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Ouseburn Farm calls on public support to win National Lottery funding windfall

Ouseburn Farm Charity in Byker is calling on the public and local businesses for their vote to secure up to £35,000 of National Lottery funding as part of this year’s People’s Project.

The Farm is one of only five organisations in the running for a share of £150,000 of funding to support its ‘Growing Strong’ project, which aims to help adults with learning difficulties and disabilities to develop their skills and experience, helping them move into education, volunteering, training and employment.

The project will provide a tailored programme with fantastic opportunities for participants to gain work experience and training at Ouseburn Farm Charity’s café, working farm, pre-loved furniture warehouse and carpentry workshop. Options include catering, customer services, animal care, carpentry, horticulture and retail, all delivered in a live work environment.

The funding will also contribute towards improving access to the Farm for those with mobility issues and will bring the community together for events and activities so that adults with learning disabilities can develop new social networks and build confidence.

Ouseburn Farm is the only organisation shortlisted in Newcastle and the project will be showcased on the ITV Tyne Tees regional news on Wednesday, 18 April at 6pm. The public will be able to cast their vote for which community project they would like to see receive National Lottery funding support when voting opens at 9am on Monday 16 April at www.thepeoplesproject.org.uk or via postal vote.

The Farm is one of 95 community-based projects shortlisted across the UK. Five organisations have been shortlisted in the North East region (Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, Stockton on Tees and Consett) and the three with the most public votes will receive grants of up to £50,000. The funding will help them to continue to deliver work in their community to improve local people’s lives. The entire amount up for grabs across the UK is £3 million.

Now in its 13th year, the Big Lottery Fund, ITV and The National Lottery have teamed up to give the public a chance to decide how National Lottery funding should be put to good use in their local area.

Dorothy Ellis, Ouseburn Farm Manager said: “As a Charity, we are always looking at new ways to generate funding and are amazed at the public’s response to our campaigns and initiatives. This funding will greatly help us to continue to support and provide an educational route or work experience to vulnerable adults teaching them essential skills and provide placements for adults with learning difficulties and disabilities.

“Being shortlisted as one of only five organisations in the North East to receive National Lottery funding support is such an exciting opportunity to enable us to continue to raise awareness and support for our work and, with the help from the general public, to secure further much-needed funding. If successful, our project will make a real difference not only to adults with learning disabilities but also improve accessibility to the Farm and the farm’s facilities for everyone. I hope everyone will get behind us and vote for our project.”

Joe Ferms, UK Funding Director of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “As the largest funder of community activity in the UK, we are proud to support grassroots groups that are using the vision, determination and drive of local people to strengthen communities. The People’s Projects showcases the best of these and is a chance for you to have your say on how National Lottery funding can benefit your local community.”

Since 2005, around £39 million has been awarded through the Big Lottery Fund, National Lottery and ITV/STV partnership to 865 good causes across the UK.

Voting closes at midday on Monday 30 April 2018.

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