Community organisations across Cheshire are celebrating after being awarded £550,000 in National Lottery funding.

The money, raised by players for good causes, is being distributed by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

In total, 22 community projects in the region are receiving a share including Chester-based organisation Live!, which has been granted over £364,000 to expand a varied programme of activities for children, young people and adults with disabilities at its base at New Scene Youth Centre off Newton Lane. These activities will provide people with the chance to do things that non-disabled people take for granted, whilst increasing social skills, self-esteem and confidence.

Sophie, Laura and Jo at Live!

Youth worker at Live! Kathy Hickman said: “Having a disability often restricts access to social and leisure activities in the community and can leave people feeling like the odd one out. At Live! we aim to deliver activities that give people the confidence needed to face the daily challenges that many of us take in our stride.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, this funding will help transform the lives of people living with disabilities in Chester as they strive towards greater independence, build their confidence, make friends and have fun.”

New Scene Youth Centre in Newton
New Scene Youth Centre in Newton

England grant-making director at the Big Lottery Fund James Harcourt said: “Great community projects like Live! are what National Lottery funding is all about. We can see how the money raised by players for good causes helps to bring ideas to life and gives people the opportunity to work together for the good of their community.

“Whether from a village, town or city, we’re proud that our funding supports people who have identified what matters to them and their community and who want to make a positive change.”

Other key towns in the region will be amongst those seeing the funding, including Warrington and Northwich. Projects set to receive cash range from a Warrington-based support group for ex-offenders designed to help them to develop their own business ideas and become self-employed, to a community art project - led by local schools - to design and install subway wall art. This will bring the community together to produce a piece of artwork which represents the history and attractions of Northwich and enables young people to be involved in the regeneration of the town.

The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded almost £713 million and supported almost 14,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

As part of the announcement, it has revealed that it is making grants totalling £54 million going to almost 1,800 community organisations across England.

To find out more visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk .