An England-wide scheme to provide a listening ear to adults
who suffered trauma in their childhood is amongst 40 projects
receiving funding today from the Big Lottery Fund.
Today's announcement sees close to £11 million from
BIG's Reaching Communities programme awarded to organisations
working with some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded
people across the country.
Sanjay Dighe, chair of the Big Lottery Fund's England Committee,
said: "We are delighted to see over £10.9 million
going right into the heart of communities, providing support
to the people who most need it.
"There are projects offering assistance for carers,
disabled people, those with particular health conditions
and a host of others. The 40 projects funded today are vital
in improving health and well-being, increasing opportunities
for people of all ages and building stronger communities."
The National Association for People Abused in Childhood
(NAPAC) receives £495,210 to increase the capacity
of their national freephone support line for adults who
suffered abuse as children.
Volunteers are trained to offer a sympathetic ear, allowing
callers the opportunity to discuss their experiences with
a non-judgmental listener and be signposted to other organisations
that can help them deal with past issues face-to-face.
NAPAC receives approximately 1000 calls per week and is
able to answer just six per cent of these, most of which
are first-time callers.
The grant will enable them to expand its volunteer base
to answer more of these calls. They also do presentations
to GPs and other agencies as part of a campaign to raise
Chief executive Pete Saunders said: "I cannot overstate
the significance of this grant, and what it will enable
NAPAC to achieve. We provide the UK's only national free
phone support line for adults who suffered any type of abuse
in childhood and the Reaching Communities funding will enable
us to reach out to this huge and isolated community.
"It's easy to forget that abused children grow up
and it is so important they, as adults, are given the opportunity
to heal and move on with their lives. That is what we do
at NAPAC: we help support people in their healing journey
through the provision of a volunteer-run support line that
is free and available every day of the working week.
"It was only lack of funding that hampered our plans
to expand and meet the ever-growing demand for our unique
service. This funding has untied our hands and will enable
that to happen."
Other Reaching Communities grants awarded today include
£144,929 to The Lowe Syndrome Trust, to provide support
and information to the parents and carers of children diagnosed
with this rare genetic condition.
A grant will enable The Lowe Syndrome Trust to continue
to raise awareness about the condition within the wider
health profession with the aim that children are more effectively
diagnosed and treated, improving their life expectancy,
quality of life and prospects for education and involvement
in community life.
Also receiving an award is Action for Blind People, who
will use their grant of
£499,651 to inform people in rural areas of England
with visual impairments about Assistive Technology.
Specialist equipment, such as mobile phones with large
screens and software that magnifies or reads out documents
on a computer, will be lent to visually impaired people,
giving them the opportunity to try it out and determine
if it meets their needs before buying it themselves.
The project will cover Devon and Cornwall, East Anglia
and Cumbria, chosen as they are amongst the most rural parts
of the country where the issue of isolation is especially
acute due to the lack of public transport.
Action for Blind People's Director of Services Miriam Martin
said: "It is great news for Action for Blind People
that we have been successful in our bid to the Big Lottery
Fund. As is the case for most charities, we rely on a range
of sources of funding and donations from organisations and
individuals to deliver our services.
"This grant will allow us to provide a service which
will enable blind and partially sighted people in rural
areas, to be more socially involved, independent and to
lead more fulfilling lives by training them in Assistive