Big Lottery Fund gives nearly £8m to community advice providers

Derbyshire Housing Aid and Woking YMCA are among recipients of Reaching Communities grants

The Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities funding stream has given 33 voluntary organisations in England a total of almost £8m in the last month.

The Reaching Communities programme makes monthly awards of between £10,000 and £500,000 for up to five years.

The latest funding round has focused on organisations that are providing community advice in the wake of the credit crunch.

Sanjay Dighe, chair of Big Lottery Fund England, said: "Advice organisations are dealing with a high level of support requests, including homeowners who find their homes at risk after redundancy and reduced incomes, and who are struggling to adjust and cope."

Among the organisations to receive grants in the latest funding round are Derbyshire Housing Aid, a homelessness and poverty charity that received £436,492, and Woking YMCA, which will be using its £463,815 to provide support, guidance and counselling for 14 to 19-year-olds.

The Reaching Communities programme is open to all types of not-for-profit organisations and operates on a rolling basis, so that organisations can apply at any time.

The programme funds "projects that help people and communities who are most in need, and can really make a difference" and has up to £100m available each year until 2013.

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