Big Lottery Fund
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

Lottery brightens lantern of hope for surgery children

The Big Lottery Fund will help put new light into the lives of children requiring cleft lip and palate surgery with a grant of £116,992 to White Lantern Film. Today’s grant is just one of 53 projects sharing in over £15.5 million in Reaching Communities funding to help those most in need.

The England-wide Spires project by White Lantern Film will focus on improving the level of care, support and understanding to help remove fear and concerns for the children and their families.

Each year around 1,000 children aged 7-11 have an alveolar bone graft (ABG) but currently there is no pre-operative or pastoral care information specifically aimed at children during this worrying time. White Lantern Film will work closely with children and The Spires Cleft Centre based in Salisbury to create a child friendly DVD, literature and a website to help them prepare for their operation and afterwards.

The Spires project will also develop peer support groups to help guide children and their families around managing their anxieties and preconceptions.   

Robert Sharp, Education Manager at White Lantern commented: “With an estimated 1,000 new referrals each year in England, The Spires Cleft Project will involve and inform thousands of children and families on an operation that will improve their lives. The project consists of a pioneering new documentary resource including the work of a world class animation studio.”

Help is also on the way today with £498,500 going to Action Duchenne Ltd for Takin’ Charge which aims to improve the life chances and opportunities for young men living with the incurable muscle wasting condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

Recently better care and new medical treatment has extended the life expectancy of young men from late teens to 30 years. However, support for learning and education for the young men has now moved at the same pace. Working with centres of excellence and appropriate accessible venues, a new e-learning programme will provide new opportunities for young men living with DMD throughout England. As part of Takin’ Charge, participants will be able to work towards a report which will be accredited as the equivalent of five GCSEs to allow them to progress on to the National Apprenticeship Scheme.

Nick Caitlin, CEO at Action Duchenne said: “Takin’ Charge will develop an e-portfolio and training programme that directly help young people living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to become better prepared for life after school. By empowering young people themselves living with this very severe muscle wasting condition we aim to open up opportunities for Higher and Further Education, apprenticeships, independent living and employment. This grant will make a big difference to the quality of life for a group of young people with this rare genetic disease.”

Deafblind UK will create peer groups for deafblind people in three new regions, East Anglia, London and West Midlands, which currently do not have appropriate support to help individuals achieve greater independence and reduce their isolation. The £299,936 grant will be used for Community in Touch creating new Open Forums working in four cluster areas in each region opening up opportunities to new community activities.

Deafblind people will be actively encouraged to participate in creating their own peer groups and organising ongoing activities and events led by a steering group in each region. The aim is to have around ten members in each of the groups that will also work with the local authority sensory teams. Connections will be made with other established peer groups across the country who will guide them through setting up their own local member clusters.

Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund’s England Chair said, “In my new role at the Big Lottery Fund, it is refreshing to see how alive and innovative the voluntary sector is at creating and developing projects that make such a difference to individual lives and the communities that they live in. Today’s Reaching Communities grants showcase great work such as White Lantern Film which gives children about to experience a life changing operation much needed information that is easy for them to access and understand.”

For a full list of the projects receiving Reaching Communities funding today, Click here 

Further Information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888     
Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572
Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030                           
Textphone: 0845 6021 659

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website:
Follow BIG on Twitter:

Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 46% 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 June 2004. 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 £25 billion has now been raised and more than 330,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

Embracing our differences