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Community-led projects celebrate £80 million National Lottery funding win

Bread-making, equine-therapy and computer skills for the visually impaired are just three of the hundreds of activities that will take place in communities across England as almost £80 million in National Lottery funding is unveiled today. The money, raised by players for good causes, is being distributed by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest community funder in the UK. 

  • Almost £80 million of National Lottery funding for good causes awarded to more than 2,230 community groups across England this quarter
  • The funding will support activities ranging from a project providing therapeutic session using horses and donkeys to dance workshops for survivors of human trafficking.

More than 2,230 projects are receiving a share this quarter. The funding might have been awarded to charities, community groups, or people with great ideas, but they all share one thing in common – they understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone and are focused on bringing people together to improve lives and provide support.

This includes Bread Shed, based at Stoneham Bakehouse in Hove, which has been awarded over £8,000. The project runs fortnightly groups for older people to bake different breads, chat and get to know each other in an informal and relaxed setting. These meetings are for people who may feel isolated in their communities, need structure in their week and would like to improve their wellbeing and mental health, as well as learning to become star bakers through baking bread!

Paula Evenden, Bread Shed Facilitator, said: “Bringing older people together to bake bread can really improve their mental wellbeing, and often this group have given up on meeting new people or valuing their potential. We know it has meant all the difference to our participants and some go out regularly with the friends they’ve made at Bread Shed and have gone on to volunteer within their own community. The National Lottery funding is enabling us to reach more people and make a real difference to their lives.”

James Harcourt, England Grant-Making Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “All over the country, National Lottery money is being used by people who are taking the lead in developing great ideas to help their communities thrive. They know and understand the needs of their area better than anyone else and are best-placed to develop projects to tackle them. Bread Shed is a brilliant example of this and, thanks to National Lottery players, we are proud to be able to support them to change lives for the better.”

Groups in today’s funding announcement include:

  • Dapper Donkeys, in Greasby, which has received £10,000. The project works with horses and donkeys to deliver therapeutic activities for children and adults. The group uses the animals to create a calm and relaxing environment, whilst supporting people to overcome obstacles in their lives. The money will be used to provide weekly sessions for young adults who are experiencing mental ill health or behavioural challenges.
  • The Natasha Project, in Bermondsey, which has received almost £10,000. The funding will be used to deliver drop-in dance workshops for survivors of human trafficking. The project will also provide safe houses with taster sessions to reach as many survivors as possible. By providing a creative means of support, the workshops will enable survivors to regain ownership of their bodies and minds through varied exercises and activities. Not only will this enable them to express themselves in safe environment, but it will also help to improve their confidence whilst aiding their restorative journey.
  • The Wonderful Wardleygaters, in Gateshead, which has received £10,000 to deliver intergenerational activities with nursery and school children and older people in local care homes. This will bring different generations together to form friendships, reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing.
  • Richard Jefferies Museum Trust in Swindon, which has received almost £10,000 for its Drop-In and Grow project. The money will pay towards new kitchen facilities at the community café where weekly wellbeing activities will be delivered. The project aims to improve confidence and skills whilst bringing the community together.
  • W’EYES in Aldridge, which has received £9,000 to hold ‘tea and tech’ sessions for people with visual impairments. This will teach people new computer skills, improving their confidence and independence. During the sessions, they will also have the opportunity to meet new people and socialise with others over a cup of tea.

See the full list of projects

Last year the Big Lottery Fund awarded over half a billion pounds (£508.5 million) and supported communities to deliver over 11,000 projects across the UK.


Claire Fudge: or 0121 345 8856
Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours media contact: 07867 500572

Notes to Editors:

About us:

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.


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