£612,000 lottery windfall for community charities
A string of charities across the Westcountry are sharing in a £612,000 Lottery pot to celebrate the organisation's 18th anniversary.
Some 83 charities across the South West have received grants from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) to help pay for projects.
The funding comes from BIG's Awards For All programme, which offers grants of between £300 and £10,000 to social and environmental projects to benefit local communities and make a difference to the lives of those most in need.
Darite Primary School in south east Cornwall will spend its £7,500 grant to install a fitness fun trail in its playground, which currently has no play equipment for pupils.
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The Transition charity in St Agnes, Cornwall, will use its £940 to pay for an apple press to juice residents' surplus fruit which often goes to waste and is thrown in the bin.
Stanbury Court Social Club in Crediton, mid-Devon, will use its cheque for £6,475 to pay for social activities for older people living in a sheltered housing complex.
The idea is to bring people together to reduce isolation and engage in activities to improve their confidence.
At The Paper Birds Theatre Company a grant for £3,565 will fund workshops in Ilfracombe, Devon, exploring issues of teen pregnancy and the importance of health education culminating in a theatre production.
Central to the project is young people developing theatre skills and team building to boost confidence and promote responsible living.
And Barnardo's will use its £8,650 grant to establish an activity group and crèche for local families in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
Mark Cotton, BIG's Head of the South West region, said anyone wishing to get involved with a community-based project should check with Lottery chiefs to see if they are eligible for grants.
He said: "These inspiring projects show the merits of people-powered change, when community initiatives really help people to help themselves and therefore have a vital important long-term impact, and often from a relatively small amount of cash.
"Anyone who has an idea for a community project should visit the Awards for All website to see if a Big Lottery Fund grant could help to get their idea off the ground."
For further details go to www.biglotteryfund.org.uk