I was in prison, I realised I’d struggled with homelessness and poor mental health for the best part of 20 years and I really wanted to change. I wanted things to be different and I wanted to put back into the community.

“With Time for Change, Shelter Scotland is giving me a chance to get my voice heard and I’m going to take it. I want to help change things for other people. I want to give something back.

“As a Peer, I’m looking forward to doing mental health first aid training and helping people like me access support from Shelter Scotland when they need support. I’m learning how to fill in referral forms and when places open up after the lockdown we’ll be out in the community more.”

This approach will provide a forum where people with lived experience of homelessness can influence the design and development of the services that affect their lives.

Welcoming the award, Alison Watson, Director of Shelter Scotland, said:

“Shelter Scotland’s Time for Change group in Dundee have already achieved a huge amount, including highlighting the real issues that people in Dundee face around homelessness and poor housing. We believe the programme is not only invaluable in shaping our work but gives the Peers an opportunity to develop and grow. But the work isn’t complete and this investment from The National Lottery Community Fund will allow Time for Change Dundee to continue speaking up for people experiencing homelessness.”

Additional support is being made available for families and individuals in Lanarkshire who have been touched by the traumatic grief, devastation and isolation associated with murder and suicide.

Families and Friends Affected by Murder and Suicide (FAMS) receives £67,000 to deliver an online listening ear service called FAMS.Chat to people affected by mental health issues over the next two years.

The online service was developed last year when vulnerable people who rely on FAMS became isolated and increasingly anxious with the cessation of face to face services and the impact of the pandemic.

Nicola Jane Swinton, 49, from Ardrossan will volunteer for the FAMS.Chat service. She was supported by FAMS after the loss of her father in law through murder and aunt through suicide.

She said:

“People who have gone through similar experiences need to know that you are genuine, understand and can empathize with most of what they are going through. Often speaking to close family and friends is difficult as you don’t want to add to their pain. This service will give families affected by murder and suicide someone to share their innermost thoughts and feelings with, in the knowledge that their conversations are heard and confidential.”

Welcoming the award, Anne Brannan, Founding Member, FAMS, said:

“This National Lottery funding over two years is a lifeline for FAMS as it secures the service at a time when the challenges facing our community have never been more complex.

“The funding will enable us to employ a volunteer support worker who will grow and develop volunteers to run FAMS Chat listening ear service. This vital service was set up for anyone who needs support dealing with trauma and mental health issues related to suicide and murder and has been very successful in supporting people remotely during lock downs.”

Announcing today’s funding totalling £10,922,832 to 246 groups, The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said:

“Charities and community groups across Scotland have played an incredible role in rising to the challenges of COVID-19. So, it’s great to see that a wide range of projects across the length and breadth of Scotland are part of today’s package of grants.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, this funding will breathe life back into local communities, allowing essential community projects to adapt and rebuild with local people at their heart.”

Click here for the full press release

 

Channel website: https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/

Original article link: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2021-05-25/11-million-gives-scottish-communities-hop-for-the-future

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