Big Lottery Fund
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Multi-million Lottery lifeline for cuts-hit good causes
Hundreds of charities and community groups across England that are struggling with the effects of public funding cuts and increased demand for their services have been given a new Lottery lifeline.
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) has awarded 217 of its grant-holders an extra year’s worth of funding to enable them to continue their work through the tough economic environment. Grants of up to £10,000 have also been awarded to over 600 projects to help them review their work and find ways of becoming more sustainable.
Projects sharing in the funding - totalling close to £29 million - provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable groups in society, such as advocacy and information for older people, disability support or debt advice for low income families.
Many face an uncertain future as their Lottery funding comes to an end, compounded by increasing demand from beneficiaries as other services are forced to scale back or close down, and welfare reforms begin to take effect.
The funding is part of a Big Lottery Fund initiative called Supporting Change & Impact, which totals over £70m and is designed to help Lottery-funded good causes cope with the developing impact of public funding cuts. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) estimates that voluntary and community groups will experience a reduction in public funding of up to £3.3 billion by 2015.
Mankind, based in Newhaven, East Sussex, which is the only specialist support service in the South East for men who have been sexually abused, sexually assaulted or raped, has received a grant of £100,609. According to figures from the organisation, which has experienced a 248% rise in the number of men seeking support over the past four years, three men out of 20 are affected by sexual violence at some point in their lives. Mankind now has a team of 12 counsellors trained in the various complex aspects of sexual violence trauma as well as two independent sexual violence advisors (ISVAs), who can offer practical support around the criminal justice system. Common issues for men include depression, low self-esteem, trust issues and relationship problems.
Martyn Sullivan, Chief Executive of Mankind said: “BIG has thrown us a real lifeline, the funding will help us to research a range of funding streams and the BIG money will enable our services to continue while these new streams are being implemented.”
Many men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and/or adult sexual assault harbour intense feelings of guilt and shame, partly owing to unhelpful stereotypes about men having to be strong, able and in control.
Mr Sullivan said: “Traditionally, sexual assault is associated with women so it can be very confusing for a man to identify and acknowledge what has happened to him. In an effort to suppress these difficult feelings a man may withdraw and become isolated from family and friends, use drugs and alcohol to numb the pain or in more extreme cases engage in overtly aggressive behaviour and/or sexual promiscuity to prove his masculinity.
“At Mankind we understand these reactions and work with clients to help them understand their feelings and behaviours. For most men, they have been keeping their experience secret for many years and the opportunity to tell their story in a safe and confidential space can be enormously therapeutic and healing. We are the only male specialist support service in the South East and the new funding will ensure that we are able to offer this vital service long into the future.”
Nat Sloane, Chair of BIG’s England Committee, said: “As a major funder of the charitable and community sector, the Big Lottery Fund is only too aware of the increasing pressures facing organisations across the sector as the full effect of public funding cuts comes to bear.
“This funding package responds to the concerns of our grant-holders as they struggle to continue their work providing vital support and services to thousands of vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the country.
“It gives an extra year’s funding support to a number of organisations that we see are having a particularly significant impact on their beneficiaries. Importantly, it also gives groups some much needed time and space to plan for the future, and explore ways of making their projects more sustainable, whether that be developing more effective operating models, partnership working, or finding new ways to deliver activities in future.”
As part of the £70m support package, BIG also added £25m to its two main open grants programme in England, Reaching Communities and Awards for All, to fund an additional 1,200 charitable and community projects, and has awarded almost £20 million to partner organisations that distribute or manage funding on its behalf to further support their grant holders. These include MIND, Groundwork, and Age UK, who deliver funding as part of BIG’s Well-being and Changing Spaces grants programmes.
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
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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 BIG has awarded over £4.4bn.
- 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 £27 billion has now been raised and more than 370,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.