Three UK-wide community projects are the first to receive grants from The National Lottery Community Fund's Bringing People Together programme. New Constellations, Neighbourly Lab and Onion Collective are sharing almost £1 million between them – £300,000 each – which they will use to build stronger connections across communities and to improve the infrastructure and conditions needed to strengthen these connections.
Neighbourly Lab, which has received £300,000 for its 18-month project, analyses everyday interactions within communities to identify how to successfully build engaged and better-connected neighbourhoods.
Harry Hobson, Director and Founder of Neighbourly Lab, said:
“Thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to continue and expand our work in other communities and neighbourhoods across the UK, working towards establishing positive social outcomes and connections among different groups.”
New Constellations has received £300,000 in National Lottery funding for a two-year project to support community engagement. The project has already been successful in Barrow-in-Furness, with community representatives including council leaders, community champions, local charities and business owners coming together to develop a roadmap for a better, more connected future for the Cumbrian town.
Lily Piachaud, Co-creator at New Constellations said:
“Through our work, now being boosted thanks to National Lottery players, we want to shine a light on those sparks of hope within our society and those people that are working hard to bring people together. We want to harness their dedication and enthusiasm to help dream up a more positive, better connected future for our communities.”
Onion Collective CIC, based in Somerset, has been awarded just under £300,000 to support its new two-year project – Understory – a collaboration with gaming technology company Free Ice Cream, which will create a digital network mapping tool to link together local groups and change leaders to help them work more collaboratively.
Sally Lowndes, Co-Director of Onion Collective said:
“Through Understory we aim to illustrate and reflect the hidden connections communities have. By bridging the social and geographical gaps within communities, the digital mapping tool will develop stronger ties in the local area. Thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, we will be able to further evolve this innovative new tool and take it to new places across the UK and highlight the power of community connections.”
Cassie Robinson, Deputy Director Funding Strategy at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“We are delighted to support these three projects, which are working across the UK in exciting ways to bring people together and strengthen the social fabric of communities in new and lasting ways. The connections and networks created will play a vital role in supporting people and communities to prosper and thrive. This has never been so important as now when communities across the UK are seeking to build back from the pandemic.”
The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. Last year it awarded over half a billion pounds (£588.2 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK and supported over 14,000 projects to make a difference in their communities. National Lottery players raise £36 million a week for good causes.
To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk