Twenty Shropshire community groups hit £600,000 jackpot with boost from National Lottery

By Dominic Robertson | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

More than £600,000 is being given Shropshire community groups in a lottery windfall that will benefit those with hearing loss, visitors to a blackberry fair and youngsters using a play park.

Whitchurch’s Blackberry Fair is one of the events that will benefit from the cash handouts

A total of 20 Shropshire organisations are beneficiaries of the National Lottery Funding, with hearing loss and deaf charity Signal, receiving the biggest award of nearly £300,000.

Others include £192,901 for the Albrighton Trust, £10,000 to buy a new vehicle for Shrewsbury First Responders and £10,000 for Whitchurch’s Blackberry Fair.

Catriona Nicholls of Shrewsbury-based Signal said they had been thrilled at receiving the funding and that the money would make a huge difference to the help the organisation can provide.

She said: “Our instant reaction was of absolute delight and celebration, which you would expect because it makes such a significant contribution to our organisation and the work we can plan to do with our beneficiaries.

“Without it our services would look very different at this time.”

The money will be used to help two sections of the people supported by the organisation – those with hearing loss, and the profoundly deaf who communicate through British Sign Language.

It will pay for Signal to go out to events, towns and villages across Shropshire where they will provide tests, which can indicate if people are suffering from hearing loss.

Mrs Nicholls said: “It is a really simple process and an early indicator of potential hearing loss.”


The test plays a small beep into people’s ears and depending on the result the organisation is able to prepare a letter to be taken to a GP which can start people on the road to treatment for hearing loss.

The money will also allow the organisation to go out and test the effectiveness of hearing loops across the county, which are used to help people with hearing loss communicate.

Another result of the funding will be providing opportunities for the profoundly deaf to meet up and socialise, as well as information and education sessions.

Mrs Nicholls said: “When we consulted our users on what they wanted from us to improve their lives they told us that the most important thing for them was increasing the opportunities to get together socially and enjoy conversation through British Sign Language, because day-to-day, out and about, they tend to have very few conversations because there are very few members of the public who can speak British Sign Language, so it can be quite isolating and quite lonely.”


Mrs Nicholls also offered a thank you to the people who play the National Lottery.

Good causes

She said: “As a charity we, and maybe the general public, do not realise that when they are playing the National Lottery they are donating to good causes and that is something we want to get across, that we are so grateful to everyone who plays the National Lottery.”

Shrewsbury First Responders said the new response vehicle would help its group of 10 volunteers continue to support the West Midlands Ambulance Service in emergency situations. The group responds to around 30 calls every month, a figure which increases in the winter season.

As well as responding to the calls, the new vehicle will be used to transport volunteers to local schools and villages, where they will provide first aid and defibrillator training to people, so they are also skilled to handle life-threatening incidents.

Andy Davies, vice chairman of Shrewsbury First Responders, said: “This is very welcome news and will make a real difference to people in the Shrewsbury area.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, we will have a new and reliable vehicle so we can respond to emergencies and ultimately save lives.

“It will be fully equipped to carry defibrillators, oxygen and equipment to stop heavy bleeding. This means the world to us and is a lifeline to our small group of volunteers who give up their spare time to help their local community.”

Dog Assistance in Disability, based in Telford, is another of the projects to benefit.

It will be receiving £10,000 to coach volunteers on how to train assistance dogs for people living with a physical disability.

They can improve people’s personal safety and boost their mental wellbeing, with dogs helping them do day-to-day tasks and even occasionally provide life-saving interventions.

All Saints Richards Castle, near Ludlow, will also be awarded its first grant from the Big Lottery Fund of almost £10,000.

It will be used to resurface the car park and install a sound system for people who use hearing aids.

Who got what:

Sensory Impairment Globally Nationally and Locally (SIGNAL) – £291,796 for its ‘Looped up – deaf friendly places and spaces’ scheme

The project will support people with hearing impairments.

It aims is to ensure all people with a hearing impairment have an enhanced quality of life by being included in their communities.

Deaf awareness sessions will be provided to local groups and services. Community venues will be encouraged to install loop systems and provide hearing loss screenings. Day trips will also be provided so people can experience new activities in a social setting.

The Albrighton Trust Limited – £192,901 for its ‘Me & You Growing Together’ project

The money will be used to provide educational and recreational activities for people with disabilities, special needs and ill health, such as angling, gardening and woodwork.

It is intended to provide a meaningful experience of social and working life in preparation for independence.

Participants will also be able to grow produce as a social enterprise.

Shrewsbury First Responders – £10,000 for a new Community Emergency Response Vehicle

The group will be able to buy a new emergency response vehicle to help provide assistance with life threatening emergencies.

St John’s Parochial Church Council in Ludlow – £10,000 for a new heating system

The funds will pay for a new heating system at St John’s in Ludlow, which project leaders say will improve the space and help maintain community relationships.

Clee Hill Community Academy – £10,000 for Clee Hill’s Fitness Area

The money will pay for a gym play area for school children and local residents to improve levels of physical activity in the area.

Beckbury Village Hall – £10,000 for refurbishment of the village hall

The funding will be used to rewire a village hall, aiming to ensure the village hall is a safe and welcoming place for the community.

Wistanstow Parish Council – £10,000 for the village hall play area

The grant will pay for new play equipment on the village hall grounds.

Blackberry Fair Community interest Company – £10,000

The money will be used by the Whitchurch group to host a community fair.

The Rushbury Trustees – £10,000 for Rushbury school and church

This money will be used to create a parking area for the use of school and church facilities.

All Saints Church, Richards Castle – £9,966 to improve accessibility at All Saints

The funds will be used to resurface the car park and install a hearing loop.

Wattlesborough Village Hall – £7,925 for a safe stage

The grant will pay for a moveable stage for people who use the village hall.

The project aims to improve the space and increase usage, bringing more people together for events.

Deaf Active Limited – £7,465 for its ‘Connect’ project

The funding will be used to run a residential weekend of activities for deaf and disabled children. The project aims to develop new skills and help to reduce isolation.

Renshaw’s Field Association – £5,880 for safety improvements

The money will be used to install safety improvements to the local field, aiming to ensure the safety and wellbeing of local people who use the space.

Hope Village Hall – £4,102 for the ‘Hope Needs a Warm & Welcoming Heart’ project

The funding will be used to install a heating system at the village hall.

Everest Hall, Llanfair Waterdine – £3,500 for replacement kitchen and toilet windows

The grant will pay for replacement of the windows and the bargeboard at the village hall.

Wyldwoods – £10,000 for the ‘Grow Wyld’

The money will pay for a programme for young people out of education, employment or training. It aims to equip young people with skills and experiences.

Dog Assistance in Disability in Telford – £10,000 for a pilot Intensive Training Programme

The grant will be used to train volunteers who are training assistant dogs. The project aims to improve the wellbeing and safety of people living with a physical disability.

Ironbridge Lions – £9,375 for a free prostate cancer screening event

The money will be used to deliver a free prostate screening event for the community, raising awareness of prostate cancer.

Church and Chetwynd Aston Village Hall – £4,800 for soundproofing

This funding will be used to install soundproofing for the village hall, making the building more accessible and versatile for groups and visitors.

Newport Cycling Club – £2,855 for the ‘Breaking Chains Development’ project

A series of cycling workshops will be funded for people in recovery from an addiction. The project aims to improve health and wellbeing and encourage participants from relapsing.


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