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28 May 2003

The Community Fund helps Children in Care find their voice and fulfil their potential

The children's charity Voice for the Child in Care (VCC) has been given over a quarter of a million pounds from the Community Fund under its news flagship Strategic Grants programme.

The grant of 344,643 has been given to VCC to help it extend nationally its advocacy services for children in care. The Charity will also continue its campaigning work to improve the lives of these vulnerable children.

The group, which supports children and young people in public care, will expand its advocacy services by setting up regional teams of experienced, independent advocates who can link up to children in need anywhere in the UK. The advocates who work with these children will also receive specialist training to cover issues such as care leavers, runaways, mental health, asylum seekers and special needs.

Diana Brittan, Chair of the Community Fund, said: "This is yet another example of how widely the Community Fund is distributing its share of Lottery money. Vulnerable children and young people who are in public care homes and are finding life difficult will be able to be put in touch with a trained professional in their area who can help them sort out some of their difficulties.

"Voice For Children in Care is providing a valuable service to children and young people and the Community Fund is glad that this grant will help it expand its work to make its services available to even more children and young people."

VCC's Chief Executive, John Kemmis, said; "Sadly, children in care are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society. VCC's aim is that they should have the same opportunity to realise their potential as any other children. This grant will enable VCC to ensure that all children in care can receive support from an advocate to get their voice heard, regardless of where they live or their particular needs. We will also be able to carry on campaigning for a better deal for children in care."

The other grants awarded today were: The Back-up Trust 9,229;
The Manic Depression Fellowship 58,176; Albatross Arts Projects 45,517;
Thrive and RNIB 336,182;
Sense 134,182; Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International 193,532;
Threshold Brighton 198,912;
Different Strokes 248,417; Charities Evaluation Services 715,736.

Notes for editors:

1. The Community Fund gives out money raised by the National Lottery to charities and to voluntary and community groups. Out of every 1 spent on the National Lottery the Community Fund gets 4.7 pence.
2. The legal name of the Community Fund remains the National Lottery Charities Board. The National Lottery Charities Board was set up in 1994 and changed its operating name to Community Fund - Lottery money making a difference, in April 2001.
3. At its Board meeting in May 2003 the Community Fund welcomed the creation of a new lottery distributor. This decision was taken following the Secretary of State's positive response to the guarantees the Community Fund had sought on principles which included funding levels for the voluntary and community sector, independent decision-making, additionality and

Media Enquiries:
Community Fund press office on 020 7747 5380

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