Group wins £500k to help vulnerable people in resort

Gwen King, of Queens Park Residents' Association, is "delighted" with the Lottery funding.
Gwen King, of Queens Park Residents' Association, is "delighted" with the Lottery funding.
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A Blackpool community group has been granted almost £500,000 to help tackle the issues surrounding poverty in part of the resort.

The cash, awarded through the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme, will be used to offer advice and support to disadvantaged residents living in Mereside.

The Queens Park Residents’ Association is among 11 groups in the North West to receive a share of £3m.

The money will allow it to expand its work on the Queens Park estate to other parts of Blackpool.

Chairman Gwen King today said: “I am delighted that the Lottery recognised all our hard work. Everyone is looking forward to delivering new and exciting projects on Mereside and, more importantly, working with the people on the estate to improve their day to day lives.”

The group, which won the biggest share of the funding, said it has built up a good reputation with its work in Queens Park.

It said its activities in Mereside will focus on “community cohesion” and helping to improve residents’ lives.

Services that will be on offer include: debt and housing advice, form filling, advocacy services, computer training and adult literacy courses.

There will also be support to improve residents’ health and help those searching for work.

Queen’s Park Residents’ Association has been awarded £496,727 to provide these services.

It was the only Fylde coast-based organisation to win a share of the cash.

The Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme aims to help those who are most in need and, to date, has handed out almost £6bn.
The latest round of awards in the North West – totalling almost £3m – have gone to groups providing services to help the homeless, addicts, ex-offenders and residents who are struggling with debt.

The Big Lottery Fund, which was set up in 2004, says its grants enable the “life-changing” projects to support society’s most vulnerable.

Tim Davies-Pugh, Big Lottery Fund’s deputy director, for England, said: “It’s really great to see how projects across the North West are set to make such positive difference for those most vulnerable in our local communities.”