How £250,000 fund can help YOU improve Sunderland

Viv Watts, chief Executive of Hope4Kidz
Viv Watts, chief Executive of Hope4Kidz
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CHARITIES and community groups today gave their backing to the Echo’s “Do a Lotto Good” campaign.

We have joined forces with the Big Lottery Fund to award £250,000 in grants to community and not-for-profit organisations, parish and town councils, health bodies and schools across our area.

We are inviting groups to bid for grants of between £10,000 and £30,000 – with Echo readers then voting on a shortlist of the best ideas.

The City of Sunderland College’s Together Activity Group (TAG) – which was previously given Lottery funding to improve skills and opportunities for students with learning difficulties and disabilities – urged good causes to enter the running for the cash awards.

Project co-ordinator Rachael Smales said: “The funding has helped us work with students who have physical and learning disabilities and empowered them to organise social activities that they are interested in but have been previously been unable to get involved in.

“From Zumba fitness classes to breakfast clubs and trips to The Lakes, those that get involved have been able to gain confidence and mix with their peers in a social environment.

“Projects like TAG are incredibly beneficial to local communities but wouldn’t be possible without Big Lottery Funding.

“For this reason we support the Echo’s campaign and would encourage more community groups to get involved.”

Pennywell-based Hope 4 Kidz received funding for its Hope Holiday Club, aimed at youngsters from families facing financial problems.

“We want to say a very big thank you to the Big Lottery Fund for supporting our club, which has made a huge difference to almost 200 people in the Pennywell area,” said chief executive Viv Watts.

“The Big Lottery Fund has helped Hope 4 Kidz make a difference to those who so desperately need our help.”

The Hendon Young People’s Project was also given grants to boost its after-school and holiday play activities.

Project manager Richy Duggan said: “Without their support, we could not achieve our aims. They were both professional and understanding to the needs of the young people, parents and the area as a whole.”

He added: “This campaign is a great idea. This money will make a massive difference to many groups.”

APPLICATION forms need to be submitted by July 21.

From September 9, a shortlist of the best ideas, chosen by a judging panel, will be revealed in the Echo.

Over two weeks, readers will have the chance to vote for the projects they would like to see get the cash.

Those with the highest number of votes will be awarded the funding until all £250,000 of the Big Lottery Fund money has been spent.

The winners will be announced on September 30.

Only community groups, not-for-profit groups, parish or town councils, health bodies or schools can apply for grants.

However, groups do not have to be a registered charity to apply, although they must have a bank account that requires at least two people to sign each cheque or withdrawal and be in a position to use the grant within one year.

To download your application form, visit www.communityfoundation.org.uk/connect/funds/do-a-lotto-good.

Paper copies are available on request from Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, Cale Cross, 156 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6SU, or by email from general@communityfoundation.org.uk.

For further information, contact Elaine Holdsworth at the Community Foundation on 222 0945.