National Lottery funding to support the UK-wide response to the coronavirus pandemic has exceeded £1 billion according to new figures.
The £1.2 billion awarded has gone towards thousands of initiatives and programmes designed to tackle loneliness and isolation, provide support for the elderly and vulnerable young people, and those promoting physical and mental health in the community.
Ros Kerslake, Chair of The National Lottery Forum said:
“Thanks to The National Lottery’s players, we have been able to offer comprehensive packages of support to thousands of projects throughout the UK over the last year.
“This funding has helped alleviate some of the significant and unprecedented challenges faced by the community, arts, heritage and sports sectors as a result of the pandemic. None of this would have been possible without the important work of amazing and dedicated people throughout the UK who keep these projects going.”
One project to have benefited is Scottish Youth Theatre, Scotland’s national youth theatre who provide training to young, creative talent across the country.
The Glasgow-based company received a National Lottery grant from Creative Scotland of almost £50,000, which it has used to expand their digital presence including running its first digital festival – called Making Space.
Jacky Hardacre, Chief Executive at Scottish Youth Theatre, said:
“The theatre industry has been hit really hard, and we’re working with young people who want to follow a creative career.
“What I hope we’ve continued to do is give them some optimism and a pathway into the industry so they can shape it in future. National Lottery funding, through our Creative Scotland grant, has certainly been a big part of [what we’ve done]. It’s funded a programme of activity for six months of the financial year.
“National Lottery funding has enabled us to develop our company priorities, work digitally and reach further across the whole of Scotland.”
North Wales Crusaders Wheelchair Rugby League & Disability Sports Club (main image) has also received support. Its National Lottery grant from Sport Wales enabled the club to find new wheelchair storage space after its Deeside base was turned into a hospital.
North Wales Crusaders’ revenue streams dried up overnight when lockdown struck but National Lottery support has meant its additional storage costs were met and the club could afford crucial PPE so they could carry on training and playing.
Stephen Jones, Head Coach and Trustee, said:
“We’re not the only club who have suffered through Covid, but because of The National Lottery, at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel with funding for us. Without the initial funding we got, we would have seriously struggled to be able to afford to store our equipment.”
Main image: North Wales Crusaders