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Communities celebrate over two decades of National Lottery funding for Lincolnshire Day 2018

Over £70 million of National Lottery funding has been distributed to communities across Lincolnshire by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, since its launch more than 20 years ago.

More than 3,000 community projects across Lincolnshire have benefitted, from school playgrounds and community centres to Boultham Park in Lincoln, which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound restoration thanks to a National Lottery cash injection. Every local authority in the county has benefitted from the funding, which is raised by players of the National Lottery.

To mark Lincolnshire Day 2018, it’s time to celebrate three of the community projects using their National Lottery funding to support people across the county.

The Askefield Project in Friskey, near Boston, was awarded its first ever grant of £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund earlier this year to develop its 13.5 acre animal farm, which helps people experiencing mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. Two days a week, they visit the farm to take care of donkeys, sheep, pigs, goats and even ferrets. This provides them with a therapeutic environment where they can learn new skills and interact with the animals.

Hannah Blevins, Director at The Askefield Project, yesterday said: “Our care farm has been a lifeline for many people in Lincolnshire over the past 12 months. They feel it’s given their life purpose and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. The animals give people motivation as they depend on being fed and looked after. We’re like a big family here at the farm – we take care of each other.”

Thanks to more than £370,000 of National Lottery funding awarded in 2016, Linkage travels around the county in a sensory bus. It visits children and young people with learning difficulties and disabilities and older people with dementia, so they can experience bubble tubes, fibre optic strands, theraputty and vibrating cushions. Inside the bus is regularly transformed into different themes from ‘under the sea’ to ‘winter wonderland’, created using sounds and projected images made by volunteers. There is also a sensory library where people can borrow equipment to try out at home.

Niz Smith, Project Co-ordinator at Linkage, yesterday said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, our sensory library helps to increase people’s wellbeing, confidence and independence, supporting them to have control over their lives in a safe environment. We once helped a young girl with Autism, who couldn’t sleep for more than one hour a night without being held tightly by her mother. She tried one of our weighted blankets and now sleeps for seven hours, which has massively benefited her whole family. Our service is so important for people in Lincolnshire – it’s such a large and rural county and we can get out and about to communities where ever they are.”

Lincolnshire Traveller Initiative has been supporting the county’s Traveller community for almost 20 years. Last year, it was awarded a National Lottery grant of more than £200,000 to help increase Travellers’ physical health and confidence. A new bus converted into a mobile classroom visits 13 sites to provide first aid training and health advice. Many Travellers now eat healthier meals and exercise more regularly, including five kilometre mud runs to raise money for local charities.

Paul Boucher, Director at Lincolnshire Traveller Initiative, yesterday said: “We’ve helped hundreds of Travellers over the years in Lincolnshire to lead happier and healthier lives. From parent and toddler groups to educational courses for teenagers, we go out to sites and provide vital services in rural and isolated locations with little or no facilities. Not only does this improve their health, confidence and self-esteem, it helps them move closer to employment and feel part of the wider community.”

James Harcourt, England Grant Making Director at the Big Lottery Fund, yesterday said: “These are just three of many brilliant organisations supporting people in Lincolnshire thanks to National Lottery players. It’s fantastic to be able to shine a light on these incredibly worthwhile projects on Lincolnshire Day, and to celebrate the achievements of people and communities across the county.”

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The Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, our funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004 we have awarded £9 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.


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