CHARITY chiefs today spoke of their delight at sharing in millions of pounds of lottery cash which will help expand projects working with vulnerable groups.
Edinburgh-based Women Onto Work (WOW), which helps single mothers and women living with health problems develop the skills they need for a job, received £600,000 from the Big Lottery Fund Scotland. The cash will allow them to spread their work to East, Mid and West Lothian and the Borders.
JMT Care Services, a not-for-profit childcare organisation based in Livingston was awarded £463,171 which will fund a project for young people leaving care.
And Midlothian Sure Start received £398,128 to develop work with fathers and grandparents looking after children.
The grants were part of a £5.5 million share-out of lottery cash across Scotland.
Alex Lambert, business development manager at WOW, said: “We are completely over the moon. This is going to enable us to provide a really high-quality, platinum service to women, tailored individually to their needs – coaching, training, work placements – a real smorgasbord of support.”
WOW, based at Norton Park, Albion Road, next to the Hibs stadium, was set up in 1989.
Ms Lambert said they were working with around 200 women this year and the new funding would allow them to help another 350 over the next three years. In addition to their Capital base, they expect to operate in Bathgate, Dalkeith, East Lothian and the Borders.
She said: “We have an amazing coaching team with a huge range of skills and experience and this money will enable us to expand that team.
“If you are working with people who have had difficult things in their lives, when you give them the right support, astonishing things can happen in a short space of time.”
JMT Care said its lottery award would fund a five-year project to support young people leaving long-term care with sister organisations the Jane Moore Trust and Moore House Care and Education.
Pat Sheridan, founder and managing director, said: “I am delighted that the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland has chosen us to be a beneficiary of its Investing in Communities Fund.
“Our young people have not always had the best start in life and we hope that we can give them every opportunity to help them turn their lives around. This grant allows us to further this vision in so many ways.”
Midlothian Sure Start already offers parenting assistance to dads and grandparents and now plans to launch a new project, working with dads-to-be.
Manager Cheryl Brown said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this money. It will allow us to continue supporting family parenting and expand our work.”
The new project, to be run in conjunction with NHS Lothian, will offer ante-natal classes for fathers-to-be and encourage new dads to interact with their children.
Ms Brown said they expected to work with around 170 dads-to-be across Midlothian over the next three years.