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27 March 2003

Twenty-two grants were awarded today to groups in the North East region, totalling almost 2.3 million

A community centre in Shildon benefits today from an award of 100,000 from the Community Fund.

The Chair of the Regional Awards Committee John Goddard said: "The Community Fund continues to support projects which make a huge difference to local people's lives. The awards that we make today illustrate the range of fantastic schemes that Lottery money supports in the North East."

More information about the grants awarded today can be found in the 'what we've funded' section of our website.

In County Durham

Elderly users of a Community Centre in Bishop Auckland are set to benefit from a 30,000 Community Fund grant announced today.

Woodhouse Close Church Community Centre, which serves the residents of the nearby estate has been awarded the cash. They will use this to continue employing two cooks essential to the running of the centre's luncheon club and meals on wheels service.

Jane Armstrong of Woodhouse Close Community Centre said, "We are absolutely delighted that we have now secured the future of the Lunch Club, Day Club and the provision of activities for the elderly people for the next 3 years. Thanks to the Community Fund grant we can now provide continuous employment of our two cooks."

In Northumberland

A service supporting older people in Northumberland has received a Community Fund grant of almost 150,000.

The lottery windfall has gone to the Ashington-based Northumberland branch of Age Concern, and will be used towards its project aimed at reducing isolation amongst elderly people. It will do this by supporting them to access help from other agencies using a referral service.

James Glover of Age Concern Northumberland said, "The Community Fund grant will mean that we can reach many more older people, this will make a huge difference to those people who need information about services and their rights. For the first time even the most isolated older people in Northumberland will have an information service specifically aimed at them. It adds a new dimension to the services that we can offer as a charity."

In South Tyneside

South Tyneside's black and minority ethnic communities are to benefit from a Community Fund grant of almost 150,000 in announcements made today.

The award has been landed by South Tyneside Citizens Advice Bureau. It will use the money to maintain its advice service targeting the borough's minority ethnic population comprising mainly Bangladeshi and Arab communities.

Ian Thompson representing the CAB said, "We are absolutely delighted. This Community Fund grant will ensure that we are able to continue and develop this successful advice service to the minority ethnic community in South Tyneside."

In Sunderland

A new creche in the Monkwearmouth area of Sunderland is to benefit from a grant from the Community Fund.

The Little Tiggers creche has received 100,000 of funding to develop its service further. By doing this more parents in the area will have the chance to access training and employment opportunities.

Representative of the project Juliette Johnson said: "This has been a tremendous support to a voluntary organisation in Sunderland and has given us the opportunity to broaden our horizons and to reach members of the community who would not normally access childcare provision."

In Tees Valley

A group working across Tees Valley to help disabled people live independently has scooped a Community Fund grant.

The Independent Living Project based in Stockton has been awarded 230,000 to support two of its projects.

The first is the 'Personal Assistance' scheme, in which helpers work with disabled people to enable them to live as independently as possible. The other project is a handyperson service which provides minor repairs and maintenance to the homes of severely disabled people.

Edith Cartwright, Chair of Independent Living Project commented: "This Community Fund award will make a big difference to the lives of disabled people in Tees Valley. The handy person project in which basic home maintenance tasks and small repairs are carried out to the homes of disabled people will benefit not only the users, but will also give employment opportunities to learning disabled people who will carry out the work. The personal assistance scheme will provide training for future carers who will then be placed on a register so that disabled people have a choice of trained carers with skills appropriate to their needs."

In Tyneside

Young deaf people across Tyneside are to benefit from a Community Fund award of 190,000 in an announcement made today.

The Tyneside Deaf Youth Project was set up in 1999 to provide a range of educational, leisure and social opportunities to young deaf people. The group will use the lottery grant to expand its work into areas that those it helps have identified.

Francis Murphy, Project Director commented: "Tyneside Deaf Youth Project is extremely pleased to have successfully gained a second round of funding from the Community Fund award for the next three years. This award will enable a leading deaf-led youth organisation to further develop and provide a range of extensive services to young deaf people in the North East. We are currently looking to relocate to a new, more youth-centred accessible premises and will be conducting a two year research project to identify issues facing young deaf people today."

Notes to Editors

1. The Community Fund shares 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. Since it began in 1995 it has awarded over 2.3 billion to more than 52,000 projects throughout the UK. For more information visit www.community-fund.org.uk

2. In 2001-02 across the UK the Community Fund awarded 351 million in 7,557 grants. In Research grants it gave 3,928,271 in 20 grants. Internationally it awarded 21,639,301 in 75 grants. In Wales 20,237,978 in 522 grants. In Scotland 36,332,370 in 1,022 grants. In Northern Ireland 10,951,718 in 629 grants. In England 21,466,283 in 103 grants.

For more information contact Helen Attewell on 0191 2551127 or Derry Nugent on 0191 2551106