Picture: National Lottery Community Fund and IKEA Places Called Home Thank You

Hand In Hand Activities CIC based in Stockton on Tees is celebrating today after being awarded £4,180.00 in funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and IKEA UK, as part of the £1.5million pilot programme, Places Called Home

The pilot programme from the largest funder of community activity and world’s largest home furnishing retailer, is supporting more than 330 local communities across the UK with grants of up to £5,000 to build back better and differently as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Places Called Home programme builds on the energy and creativity of communities coming together during the crisis to support each other and aims to inspire them to take action around healthy and sustainable living, while learning from each other and building meaningful connections. 

Hand In Hand Activities CIC will use their funding to pilot a new programme called “Community Picnic Cinema” which will bring the local community together to enjoy movies from yesteryear and then discuss and share feedback in a similar format to our pilot programme Books & Bakes Book Club, which is also funded by the National Lottery Local Connections Fund.

Project spokesperson, Alison Watson-Shields said: “Thanks to National Lottery players and IKEA we are finally able to bring a project to the community that has been in the pipeline for over three years. This is a project historically requested and supported by a group of people living with dementia who wanted to share their favourite movies of old with family, friends and the wider community. We are so grateful that The National Lottery and IKEA have recognised the value of reminiscence for people living with dementia and we are excited to finally be able to bring this project to the local community. This project will launch in November and we are currently working with the venue to finalise plans.”

Alongside the funding, with £1million made possible thanks to National Lottery players, all community groups that applied have now been invited to a virtual learning and support programme, created by Participatory City Foundation.  

Emma Ackerman, Funding Strategy Director at The National Lottery Community Fund said: “As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that we can build on the energy and creativity we’ve seen to make stronger communities and a better everyday life. We’re delighted that together with IKEA and National Lottery players we have been able to support this across the UK with our pilot partnership and funding announced today.”

Hege Saebjornsen, Partnership Advisor at Ingka Group said: “The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated how fragile the world is, reinforcing the need for collective resilience – for our neighbourhoods, our communities and our planet. Through this programme, we have an opportunity to make sustainable and healthy living accessible and affordable for everyone while also unleashing the skills, energy and enthusiasm of communities to take part in making a difference every day.”

Places Called Home is a small-scale pilot to test how a partnership between the largest funder of community activity in the UK works with the world’s largest home furnishing retailer.


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