North East gets healthy amount of funding from local society lottery

26 October 2011

Communities across England, Scotland and Wales are starting to benefit from the £50 million a year from the good causes money raised by local society lotteries through the new Health Lottery

Through the recently launched Healthy Places Healthy People grants programme, the People’s Health Trust – the independent charity responsible for deciding where the good causes money raised by local lottery societies is spent - will fund activity to reduce isolation amongst older people, provide support for informal carers, particularly young adult carers, and support local projects that help create healthier environments and communities.

Five projects across the North East have became some of the first to be awarded Health Lottery funding raised by HealthImprove, the local society lottery for the North East.

  • Funding of £31,030 has been awarded for a new Mencap Gateway Active Centre to be set up to run an award scheme designed to improve the health and wellbeing of people with a learning disability, supporting them to develop new skills and live a more enriched and active life.
  • Funding of £44,069 has been awarded to the School Food Trust to work with young people aged 14-19 and their families and young people with special educational needs to set up their own community-based healthy cooking club, working with up to 1,000 in the area over the next year.
  • Funding of £37,500 has been awarded to WRVS to help older people remain independent at home and active in their local community, providing practical support so that older people can carry on doing the things they enjoy and need to do, from shopping and socialising to health appointments and visiting friends.
  • Funding of £40,579 is going to the Youth Sport Trust for Healthy Lifestyle Coaches, who will work across the country to inspire young people who are inactive, to participate in school sport, get involved in health-focused initiatives such as Change 4 Life Sports Clubs, and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
  • Funding of £20,611 awarded to the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver its Singing for the Brain project in the region. Singing for the Brain builds on the brain’s preserved memory for song and music, and is found to reduce stress and anxiety for people with dementia, strengthen relationships between people with dementia, their carer and family, and enable people to make friends with group members who go on to provide support and understanding outside of the sessions.  The funding will enable the Society to provide weekly singing sessions for 20-30 participants for 48 weeks.

Professor Jennie Popay, chair of the People’s Health Trust, said: “Our funding comes from  local society lotteries and it’s really important for us to show people in the communities these lotteries represent how their money is being spent to tackle the social causes of ill-health and promote well being. Our funding will provide an injection of new money into the charitable sector to support local activity at a time when it is really needed.  And by working with well-established partners and local groups we know that we're investing in the people and neighbourhoods that can benefit the most from this funding.”

Eamonn Holmes, National Ambassador for the Health Lottery said: “Maintaining good health in our communities is of paramount importance. The Health Lottery is a chance to address some of the health issues that are on all of our doorsteps.  A huge amount of wonderful work is already undertaken every day to help people live longer healthier lives and in these difficult economic times The Health Lottery will inject a sizeable amount of new money into that local network.”

Chris Graham, WRVS Head of Service for the North East and Cumbria, said: “On behalf of the Independent Living for Older People scheme, I’d like to say a really big thank you to the People’s Health Trust.  The service already offers vital support to older people in the community, helping those who are isolated or house-bound to lead happy, healthy, independent lives.  This funding will allow us to further develop the services we can offer older people in the area and make even more of a difference to the community.”

Lisa McHendry, Head of Participation at the Youth Sport Trust, said: “At the Youth Sport Trust we are passionate about working with schools to create opportunities upon which young people’s  lifestyle choices can be built.  We are delighted that through this funding we will be able to provide even greater provision for young people to become more active and healthy which will hopefully provide a stepping stone into lifelong participation.”

Alison Pike, Mencap programme manager for leisure, said: “This money will be a massive boost for people with a learning disabilities.  The new centres and Gateway award will offer them much-needed opportunities to improve their health and wellbeing.”

Rob Rees, School Food Trust Chairman, said: “Inspiring people to learn to cook is a fun and simple way to help them live more healthily. More than half of the people already taking part in our existing cooking clubs at thousands of locations all over the country say they eat a better diet as a result, so we know this works. This grant is a wonderful opportunity to help even more people reap the benefits of being able to make a decent meal from scratch, and we can’t wait to get started on setting up our new clubs and cooking activities.”   

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