£110,000 lotto boost for comumunity projects

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Helen Barraclough of the STEM Education Trust Helen Barraclough of the STEM Education Trust

Community groups across Bradford have been celebrating after receiving more than £110,000 from Lottery good cause cash to put their big ideas into action.

A total of £112,247 has been handed out to community groups across the Bradford district from the Big Lottery Fund’s popular small grants programme, Awards for All.

From organising science festivals to setting up a community choir or offering social skills building activities for young mothers, the money will be used in all manner of ways to help improve the future of communities across Bradford, bring people together and regenerate community spaces.

The STEM Education Trust received £9,200 which was used in the organisation and running of the Bradford Science Festival last month.

The money will also go towards part of next year’s festival.

Helen Barraclough, managing director of Space Connections, which manages the STEM Education Trust, said: “We were delighted with the money because it enabled us to do some public outreach at the science festival that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.

“It enabled us to do our adult programme 50 Shades of Science, which was about the sciences of sex, drugs and rock n roll.

“And we are looking at building on the success of this year’s programme – we are going to be looking at the sciences of tattooing and piercing.

“What we really wanted to do was take the science to people as opposed to wait for them to come to us, and this helped us to do it.”

Confianza has received £9,700 to purchase IT equipment and deliver accredited training in catering, hospitality and retail skills to help local unemployed people get back into work. The project will also work with local businesses to encourage them to provide work experience placements.

The Ravenscliffe Community Development Programme has received £9,940 to organise a community choir.

RCDP community development worker Anita Bolland said: “We are over the moon.

“The choir will work very much on the Gareth Malone principal, that we are bringing people together to sing in harmony.”

The group is about to begin looking for a singing coach to help the choir.

Miss Bolland said: “It will get people out of the house, off the settee and mixing with other people.

“We are reducing social isolation in a fun and friendly atmosphere.”

The Bradford Bulls Foundation will be using £5,650 of funding to run theory and practical sessions on leading a healthy lifestyle, bullying and racism for children aged eight to nine from local primary schools.

The foundation’s general manager Gareth Cook said the eight-week programme was to be run in two schools initially, with another eight booked up after Christmas.

He said: “The overall aim is to try and better people’s attitudes and their understanding of their role in the community and making them aware of key issues.

“The money is fantastic, it’s basically going to fund a community officer to go and deliver the programme.”

Meanwhile the Down Syndrome Training and Support Service Ltd, based at the Pamela Sunter Centre, in Town Lane, Thackley, used funding of £2,728 to arrange a one-day conference for parents and professionals living and working with children and young people with Down Syndrome.

The conference looked to educate those attending in the best way to teach children and young people with Down Syndrome how to read.

Group co-ordinator Dr Wendy Uttley said: “The money funded the conference, so we put a creche on, we rented the centre and got the catering and then there was the speakers.

“There’s been a four-year research project into reading and children with Down Syndrome, and this was trying to disseminate that research, which has finished now and we have got some significant results on it, and we were just trying to spread the word really.”

Elsewhere, voluntary organisation Choice Advocacy has been given £10,000 to recruit and train able volunteers, and people with learning disabilities, as peer advocates to provide long-term support to individuals with learning disabilities.

The group has said the money will “enhance the ability of people with learning disabilities to access, navigate, and influence services available to them, and reduce the number of incidences requiring crisis intervention”.

The Bierley Community Association Ltd will employ a sessional worker to run social and skills building activities for young mothers with its £10,000 of funding.

The sessions will include healthy cooking, arts and crafts and cake decorating.

Steeton with Eastburn Parish Council is to spend £8,720 on installing doors, kitchen units, tables and chairs into their newly-built Community Hub building, while Bradford Action for Refugees is to spend its £8,816 to deliver English language training.

Vanessa White, Big Lottery Fund’s head of the Yorkshire and Humber region, said: “Today’s round of funding just goes to show the incredible difference communities are making with relatively small amounts of money.

“If there are any communities out there with an exciting idea for a project, please visit the Awards for All website to see if a Big Lottery Fund grant could help to get your idea off the ground.”

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