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Lottery awards for local disability groups

Reaching Communities awards in Halton and Knowsley

Two Merseyside projects - helping people with learning disabilities affected by Hate Crime, and supporting vulnerable families with young children - received grants recently from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme. Reaching Communities awards grants of £10,000 to £500,000 to projects that offer people better life chances, build stronger communities, develop improved rural and urban environments and improve health and well being.

True Grit at SPARC – hate crime and people with learning difficulties

Supporting People Achieving Real Choice (SPARC) received £154,000 to set up True Grit. This is a programme which will provide training for people with severe learning disabilities (and their parents and carers). They will learn the skills needed to identify hate crime, and to improve confidence, manage risk and deal with aggressive situations, The scheme, which will have a website for members to share their views, will also develop alarm systems in the home, to give its members a 24 hour emergency help.

Mick O' Gorman, chair of SPARC said that in recent years there had been a worrying increase in incidents of harassment and assaults against people who are often regarded as soft targets. “With the help of this grant we shall be able to support our members to acquire skills they need to have the confidence to be able to venture onto the streets safely."

Befriending in Knowsley from Home-Start

Home-Start Knowsley received £286,000 to expand their training for volunteers who provide befriending to vulnerable families in Knowsley. The scheme give free confidential support to families who have at least one child under five, and who are experiencing difficulties: those can include mental ill-health, disability, post-natal depression or social isolation. "The project will improve poor emotional health and well-being, and raise self esteem and aspirations".

More information about these and other Big Lottery grants awarded is in the recent  Big Lottery Press Release .