MORE than 30 community projects across East Lancashire have received a slice of National Lottery funding.

Money has been distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

And more than half a million pounds has gone to organisations across Blackburn, Hyndburn, Burnley, the Ribble Valley and Rossendale.

These projects range from a music project for vulnerable pupils excluded from mainstream education to a project that provides support and guidance to homeless young people.

Around £114,000 has been given to Blackburn’s Arts 2 Heal in order to provide arts-health focused activities to benefit individuals who self-harm or have mental health problems.

Sliding Doors, also in Blackburn, has received £118,415 for a project which aims to provide access to worthwhile volunteering opportunities for people with disabilities who have never previously had the opportunity to help others.

The project will offer a programme of events designed to foster connections between isolated people, improve their physical and mental wellbeing and create a sense of purpose and community through activities.

Julie Astley from Sliding Doors said: "Understandably we are absolutely thrilled.   

"What this means is that we're able to keep Sliding Doors open for another 3 years and continue to bring meaning, friendship and confidence to the lives of our community's most vulnerable people - who, due to disability, bereavement or learning challnges are often incredibly lonely.   

"This news has put smiles on a lot of faces and we are so grateful to lottery players everywhere for making our crucial work possible."

In Hyndburn, just over £9,000 went to White Ash School, Thwaites Road in Oswaldtwistle, so they can install outdoor play facilities and sensory activity panels for those with special educational needs.

Headteacher at White Ash School, Sarah Holt, said: “We’ve spent a lot of money on the school in the last few years but we wanted to create something for our children who use wheelchairs.

“This money from the lottery has enabled us to make something accessible for our children and we’re very grateful for it.

“We’ve installed a sensory panel that’s going to include interactive activities for the children.

"The money has really helped to enhance playtime and lunch time for the pupils, and it looks very nice in the school grounds.”

Around £10,000 has gone to Rammy Men CIC in Rossendale to help provide an early intervention service for men with mental health issues in the hopes of improving mental health and general wellbeing of participants.