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£3.3m National Lottery funding welcomed by cancer and sexual abuse survivors

Additional support will be made available to Scots recovering from cancer and those who have survived sexual abuse thanks to £3.3 million of National Lottery funding recently (Thursday 29th October) announced.

The Beatson Cancer Charity and Edinburgh Rape Crisis are amongst 141 Scottish groups receiving awards from The National Lottery Community Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, the funding will help to create a network of support around those who need it most during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. See full list of awards, by local authority, here TNLCF October Awards.

Breast cancer survivor Susan McGoldrick, 56, welcomed an award of £269,800 to Beatson Cancer Charity for a three-year programme of therapeutic support. This programme will help hundreds of people across the West of Scotland who are recovering from cancer to better deal with anxiety and any fears of recurrence they may have following completion of or changes to their treatment.

Susan, from Lenzie, completed the pilot programme last month following a cancer diagnosis in 2019. She said: “This National Lottery funding will make a huge difference to many people like me. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I joined and with the programme only being six weeks long and virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions, I wasn’t sure what I would achieve. But I have to say it has been a revelation and I feel like a brand, new woman. I have learned so much and feel transformed and it has even inspired me to make recent radical changes in my life. I would like to encourage many more patients to attend if they can.”

The six-week programme of therapeutic groupwork will help people to develop their own coping strategies and will work with them as they develop their own personal plans to engage more with day to day life, their families and the wider community.

Martin Cawley, CEO of Beatson Cancer Charity, recently said:

“We are delighted at the award of this very important grant. The medical treatment process for cancer is difficult enough for people to cope with, but when you add the psychological impact on top, it is especially challenging. Even when people have successfully been through their treatment programmes there is always an underlying worry about cancer recurrence. This project supports people to develop their own coping skills, this in turn strengthens their resilience and recovery even further.

“This grant will help greatly as part of the cancer journey and allow many more patients to become involved over next three years. Everyone at Beatson Cancer Charity is absolutely thrilled. Thank you to The National Lottery players without whom this grant would not be possible.”

Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre will also be able to extend the specialist support it offers, thanks to an award of £350,000. Its three-year project, ‘Trauma and Counselling Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence,’ will support adult survivors of sexual violence across Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian. In particular, the funding will enable the Centre to further develop its ‘Still I Am’ (SIA) project for survivors from Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities aged 16 and over, who have had any form of unwanted sexual experience.

Over the next three years, The Centre will be able to reach out to many more people like Queen*. Welcoming the funding, she recently said:

“I am very happy and excited that the SIA project got further funding because it has changed my life. I do not know what I would have done without this service and without counselling. I feel that SIA has changed not only mine but also my children’s lives because I can be there for them too. I am very grateful, and I would like to thank The National Lottery Community Fund for their decision because that means the SIA service will help more women like me in the future. Thank you so much.”

Caroline Burrell, Centre Director, Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, recently said:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this award from the National Lottery Community Fund. It recognises not only the vital work we have done over many years supporting survivors of sexual violence, but also the very pressing need to continue to provide our life-changing services. Sexual violence, which includes rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, devastates lives, and without effective support its impacts can be lifelong.

“Over the next three years our trauma-informed work will support hundreds of survivors to build a life beyond sexual violence and abuse. In particular this funding will enable us to further develop our SIA project for survivors of sexual violence from Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities aged 16 and over, who have had any form of unwanted sexual experience.”

Announcing the funding totalling £3,332,722The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland Chair, Kate Still, recently said:

“Projects across the country continue to make an amazing contribution the nation-wide response combatting the impact of COVID-19 on communities across Scotland.

“Today’s funding will help thousands more people like Susan and Queen, whose inspiring testimonies highlight how important it is to have a tailored package of support when you are going through the most challenging of circumstances.

“The comfort of knowing someone who understands your journey is at the end of the phone or forms part of a group network of support cannot be under-estimated. This is vital work which we are delighted to support, and all made possible thanks to National Lottery players.”

The National Lottery Community Fund is currently focusing its National Lottery funding in Scotland on those projects which are supporting organisations and communities to respond to the challenge of COVID-19. To find out more visit

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