Trailblazing dementia group leads the way as £4.4 m goes to Scottish community groups
A radio DJ has welcomed National Lottery funding for a unique Scottish project delivered and led by people with a diagnosis of dementia.
Ron Amanze (54), who has dementia himself and broadcasts internationally for Deepness Dementia Radio in the Western Isles, is one of thousands of people across Scotland set to benefit from grants totalling £4,435,695 announced today by The National Lottery Community Fund.
Ron is the newest board member of Deepness Ltd, which offers a wide range of activities keeping people connected and stimulated, and enjoying increased autonomy in their lives. From its popular radio shows to online education courses, the group is well on its way to becoming entirely run by people with lived experience of cognitive dementia/ decline.
Now, thanks to an award of £30,000, they will employ a project co-ordinator to support this ambition and give the board space and freedom to concentrate on driving their activities forward.
Ron, who was diagnosed in 2015 and is one of nine board members with lived experience of dementia, said: “When people used to ask me what I do, I’d say I have dementia. Now, thanks to Deepness Ltd, my answer is I am a radio DJ and presenter. How cool is that?
“Our radio station and the other activities we provide gives me meaningful, purposeful things to get involved in and the fact that we’ll be able to continue post pandemic, thanks to this National Lottery funding, is wonderful news.
“The world is now a totally different place from what I expected when I got my diagnosis. If I was to abide by all the notions put into my head in terms of taking life easy and not being involved in things which require energy, I would be sitting silently in the corner of the room watching the world go by. Through Deepness I have made the right connections and my radio show is a beautiful distraction taking away all my anxiety and stress.”
Also benefiting from today’s funding and proving that the smallest amount of money can make the biggest difference is Go Kids Go! which receives £6,600 to deliver four wheelchair skills workshops for young people in Glasgow Edinburgh Inverness and Aberdeen.
Vicki Hone, Fundraising Manager, Go Kids Go!, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding from the National Lottery. It will enable us to deliver four wheelchair skills workshops across Scotland for local children and young people who are physically disabled and wheelchair users. These vital workshops will teach children the key mobility skills to be independent in their wheelchairs, alongside introducing them to wheelchair dance and wheelchair basketball. We are very much looking forward to running these workshops during Autumn 2021.”
Meanwhile, a mentoring programme using music and arts to transform the lives of adults and young people with additional support needs in Glasgow receives £135,000. Paragon Ensemble Ltd in Glasgow will use the funding for its Groove project over the next three years.
Mentee, Ruairidh Whitmarsh (23), says of the programme: “It’s somewhere I can create and explore ideas; it gives me the chance to perform to an audience, record songs, build confidence, and bring anything to the table with my mentor, Zac. I feel more independent and part of such a big community.”
Paragon Creative Director, Ninian Perry, added: “This National Lottery funding will make a huge difference to our thriving mentorship programme, helping us to grow and develop in exciting new directions, and to reach many more people like Ruaridh who face barriers to accessing the creative arts in Scotland.”
Across the country 184 community projects are today sharing in £4,435,695. Announcing the funding, The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said: “As we continue to feel the impact of the pandemic, community projects like the ones receiving funding today are vital in helping to keep spirits alive and people connected.
“Whether it’s a creative arts project delivered for and by people with dementia, wheelchair basketball classes for children or a community hub welcoming back local people to reconnect through fun activities, this funding made possible by National Lottery players will help many more people to thrive.”
The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Thanks to National Lottery players, last year we awarded over half a billion pounds (£588.2 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK. Over eight in ten (83%) of our grants are for under £10,000 – going to grassroots groups and charities across the UK that are bringing to life amazing ideas that matter to their communities.
To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk
- Date published