Want to improve your community? There’s still time to get a share of Sunderland’s £250,000 grants pot

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TIME is running out for charities and community groups to claim their share of a £250,000 cash bonanza.

Last month, we joined forces with the Big Lottery Fund to award grants to community and not-for-profit organisations, parish and town councils, health bodies and schools across our area.

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

Now, groups have just days left to submit their applications for the “Do A Lotto Good” campaign.

Big Lottery Fund England director Dharmendra Kanani said: “We are pleased to see some fantastic groups already interested in this scheme, but time is running out for you fill in your application form and help make a difference to the lives of people and communities across the Sunderland Echo area.

“We hope this funding will help to bring people and communities together, particularly in difficult times to feel empowered and access resources to turn lives around for the better.”

A host of Wearside groups have shown their support for the drive, including the Youth Almighty Project, in Silksworth, Sunderland, which was previously handed Lottery funds to set up healthy living clubs and music projects, as well as a youth café.

“Through this partnership with the Sunderland Echo, there is £250,000 available to support the spirit, imagination and aspirations of local people and communities to do good in their neighbourhoods – in short this is people-powered change,” said Dharmendra.

“We really want to see a range of exciting applications come in to help people most in need.

“The form is straightforward to fill in.”

How to apply

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, NE1 6SU, or by e-mail from general@communityfoundation.org.uk.

For further information, contact Elaine Holdsworth on 222 0945.