Community improvement project gets major funding boost

One of the activities organised by the Neighbourhoods tha Works projectPicture: Great Yarmouth Borou

One of the activities organised by the Neighbourhoods tha Works projectPicture: Great Yarmouth Borough Council - Credit: Archant

A project to build stronger communities by allowing residents to develop their own ideas to improve people’s lives across the borough of Great Yarmouth is to run for a further two years following a funding boost.

The Great Yarmouth Borough Council-led Neighbourhoods that Works scheme has been handed more than £700,000 by the Big Lottery Fund.

It aims to help communities to develop their ideas for improving lives, helps existing services to work better together to support vulnerable people, and helps people into training, volunteering and work.

Since its launch in October 2015 the scheme has seen 670 people improve their skills after participating in bespoke training activities, with 105 people in sustainable employment.

Other key achievements have seen 1,260 people been helped to make new friendships, 20 groups of residents have been supported to work together and 358 people have reported improved well-being due to getting support to deal with complex life challenges.

As well as continuing the project for two years, the grant from the Big Lottery Fund has enabled the project’s multi-disciplinary workers to continue providing first step support to help even more people overcome challenges with budgeting, money and debt.

Andy Grant, chairman of the council’s housing and neighbourhoods committee, said: “The release of this funding is a credit to the hard work, over many years, of council staff and the voluntary sector partners who help to deliver Neighbourhoods that Work, as well as those residents who are committed to getting involved in their own communities.

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“We would like to thank the Big Lottery Fund for this important investment in our pioneering approach to supporting communities. The statistics and other feedback shows that it is really improving people’s life chances, and one of our biggest successes has been the way we’ve influenced other organisations to deliver services in a better way that’s aligned with our approach.”

The scheme was a highly commended finalist in the Community Involvement Category of the 2018 LGC Awards, and a finalist in the Excellence in Community Engagement Category of the 2017 MJ Local Government Achievement Awards.

So far more than £3.1m has been allocated to the project.