COMMUNITY projects in East Lancashire are celebrating after winning lottery windfalls together worth more than £1.5million.

The biggest winner is the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Outreach Team, which works against domestic violence.

The team, based in Accrington, has received £420,778 for its ‘domestic abuse service’ project, to fund work with domestic abuse victims.

The Thomas Works! community interest company in France Street, Blackburn, has landed £392,109 to improve the life chances of people affected by drug and alcohol addiction. It will deliver activities so people affected by addition can gain practical work experience, qualifications and skills.

The funding is being awarded by the Big Lottery Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players back into communities.

James McCartney, chief executive at Thomas (Those on the Margins of a Society), said: “As well as our existing services, we will now be able to offer practical learning activities and help with life skills, as well as providing courses for participants to gain qualifications.”

Other Big Lottery Fund winners include the Snowdrop Doula community interest company in Valley Street, Burnley, has received £9,840 for its perinatal mental health counselling project, to fund one-on-one counselling support to expectant and new mothers, while Activities R Us in Rossendale has received £9,950 for its ‘happy days’ project, to fund interactive activities and sessions in care homes.

Meanwhile, the Community Enterprise & Skills community interest company in Appleby Street, Blackburn, has received £43,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a new project, ‘This is Your Life - Bringing Generations Together’ in the town.

The project will help to bridge gaps between generations.

Director Amir Shafiq said: “We are thrilled to have received support and are confident the project will support young people to learn about their heritage, build stronger relationships and leave memories for many generations to come.”