Big Lottery Fund
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£67m investment transforms free advice services for better future

Vital frontline advice services across England will today be sharing in a multi-million pound support package as the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) announces 226 awards made under the Advice Services Transition Fund. The Cabinet Office is supporting BIG’s programme by contributing half of the funding.

Today’s awards build on BIG’s historic role in funding the advice sector and comes as a direct and timely response to the challenging circumstances advice providers and those dependent on their services are facing. The funding aims to help address that immediate need but will also help strengthen organisations for the demands that lay ahead.

Dharmendra Kanani, Big Lottery Fund Director for England said: 
“Getting the right advice at the right time can be a lifeline for people and communities most in need. Current services are struggling to keep up with increasing demand and the greater complexity in the types of problems people are facing. This timely funding demonstrates the enormous value that BIG can bring by offering support to help local partnerships of advice providers to come together to develop new ways of working fit for the 21st century. Times are tough for advice providers and for people at the thin end of the wedge. This is a chance to invest in a much needed transformation of services so that they can adapt, respond to need and survive.”

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society said:
"At a time of great change, it is important that people can continue to access high quality local advice. This partnership fund is designed to help local providers come together and deliver a better coordinated and more sustainable service”

The funding is being awarded to partnerships of local not-for-profit advice providers that will improve local services by responding to the needs of people and communities in their local areas, including providers of welfare benefits, debt, housing and employment advice.

One project awarded today is Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau with over £336,000 to establish a new weekly evening law clinic staffed by solicitors and trainee solicitors on a pro bono basis. The new project will support an additional 7,000 people in Barnet over two years and will provide key legal advice to vulnerable groups including people who are unemployed, those in debt, and those suffering with poor health. It will also support the extension of Advice Barnet Project helpline to cope with increased demand to help improve quality of advice locally. 
                                                                                                                 
The Advice Services Transition Fund was launched in October 2012 making grants of between £50,000 and £350,000 to be spent over two years.                                                                                                          

A full list of today’s awards. 

For further information about the programme:
http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_advice_services_transition_fund.htm

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours media contact: 07867 500 572
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
Ask BIG a question here: https://ask.biglotteryfund.org.uk
Follow BIG on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BigLotteryFund #BIGlf
Find BIG on facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFund

Notes to Editors

• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6bn.
• The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
• The Cabinet Office: In Budget 2012 The Government announced that it would make £20 million available to the not-for-profit advice sector in 2013–14, and again in 2014–15 to support the sector as it adapts to changes in the way that it is funded.  The Cabinet Office is contributing the England portion of that funding (£16.8m in each year) to the Advice Services Transition Fund. 
• The Cabinet Office has previously worked with BIG to deliver the Advice Services Fund, a £16.8m programme that provided immediate support for local advice organisations facing significant cuts in their funding.


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