A community charity in Leicester, which supports families hit hardest by the challenges surrounding cost-of-living, has received almost £130,000 in National Lottery funding.
Goldhill Play Association has received the grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, to introduce health and wellbeing workshops in the Eyres Monsell community – one of the most disadvantaged areas of Leicester, and the UK as a whole.
These will be aimed at alleviating aspects of financial hardship, promoting community connections, improving health and wellbeing, and increasing employability.
The charity, which has provided adventure play activities for children and young people at Eyres Monsell for over 40 years, also plans to introduce weekly drop-in sessions supported by volunteers specialising in areas such as personal finance, housing, confidence building and mental wellbeing, among others.
However, it has since expanded its services to provide special needs play support for children and their carers and one-to-one support and education provision for children waiting for a suitable school. It currently works with over 50 schools and supports 12 students each day.
The funding will also help it support struggling families with emergency food boxes, a community fridge, where members of the community can receive free hot meals, and a discounted community shop.
“Although the worst of the pandemic is over, the needs of people in our community has again changed and, in many cases, increased due to the cost-of-living and energy crisis. This has meant people have now come to rely on our services, with many from across the city and county now referred to us for help,” said Dee Dixon, Playground Manager at Goldhill Play Association.
“With the help of this new funding, we hope that the support and advice our clients receive will enable them to manage and control their income and contribute in some ways to their mental health and issues around confidence and self-esteem, as many people we see feel helpless and inadequate about the situation they find themselves in.”
One beneficiary of the support provided by Goldhill Play Association said: “Every Friday for over two years I have queued with many others, in all weathers, to get the free food my family needs to survive. Goldhill were there, always open, even through COVID-19, giving out food. I managed to receive advice, support, and enough food to help me and my family through some of our most difficult times. I will forever be thankful to Goldhill for that.”
Goldhill Play Association is one of 193 charities and community groups across the East Midlands that have been awarded over £7.5 million of National Lottery funding in the past three months.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, Goldhill Play Association can continue to be a vital source of help for struggling families right across Leicestershire,” said Nicola Thurbon, Senior Head of Regional Funding for the Midlands.
“Our funding plays a key role in helping to foster support networks and it’s great to see groups like this making such a positive difference and continuing to support their communities to thrive.”