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Through Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust’s Roger Stott Community Grants programme, more than £138,000 has been awarded direct to people and groups to change their local area for the better.

Established in March 2016, grants of between £250 and £2,000 are made available for voluntary organisations and community groups with an annual income of less than £30,000.

They can be used to develop both new and existing initiatives and focus on enabling grassroots groups to continue or expand their work providing advocacy, a community voice and / or service provision for local people.

In 2001, an estimated 3,223 people benefitted from the programme – with a further 11,000 receiving help during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Player support has been vital in allowing us to provide support to communities across the Dales and surrounding areas through turbulent times,” Mike Appleton from the Trust said.
“The cost of living crisis and pandemic has made provision across rural areas all the more important. Player support helped us reach 37 groups during the pandemic – allowing them to provide services such as medicine and food delivery, befriending and other vital services.
“The programme is now helping communities tackle the climate crisis – bringing people together to change the environment for the better as well as providing skills for rural communities to face the current challenges head on.”

One project YDMT supported during the pandemic was Bentham Older People Together – a group that aims to reduce rural isolation and loneliness and bring together differing generations in the village.

They received funding to support older people remotely and ensure the organisation could continue to provide support in a time of financial uncertainty.

Sue Bloxham from the group said: “When the pandemic first began, we knew we had to help older people in our community as much as possible. We had part time staff and a network of volunteers providing telephone support, befriending and delivery of essentials such as food and medicine to people in the area.
“The support of YDMT got us through the early pandemic and then allowed the clubs to meet in groups again. Thank you.”

Players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised more than £3 million over the last 13 years for YDMT.

This funding allows the charity to continue to deliver inspirational projects as diverse as countryside apprenticeships, supporting local communities, education and outreach, restoring woodlands and wildlife habitats, and improving access and understanding of this special place.