Big Lottery Fund
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Lottery millions to make big impact at local level

Older people with disabilities, people with mental health problems and young people moving on from offending are amongst thousands of individuals to benefit from the latest awards from the Big Lottery Fund announced today (22 October).

Today’s funding, totalling £3,811,950 from the Fund’s Investing in Communities programme, goes to six community based projects.

Helping to get older disabled people out of their homes and into the community is the North Ayrshire Forum on Disability. The organisation will use its award of £252,453 for its Access Ability Plus project which will help people like 73 year old Tony Cooke from Ardrossan to become more independent. With poor mobility, Tony uses a walking frame indoors and a wheelchair when outdoors.  The project is a lifeline for Tony as it helps him with shopping, bill paying, correspondence, attending appointments and with routine household tasks.

He said: “I could not do without the assistance and support I receive from Access Ability.  Without their help I would not be able to live as independently as I am able to, in my own home. I enjoy talking to the staff and they always make sure I have everything I need to help me on a daily basis.  It makes a great difference to me to be part of a group and have friends who I can rely on and trust. I was very pleased to hear of this Lottery grant to develop and extend the services for older people with disabilities. I look forward to taking part in the groups and making new friends.”

The Access Ability Plus project will provide a range of services for 150 people including new social groups, one to one advice, learning opportunities and a befriending telephone service.

North Ayrshire Forum on Disability, Project Worker, Anne Armstrong, added: “Our Access Ability Plus project will develop and extend a range of important services for older people with disabilities in North Ayrshire. This means we’ll be able to support older people with disabilities who can often experience loss of social networks, isolation, loneliness and maybe are now becoming less physically active. Our mixed package of support services and activities will also hopefully assist older people with disabilities in North Ayrshire to remain independent in their own homes.”

Adults who are recovering from substance misuse and coping with mental health problems are to benefit from additional support that will help them to build skills and confidence for their recovery.  The award of £697,532 to Scottish Association For Mental Health (SAMH) and its SoRTED project will help 240 individuals to work towards future employment, education and training.

When 33 year old Natalie Logan from Bishopbriggs was first referred to SAMH by her community addiction worker she had already completed a residential rehabilitation course. She credits the SoRTED project as a key stop in her recovery. Natalie said: “I was just 13 when my substance abuse began. I had been passed to a lot of different services over the years so when I was referred to SAMH a year and a half ago I was keen to engage with a service that focussed not just on addiction but also understood how our mental health works hand in hand.  Thanks to their support I have been able to work though my emotions, anxieties and feelings and I am now using my experience as a volunteer to help others in a similar position.”

Roy Biddle, Senior Fundraising Manager, added: “Through the wonderful grant offered by the Big Lottery Fund, SAMH will be able to help people from across East Dunbartonshire recovering from addictions and mental health problems. The grant will mean we are able to offer people the right level of support to make positive, meaningful changes in their lives, and achieve more fulfilling futures. Ultimately we will be able to help people gain employment and take up volunteering or training opportunities.”

A project that will help young people to address the causes of their offending behaviour and get into work receives an award of £823,781. The ChoiceWorks project delivered by Community Safety Glasgow will work with 300 young people aged 16 to 24 to develop skills for work, as well as completing a 12 week work placement.

Lesley Lewis, Operations Manager, Community Safety Glasgow, said: “This award is vital for the continued delivery of ChoiceWorks and allows us to increase the number of young adults we engage with to 100 each year over the next three years.  This funding will make a massive difference as it allows the team to continue to support young people who have offended to address the causes of their behaviour and gain skills, qualifications and work experience that assist them to gain and sustain a job, place in further education or training.  Ultimately many of the young people who engage in ChoiceWorks make a positive progression from worklessness and offending to employment or learning.”

Announcing the awards, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “Each of today’s successful groups will support individuals through a key time of change in their lives. For older people with disabilities, such as Tony, this funding will make a difference supporting them to be out and about in their communities, making new friends, instead of being isolated at home.   For people recovering from substance misuse, it will mean intensive support on the long road to recovery.  And for former young offenders it will provide a real focus for change through practical work placements.” 

Other Investing in Communities awards announced today are:

Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council
Award - £535,133

This money advice project will provide financial advice for individuals affected by substance misuse to help them during their road to recovery. It will work within a partnership of eight specialist drug and alcohol services. Up to 20 volunteers will be trained to provide initial advice and advocacy while skills and knowledge will be passed onto partner agencies.

Turning Point Scotland
Award - £503,051

The HMP Low Moss Public Social Partnership will work with 1,200 short-term prisoners of Low Moss prison in Bishopbriggs over the next three years helping them to integrate back into their communities and to stop the revolving door back into prison.

South Kintyre Development trust
Award - £1,000,000

This group will take ownership of, renovate and redevelop Campbeltown Town Hall to serve the local community and businesses, creating a focus for community activity and contributing to the regeneration of the town centre.

For more information regarding this release please contact:

Landa Rolland, Communications Manager
Big Lottery Fund Scotland
0141 242 1458
07823 552889 |

For more information on Big Lottery Fund Scotland (including programmes and grants awards):

Visit the website:
Ask Big
Or call Big Advice Scotland: 0300 1237110

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 £30 billion has now been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
  • The Scotland Committee has been making Big Lottery Fund decisions on Scottish projects since March 2007.  As well as taking devolved decisions on Lottery spending, the Committee, led by Chair, Maureen McGinn, has and will continue to play a strategic role in the future direction of BIG in Scotland.
  • The Big Lottery Fund is investing in Scotland’s communities through its Investing in Communities portfolio, as well as the small grants schemes Awards for All, Investing in Ideas, Communities and Families and 2014 Communities.

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