'Amazing' £260k National Lottery funding boost for Lancaster club

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A Lancaster club which boosts employment and business skills for women has been awarded £260,000 by the National Lottery.

Social enterprise The Growing Club, which has been providing employment skills training, business start-up and sustainable business growth programmes for women since 2016, will use The National Lottery Community Fund cash award to support their work over the next five years.

"To be chosen for this funding in these very difficult times is just amazing,” said Jane Binnion, MD and Co-Founder of The Growing Club.

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"It will help us to pursue our development goals and give us a strong foundation to make long-term plans. The previous funds we were awarded in 2020 were used to respond to the unexpected, immediate and vital needs of the pandemic.”

Lancaster Growing Club has been awarded £260,000 by the National Lottery.Lancaster Growing Club has been awarded £260,000 by the National Lottery.
Lancaster Growing Club has been awarded £260,000 by the National Lottery.

There is a worrying lack of funding for building sustainable organisations or tackling the complex and systemic issues that women and girls face in the UK. A recent study by The Centre for Regional, Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University – the first of its kind - shows that in 2021, a total of £4.1 billion worth of grants was awarded to not-for-profits, but the women and girls sector received only 1.8% of these.

Since it started, The Growing Club has worked with more than 800 women. It is a grassroots organisation which designs and delivers employment and business skills training and support – an organisation that is run by women for women, creating a safe space to help women increase their confidence in their skills for decent work.

Jane said: “The National Lottery Community Fund money will help support our organisation’s infrastructure and it means that we can now employ a part-time operations manager.

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“We are delighted to be able to move forward building, collaborating and educating in projects that deliver our vision for a future where all women of all backgrounds and circumstances are empowered to use their skills and abilities and are valued equally.

“The more money we receive for our work, the more we can make a positive difference for girls, women and our communities, so of course, please do get in touch if you would like to support us in some way.”

Find out more about The Growing Club at thegrowingclub.co.uk.