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BIG Board in Liverpool

14 July 2009

The Big Lottery Fund Board holds its Board meeting outside London at least once a year which gives us an opportunity to visit projects and meet stakeholders together beyond the capital. Today we meet in Liverpool.

Most of yesterday was spent looking at the difference BIG awards are making across the city. We divided into two groups – mine met refugees from Mongolia and Burma, among other places, who through the Family Refugee Support Project were receiving support and assistance not only through expert health advice but also through a horticulture project where they can grow things together. From there we visited a second Reaching Communities award made to Soap Box Films, at Toxteth TV.  Here we met with homeless young people from the Wirral who had made a powerful film about the dangers of leaving home.

The other group got to play wheelchair basketball at the Liverpool Greenbank Club. They also visited the amazing Plaza Community Cinema, a People’s Millions winner in November 2007.  Later we gathered for a reception with a wider group of award holders at Kids in Need and Distress (KIND) where we heard from their inspirational leader Stephen Yip, as well as Jim Gill, the chief executive of Liverpool Vision. Phil Redmond was an excellent speaker at dinner.

Board members went to bed, I hope, with a strong sense of the impact Lottery money is having in Liverpool and the progress the city is making, as well as an appreciation of the challenges ahead and what we might do to help.

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