Friday, March 25, 2011

The Big Lottery Fund today launches ‘People Powered Change’,

The Big Lottery Fund today (Friday, 25 March) launches ‘People Powered
Change’, a platform to build, accelerate and extend new and different
approaches to develop great community-led action already underway
across England.

Through ‘People Powered Change’ BIG will provide support, information
and tools to release the talents of individuals and community groups,
to improve and strengthen their neighbourhoods.

As part of BIG’s future funding ethos in England - ‘People Powered
Change’ - BIG is putting the first £5.76million into four projects
which focus on empowering communities and people to build a better
future.

At The Lowry, Salford on Friday, 25 March community organisations are
coming together to engage in debate and discover how others are
already driving forward grassroots actions.

Sanjay Dighe, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund England Committee said:
“People Powered Change is about creating the right conditions for
local communities to take action for themselves and for others to
build on the great work they are already doing. Through the BIG
funding made available today local communities will be able to access
different community tools to garner energy at a local level to bring
people in need together. Initially BIG will be working with specialist
organisations working at grassroots and regional media groups to
empower people to make decisions locally about which projects are most
in need of funding.”

Dharmendra Kanani, England Director, Big Lottery Fund explained: “BIG
is an established funder for community empowerment. However,
community-led action can’t happen overnight, and in an environment
full of change and uncertainty BIG will enable projects to unlock the
hidden talents among local communities.

Dharmendra continued, “This is just the beginning of People Powered
Change. We’re looking forward to seeing the emergence of new
resilient, innovative and inspirational projects that help communities
achieve their goals. We want dynamic local people to feel recognised
for the work they are already doing and less confident people to know
what our actions and funding will give them more of a chance to make a
difference locally.”

BIG’s focus for new England programmes will include working in areas
where there is an under investment in skills, resources and social
networks and building local partnerships to make Lottery good cause
funding go further and have a lasting impact.

BIG will be taking its learning and insights from what is already
happening in communities and combine that with investment in enablers
to make it much more likely that communities with potential can feel
confident about securing positive change in their area.

The Young Foundation receives £820,000 to boost local community
capacity to tackle the issues that matter most, by working with the
key agencies that promote and spread community organising,
strengthening their ability to work in new areas. Alongside this, the
Young Foundation will support communities to campaign and lobby for
change through popular social media platforms and – where appropriate
– newly developed digital tools.

Receiving £2.2m today is UnLtd for its Big Venture Challenge, a
national competition for the most ambitious social entrepreneurs in
England. It is looking for people with big ideas to step up and meet
the challenges faced by disadvantaged communities today. The 25
winners of the Big Venture Challenge will each get an initial £25,000
plus the chance to access up to an additional £150,000 if matched by
co-investors. Winners will also get high level business support and
mentoring to help them grow their ventures to scale.

NESTA’s Neighbourhood Challenge is receiving £2m towards equipping 16
finalist projects with the right skills, practical tools and small,
catalytic amounts of money to galvanise people to work together to
create innovative responses to local priorities, particularly in
neighbourhoods with low levels of social capital.

Also receiving funding today is Your Square Mile which will use
£830,000 of funding to develop a digital platform to support the
piloting and roll out of Your Square Mile. The locally controlled
digital platform will aggregate community activity providing people
with access to local information and resources, including information
about local groups, opportunities and local support services. Your
Square Mile has already embarked on 16 pilots and will launch the
first stage of its digital platform in late summer. It will then
launch as a mutual for all citizens to join in the autumn.

Full details are available at http://www.peoplepoweredchange.org.uk.



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

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