The Health Lottery began in 2011 to raise money for the NHS but also for other good causes. This week, news reached us of more Health Lottery community project funding. It is one of the great benefits of both lotteries that much-needed money goes to charitable projects big and small and the Health Lottery, though it may not compete in size with donations of the National Lottery, it does compare in heart and scope. What it does do, is draw attention to some smaller projects that may well be overlooked otherwise.
The Parkway area of Bridgwater received the Health Lottery community project funding in association with Sustrans (the cycling charity) Together Team and the local council. The project, called Sydenham Community Street Design Project, acquired some £114,000 from the HealthFull (one arm of the charitable funding from the Health Lottery) and £84,000 Sedgemoor District Council. The first step was to brighten up the area in Bridgwater with a colourful sign advertising events for local people to attend and offer their views on the local community. The colourful board is not all there is to it though. Bollards around the area have been painted by a local art college.
Those in charge of the project are inviting local input on proposals put forward as a way to improve the area for people living there. Collective action and local input is believed to have a significant impact on improving physical and mental health, and quality of life in communities. The colourful board and bollards are expected to be a focal point of the community, improve street design and generally brighten up the area. Some of the money is expected to go towards community initiatives. Residents are recommended to submit their own suggestions and to attend meetings where available.