BIG Lottery Fund £1 million boost for Angus

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THE BIG Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest of the National Lottery Good Cause distributors, on Wednesday announced investment funding of over £1 million to two local community projects.

The funding for the Angus Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) and the Angus Carers Centre is part of a wider £2 million package from BIG. These two awards are among the first to be made from BIG Scotland’s new look Investing in Communities funding stream which opened for business last year.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland committee chair, Alison Magee, announced the awards.

She said: “Today’s awards really illustrate what the Big Lottery Fund Scotland is all about, supporting those with the greatest needs to be able to play a full part in our society.

“We live in challenging times and our funding is not only a lifeline to a particular project but can make all the difference to the wider community.

“I am delighted to announce £1,129,277 to two Angus projects today.”

The Avoid Debt – Act Positively Today (ADAPT) project from the Angus CAB in partnership with Dundee CAB receives £794,634. The project, which will benefit around 6,000 people in Angus and Dundee, will aim to reduce the number of people falling into debt as well as offering financial education and advice to those in need.

George F. Allan, head of service with Angus Citizens’ Advice Bureau, said: “Last year Angus CAB rescheduled in excess of £6.3 million worth of debt for our clients – a very resource intensive service indeed.

“In these hard times the way ahead has to be through improving people’s financial capability and we are so grateful to BIG for supporting us in this new venture which will be directed at those who are disabled or disadvantaged.

“In the long term this will reduce the heartache that comes with over spending as well as the costs and losses incurred to resolve debt issues.

“The fact that Angus and Dundee CABs are partners in this joint venture makes it all the more challenging as our focus moves from rescheduling debt towards enabling people to budget more effectively and avoid the painful consequences accordingly.”

In addition, the Caring for Life Project from Angus Carers Centre based in Fisheracre, Arbroath, has been awarded £334,643 to support carers across the region. The project will work with carers to assist them to come to terms with their new caring role, including those caring for a disabled child, whilst also helping them to reassess their financial needs and signpost them to all their entitlements.

It will also help carers to have a life outside of their caring role by providing a range of activities that will support their mental and emotional well-being including social opportunities, support groups and therapeutic activities such as massage and pamper days.

Katy Webster, chief executive of Angus Carers Centre, said: “This award will make a tremendous impact on our work in supporting those who care for a family member who has a disability or long term illness.

“The success of our previously BIG funded project ‘Supporting Carers in Transition’ highlighted the importance of supporting carers when they first become carers, when their caring role ends or at various crisis points along that journey.

“This new project will allow this work to continue to develop while at the same time addressing the specific needs of parents who care for a son or daughter with disabilities or long term condition, an area identified as lacking in provision.”