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National Lottery win for pioneering SARH project
The future of an award-winning project that’s helping to tackle loneliness in Stafford and surrounding areas has been secured with the help of The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
Established by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), BeConnected has already helped scores of elderly, disabled or otherwise isolated members of the community to make new friends and engage in a wide range of activities.
Now the scheme is set for a bright future thanks to a grant of nearly £60,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players to good causes.
Led by SARH, the area’s leading provider of affordable homes, BeConnected includes a programme of fun and free activities including arts, crafts, gardening and exercise classes at easy to access venues across the Borough.
It’s also seen the recruitment of a small army of volunteers who play a vital role in bringing communities together.
Alison Poole, BeConnected Project Coordinator commented: “Since the scheme was launched with the help of Stafford Borough Council, BeConnected has proved a huge success. Over the past couple of years it has gone from strength to strength and is now helping more people than ever to break the cycle of loneliness and isolation.”
Matt Poole, Senior Head of Regional Funding for the Midlands at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the BeConnected project, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. It’s fantastic to see opportunities for people to come together to meet new friends and learn new skills, helping them and their community to thrive.”
SARH Chief Executive, Karen Armitage, added: “The National Lottery Community Fund grant has provided a massive boost to this pioneering project, ensuring it can continue to bring people together who would otherwise be alone at home.
“We’re very grateful for the support and can now look forward to delivering even more fun activities that are set to improve the health and wellbeing of all those taking part.”
Jane Green, Funding Officer for The National Lottery Community Fund (seated, left) hands over a cheque for £59,916 to SARH Chief Executive Karen Armitage, watched by (left to right) BeConnected customers Sandra Matthews and Judy Stubbs; Alison Poole, BeConnected Project Coordinator, and Hayley Murphy, SARH Independent Living Manager.