West Midlands projects awarded £4.7m in National Lottery funding

Eighty community projects across the West Midlands - including ones in Birmingham, Stoke, Warwickshire and Herefordshire - have been awarded nearly £4.7 million from the Big Lottery Fund.

Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (AFRUCA) have been awarded £304,181 to promote improved child safeguarding practices among Black faith organisations across Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent and Solihull.

The project will work to reduce abuse linked to religious practices in places of worship, including physical chastisement, female genital mutilation and neglect.

Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire YMCA has been awarded £319,157 for a scheme to improve the employability of long-term unemployed and under-skilled parents in Stoke-on-Trent.

The project will provide literacy, numeracy, English language training, and access to nationally recognised progression qualifications offering opportunities into employment.

The project aims to benefit 800 unemployed and economically inactive parents across the area.

Meanwhile Garway Village Hall in Herefordshire has received £717,906 for a project to build a new village hall and community resource including a health and social care outreach centre, cafe and shop facilities in addition to a modern hall and meeting facility.

Lyn Cole, England's Grant Making Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said:

It's really great to see these projects making a positive difference to people's lives, whether its keeping vulnerable children safe, supporting people to learn new skills to improve their prospects, or refurbishing the village hall at the heart of the community, these projects are all strong examples of empowering people facing a range of challenges to play an active role in their community.

Lyn Cole, Big Lottery Fund