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How Has National Lottery Funding Helped Communities During Lockdown?

How Has National Lottery Funding Helped Communities During Lockdown?
Updated: Friday 7th August 2020

The National Lottery has distributed £300 million to charities and community groups across the UK since the coronavirus pandemic began, and will continue to provide support over the coming months to help local organisations recover from the crisis.

Lottery games have continued throughout the pandemic, with 28 percent of the revenue from ticket sales going towards the Good Causes Fund as normal. However, the National Lottery announced back in March that it would be flexible with how the funding worked, focusing on those projects which are directly helping people to deal with the effects of the outbreak.

The National Lottery Community Fund has tried to reach as many groups as possible over the past few months and has been able to distribute funding to more than 7,400 local organisations of all sizes.

Among the recipients have been groups that support food banks, the elderly or health in the community. One organisation, Kingsmeadow @ Made Forever in the South West of England, supports vulnerable people who are at risk of social isolation. They have been able to provide extensive support packages, including regular ‘check-in’ calls, vouchers for essential items and opportunities to join peer support groups after getting more than £75,000 in funding.

Catherine Sama, the organisation’s chief officer, said: “This funding is absolutely vital for us – it has allowed us to provide urgent and immediate support to anyone who needs it in our community. From everybody at the centre, we’d like to say a huge thank you to National Lottery players.”

Dawn Austwick, the chiefs executive of the National Lottery Community Fund, is pleased to see that the funding has made such a big difference to so many people, and has told more organisations that they will receive help in the next few months.

She said: “Money raised by National Lottery players has been vital in helping people and communities across the UK support each other through the pandemic. Volunteers and charity workers have played an incredible role in keeping people safe, supported and connected. Over the coming months, National Lottery funding will continue to bring people and communities across the UK together to build solutions and recover from the crisis.”

How to Apply for Lottery Funding

The National Lottery’s Good Causes Fund is split various ways - with 20 percent going to sport, 20 percent to arts and 20 percent to heritage. The largest chunk - 40 percent - supports health, education, environment and charitable causes. You have to submit an application and there are a number of distributors, including the Community Fund, which decide whether to award funding.

The full list of distributors is as follows: Arts Council England, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Arts Council Wales, Creative Scotland, the British Film Institute, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the National Lottery Community Fund, Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland, Sport Scotland, SportScotland and UK Sport.

To apply for National Lottery funding, you need to make a request to one of the distributors. You will need to declare how much money you need and provide as much information as you can about why your group should receive funding.

As well as describing your organisation, where it is and what it does, you should say who it will benefit and how it will help them. The relevant distributor will make a judgement about whether to offer you funding.

It is not just the National Lottery Community Fund that has helped out local organisations during lockdown. Sport England announced in April that £195 million would be made available for funding, with many local clubs struggling to stay afloat at a time when they had to close and people were being urged to stay at home. A £50 million emergency fund was also set up to help heritage sites through the crisis.

The National Lottery Community Fund has also taken responsibility for distributing £200 million in coronavirus community support on behalf of the government. The deadline for applications for this funding is 17th August.

Published: Friday 7th August 2020

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