A COMMUNITY organisation in Dorset is set to help more of those facing poverty thanks to a huge lottery grant.
Dorset Community Action, which organises the Dorset Best Village award each year, has scooped £960,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Communities Living Sustainably initiative to help it continue its work.
The Dorchester -based group will use the grant to support isolated older people, help vulnerable fishing and farming communities become more resilient to climate change and build sustainable local food supplies.
DCA chief executive Georgina Morgan said: “We are thrilled to be given the chance to make a real and positive change for communities through a number of brilliant new sustainability projects.
“Now we will be able to help people make greener choices in their homes, businesses and schools, do more to support local food, farming and fishing and address climate change and extreme weather risks affecting communities, especially older people.
“While this is fantastic news for communities in and around Bridport and Dorchester, where most of the projects will be set up, we plan to ensure a positive spin-off for communities in Dorset as a whole.”
Dorset Community Action is one of 10 projects across England to receive up to £1m from the lottery.
The scheme is focused on inspiring people to reap financial, environmental and health gains by adapting the way they live and work together.
Ideas include a draught busters programme with volunteers trained to advise people on making their homes warmer and more energy efficient.
An energy co-operative will also be established to develop enterprises, such as a wood fuel scheme using woodland supplies.
A food partnership will be set up to link farmers and fisherman across the area and give more people the opportunity to grow their own food and to show them how to use solar power. Local schools will also be supported to increase their knowledge of sustainable living and achieve eco-school status.
Volunteer Rita Burden, who is organising the Dorset Best Village competition for the DCA, said: “I think it’s marvellous for them.
“They work so hard. This grant will help them continue with all the good work that they have been doing for many years.
“I am sure they will go from strength to strength and we will see lots of news of positive things they have done as a result of this funding.”
The DCA was one of 30 organisations that applied for funding.
It is governed by a board of trustees and has a membership of over 250 voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises and local authorities from across Dorset.