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£500,000 lottery cash joy for Bradford disability groups
People with learning disabilities in Bradford are set to benefit after two groups landed more than half a million pounds of Lottery funding between them.
E:Merge and Bradford People First will split £536,335 between them thanks to the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme. Tim Elgar, CEO of E:Merge, was delighted and said its £318,880 would allow the youth organisation, which is based on Pawson Street, off Sticker Lane, Bradford, to expand its work.
“We are absolutely delighted,” said Mr Elgar. “It really paves the way forward for us as an organisation. It allows us to develop our youth work in the communities that have got little or no youth work, and to communicate and really provide top quality evening, weekend and holiday provision.”
Mr Elgar said the money would allow the organisation to deliver its work to 1,000 more within the next four years. He added that the cash would be put towards street sports sessions, developing youth councils and steering groups, as well as focus group work.
An extra six hubs – on top of the four it already has – will be established within deprived areas of Bradford which have been identified as having little or no youth provision.
Each hub will have a youth council and links with local community groups and schools to support the delivery of the activities programme including arts and crafts, healthy lifestyle sessions and summer sports during the school holidays.
Bradford People First – a registered charity – will get £217,455. It is a self-advocacy group that is run by people with learning disabilities.
The cash will enable the start of a new project to better the lives of beneficiaries by involving them in the community and encouraging them to become responsible citizens.
The charity’s aim is to change the perception of people with learning disabilities.
It says this will be achieved by recruiting and training people with learning disabilities either as paid workers or volunteers to deliver the ‘Citizens’ project. This will give them the responsibilities of running their own project and organisation, educating others and gaining formal qualifications and accreditation.
Bradford People First chairman Tommy Redgrift said: “We have taught a lot of people about what learning disability means, like the police and the council in Bradford. Even though we have made a lot of progress, our work is still going on. We see that people with learning disabilities still aren’t always listened to.”