The National Lottery is using Valentine’s Day to reveal some of the local champions who love their community so much that they applied for a special grant to do something positive locally – and were successful.
Over 50 projects in Devon will receive money from the fund – called #CelebrateNationalLottery25 – after they applied to the £2 million pot last December.
The fund, which has now closed, invited applications from anyone with a great idea to make a difference in their local community. Up to £1,000 was available to them, showing that no individual or idea is too small to make a big difference and bring people together across the UK.
The funded projects will aim to generate a warm glow of togetherness across communities after a National Lottery survey revealed that being part of a community makes people feel happier (84%), less lonely (81%) and mentally healthier (75%).
Exeter-based charity Music in Devon Initiative has received £1000 to install a permanent, accessible outdoor piano at local arts venue The Exeter Phoenix, following the success and popularity of similar ‘Pop-Up Piano’ schemes at various locations around the city.
Mike Ollier, from Music in Devon Initiative, said: “Devon Pop-Up Pianos is a community project bringing people together through music and creativity. Unwanted pianos are salvaged, given to local artists who breath life back into them by hand painting them, and then placed around Exeter city centre for any and all to play.
“We’ve already brought temporary pianos to the Library, Guildhall and Princesshay Shopping Centre - the response from the community has been massively positive, with disappointment whenever the pianos come to the end of their tenure.
“Now, thanks to this National Lottery funding, we can install a permanent, secure, all-weather pop-up piano – we hope it brings enjoyment and piano-based fun to everyone!”
Another local project to receive funding is Pinhoe Village Map, which will bring together members of the community to create a textile work celebrating the history and heritage of Pinhoe.
Kate Jago, project leader, said: “Over a series of workshops with local people of all ages, we are creating the first section of a silk-painted map, gradually overlaying roads, our brook and our paths with remembered moments of history and heritage, using knitting, crochet, embroidery and beadwork.
“This project aims to bring residents of all ages together to celebrate our natural heritage and history, using creativity to express deeply felt emotions about our sense of place and local distinctiveness. We hope to provide a voice - to both celebrate our place and as a call for action.
“We’d like to thank National Lottery players for this grant. Every ticket is a personal wish for a piece of good luck - a chance, a dream of a win. But each ticket also gives projects like ours the opportunity to bring people together.”
Tom McCulloch, Head of Funding for the South West at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “It’s fantastic to see people’s love for their communities inspiring them to use National Lottery funding to make great things happen – we’ve been blown away by all the great ideas. #CelebrateNationalLottery25 is supporting a wide variety of projects across the UK this year, all bringing people together to show the huge impact that can come from small ideas.”
Thanks to National Lottery players, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community over the last 25 years. #CelebrateNationalLottery25 is funded and delivered by The National lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The #CelebrateNationalLottery25 fund marked the culmination of a major campaign by The National Lottery celebrating its impact over the past 25 years and thanking players for contributing £30 million to good causes every week.
The National Lottery Community Fund is responsible for giving out money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded over half a billion pounds (£511.1 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK and supported over 12,000 projects to turn their great ideas into reality.
To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk