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Funding to pilot new way of supporting Suffolk's rural groups

The Big Lottery Fund is joining forces with Suffolk Community Foundation in a groundbreaking collaboration to pilot a new way of funding rural groups and supporting isolated communities.

The Big Lottery Fund is matching the first £200,000 being awarded by the Suffolk Community Foundation to kick-start a new Suffolk Rural Fund which will enable local people to address poverty, loneliness, financial problems, social isolation and the limited access to services and opportunities in rural areas.

Tackling rural isolation is a challenge and in the current economic climate, rural poverty is increasing. Suffolk Community Foundation has decided to develop a specific fund to meet this challenge with the ambitious target of delivering £10 million of funding to rural Suffolk over the next ten years. The Big Lottery Fund is supporting this ambition by providing £200,000 in match funding to jointly support approximately 100 awards over the first two years of the programme.

The programme will work with individuals, organisations and communities, supporting them to identify local solutions to local needs. It will also encourage and support new ways to deliver outreach services from town-based charities and community groups to increase services to rural areas. Most importantly, it will raise awareness of rural isolation, create new networks and partnerships and facilitate community action.

It is hoped this approach of small scale funding to groups led by local people will engage those people who may not otherwise access Big Lottery Fund grants, stretch existing services into rural areas and inspire people to successfully develop further community projects.

Stephen Singleton, Suffolk Community Foundation Chief Executive, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund to help tackle the increasing challenges that our rural communities are facing. As funding for the voluntary sector becomes harder to find, we are witnessing reductions in service provision that are severely impacting upon our rural communities here in Suffolk. This funding will not only help raise the profile of this issue locally, but also help us to encourage further local philanthropy in support of this important plight.”

Lyn Cole, Big Lottery Fund, England Grant Making Director, said: “We want to test a new approach to funding work that tackles rural isolation and loneliness by providing small grants to individuals, community groups and organisations that will allow local people to come up with local solutions to local problems across Suffolk. The people of Suffolk will be leading the way in this pilot which could inform the way we fund other rural parts of the country.”

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Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. We put people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
  • We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year we invest over £650 million and award around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.
  • Suffolk Community Foundation (SCF) is an independent grant-maker to Suffolk local charities and community groups, connecting causes that matter with people who care.
  • Since 2005, Suffolk Community Foundation has distributed close to £12 million in grants to local groups on behalf of its donors, supporting more than 2,000 local charities and community groups in the county.
  • SCF is part of the UK Community Foundations Network. To find out more about Suffolk Community Foundation visit their website at www.suffolkcf.org.ukGoes to different website

 

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

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