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Lottery reaches out with over £11 million for communities

14 February 2012

Support for families at risk of breaking up in Brighton and help for young victims of child trafficking in the Greater Manchester area are amongst over 40 good causes to benefit from National Lottery funding this month. The projects share in over £11 million from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) announced today.

Today’s funding comes from BIG’s Reaching Communities programme which provides National Lottery good cause grants from £10,000 to £500,000 to help those most in need and build stronger communities

An evaluation by East Brighton Family Support Project found 40% of participating parents admitted they feared losing custody of their children prior to receiving the necessary help. The project receives £466,453 to expand its support to around 500 parents and carers and 900 children across 16 schools in the East Brighton area. According to recent statistics, 44% of children in the area are on the Child Protection register – the second highest in South East England.

Issues including family conflict, parenting skills, diet, truancy, unemployment and benefits dependency will be addressed by the project, led from Saltdean Primary School. Working alongside Sussex Central YMCA and Safety Net, one-to-one support will be provided through home visits, school counselling and life skills training courses. Families will also be introduced to peer groups and offered volunteering opportunities. Since the project began in January 2009, more than 600 children and families have become more active in their communities, and 54 parents have returned to work, taken up volunteering or education.

Andrew Seares, Project Leader for East Brighton Family Support Project, said: “It is always better to prevent crisis and family breakdown where possible, and feedback from this project reflects the immense gratitude from parents who just needed some extra support and guidance. It is the targeted support this project offers to families which helps them to address these challenges and develop stronger and healthier family relationships.”

Also receiving funding today is Barnardo’s. Through Gregory’s Place in Greater Manchester, it has been running a pilot to protect young people who have experienced or are at risk of trafficking. It can now continue its vital work with £297,098 received today.

Greater Manchester is seen as a point of entry for trafficked children due to geography, the international airport and good transport links. Trafficking can include sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, sweatshop and other work plus credit card and benefit fraud, begging or other petty crimes. The child victims can experience isolation and poverty plus ongoing physical, psychological and financial issues.

Children will be referred by Children’s Services, Police, Youth Offending Services, PCT and Education Services to Gregory’s Place for support. The support team will work with children and young people to involve them in individual and group sessions tailored to their needs. Opportunities will be provided to give young people the opportunity to socialise with others who have been similarly affected to reduce their isolation created by the people who exploited them.

Emma Hawley, Children’s Services Manager at Gregory’s Place said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The money will help to build on our existing work with some of the most vulnerable and hidden young people as well as helping us to increase the awareness of professionals in how to identify and support young people who have been trafficked into the UK.”

Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund England Chair said: “Reaching Communities continues to enable projects across the country to make big differences to individual lives. This month, young people will be able to draw on vital support whether helping them survive the traumas of family break up or help rehabilitate those drawn into human trafficking.”

To view the full list of awards announced today, please click here (opens Excel spreadsheet)

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