Local disabled people’s organisation Merton Centre for Independent Living has successfully secured three years of funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities Programme starting from April 2015. The funding will ensure that their specialist services for local disabled people will continue, and grow.
The core services being supported by the Big Lottery Fund are a Home Visiting Advice Service, an Advocacy Service, a Peer Support Programme, Supported Volunteering Opportunities, and events and other activities to support disabled people to be heard.
Roy Benjamin, Chair of Merton CIL said “this is fantastic news and will enable Merton Centre for Independent Living to expand our advocacy and advice services to disabled people in the borough at a time when services to these groups are being savagely cut.”
Merton CIL is a user-led disabled people’s organisation, run by disabled people, for disabled people in London Borough of Merton. The organisation supports the independence and inclusion of disabled people across the full spectrum of disability, challenges discrimination, and enables people to achieve change locally. Initially set up as a steering group in 2008 and now a registered charity, Merton CIL has grown fast since its first employee in 2012, and will be employing 8 people from April 2015.
In addition to funding from the Big Lottery Fund, Merton CIL will also be funded by London Borough of Merton and Henry Smith Charity over the next three years.
Merton CIL CEO Lyla said: “In a tough funding environment, we feel very lucky to have secured funding for our core services for another three years. Disabled people are facing unprecedented pressures on both a national and local level. Our range of services is designed to support disabled people in Merton to build financial resilience, improve quality of life and to speak up and be heard. We are very grateful to our funders for the next 3 years, as well as everyone who has supported us and continues to support us.”
Merton CIL is currently funded by Trust for London, Sports Relief – Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund, London Borough of Merton, Circle Housing Merton Priory, and the Wimbledon Foundation Fund. Find out more at www.mertoncil.org.uk
The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery. The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 we have awarded close to £6bn. www.biglotteryfund.org.uk