A CHARITY is celebrating £164,310 of Lottery funding to help it empower a community in Bradford.

Sandale Trust will use the money from the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities fund to develop a project called Right Life in which it will to recruit volunteers to make positive changes where they live.

Sandale chief executive officer Andy Walsh said the three-year grant means it will be able to work with people living in Buttershaw, Woodside and the surrounding area to support them volunteering in its charity shop and cafe, and carry out other community roles such as tidying up the estates or doing odd jobs and gardening while learning new useful skills.

The Right Life scheme will also give people the chance to have a go at setting up their own community projects and develop community interest groups.

Mr Walsh said: “We are overjoyed that the Big Lottery has decided to fund our project and invest in Bradford’s communities.

"People get into volunteering for a lot of reasons. You have young people and adults building skills in their free time while they look for work, parents who want to make new friends while the kids are at school and people who have retired and want to give some of their spare time to a good cause.

“The Right Life will work with people from all backgrounds and all walks of life. Our project takes this goodwill and enthusiasm and provides the framework for all this energy to be directed in a way that benefits the area while making sure volunteers get something back that they can take away like training, experience, new friends and most of all a bigger sense of belonging in the community.”

The new project will also be recruiting two apprentices.

Mr Walsh said: “We felt it was important that part of the project gives something right back to the communities we’re working with, so we’d love to take on two local people as apprentices in community roles as part of the project, as apprenticeships are a great opportunity to upskill and improve future job prospects.”

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins said: “It is wonderful news that Sandale Trust will be able to continue its work investing in the fabric of our city through a programme of volunteering and outreach work.

The Right Life project is due to start in January 2018.

Earlier this year the charity it was given an award from the Telegraph & Argus’s parent company’s charitable arm, the Gannett Foundation, to run a befriending Sunday lunch service for older people.