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Blackburn social group's delight at Lottery grant win
A COMMUNITY project that gives people vital skills for life hopes to double the number it helps after hitting a lottery jackpot.
The Scrap Art Metal Store (SAMS) in Blackburn was awarded £293,283 in the latest round of the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme grants.
The social enterprise, which has four paid staff and 14 volunteers, recycles metal and unwanted items and uses the material to engage with disadvantaged people in the Highercroft area through training and workshops.
It is one of several organisations running healthy living projects at the Energy Zone on Newfield Drive.
Already working with 2,000 people through several weekly sessions, the three-year grant will be spent on delivering new workshops and skills, giving people the chance to develop confidence and make friends, bosses said.
Amanda Meachin, chief executive of Community and Business Partners CIC, which set up the project in 2007, said: “We feel absolutely over the moon about receiving the grant. It will ensure that the work the group does will remain stable for at least another three years and will make even more of a difference to the local community.
“SAMS is one of our organisations that with the help of loyal staff and volunteers turns low-cost ideas into projects that produce big results and which develop people’s skills and confidence, helps them create friendships and improve the overall quality of their life.
“It also teaches local businesses to become more environmentally aware and sustainable so that way everyone benefits.”
Caroline James, spokesperson for the Big Lottery Fund, said: “The projects we support through the programme are extremely diverse, but all of them help people to realise their own potential, gain independence and lead happier and more fulfilled lives.”
Organisations that feel they could make a valuable difference to their community with a Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities grant should visit: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk for more information.
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