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Communities celebrate 15 years of National Lottery funding for Black Country Day 2019

Over £170 million of National Lottery funding has been distributed to communities across the Black Country by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, since its launch 15 years ago.

More than 3,000 community projects across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton have received funding, from school playgrounds and parks to allotment sites and community centres. Every local authority in the Black Country has benefitted from the funding, which is raised by players of The National Lottery.

To mark Black Country Day 2019 (Sunday 14 July), it’s time to celebrate two of the community projects using their National Lottery funding to support people in the area.

Zebra Access, based in Wolverhampton, received over £350,000 of National Lottery funding in January 2017 to support the deaf and hard of hearing community across the Black Country. Over the past two years, it has supported more than 350 people by providing activities such as coffee mornings and educational trips to Wolverhampton Crown Court and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The organisation has also offered deaf people advocacy support by translating letters and forms into their preferred form of communication. Additionally, families and carers have benefitted from British Sign Language training to improve their communication skills.

Chris Beech, Project Development Manager at Zebra Access, yesterday said: 

“We want to make the Black Country a deaf friendly place and this funding is helping us to achieve that. Thanks to National Lottery players, deaf people in the local community are more in control of their lives and have opportunities to access and experience similar things that hearing people have on a day-to-day basis. We’ve set up a monthly youth club in partnership with The Way, a centre for disabled young people, where they can enjoy various activities such as sports, music and life skills workshops. We’ve also employed a Community Development Officer, who develops links with local groups such as the police, local council and health services to help improve their engagement with the deaf community.”

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