Ipswich projects awarded £280,000 from latest Big Lottery Fund grants

Inside Out is among the Big Lottery Fund grant winners. It helps people with mental health issues ex

Inside Out is among the Big Lottery Fund grant winners. It helps people with mental health issues express themselves through art. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Good causes in Ipswich have been awarded more than a quarter of a million pounds between them in the latest raft of grants from the Big Lottery Fund.

Jan Addison and Pete Watkins are the founders of Suffolk mental health charity Inside Out Community.

Jan Addison and Pete Watkins are the founders of Suffolk mental health charity Inside Out Community. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Four projects in Ipswich were among scores across the country to have been given a share of more than £54million by the fund this month.

Inside Out Community – a charity based at the Avenue Theatre in Gippeswyk Avenue which uses the arts to improve mental health and wellbeing – was awarded £253,956 for its ‘Art of Wellbeing’ project.

The sessions aim to use arts such as singing, sculpting, dancing and drawing to help people improve their wellbeing and mental health.

It will also allow it to take its established workshops ArtWorks on the road to other towns in Suffolk and launch a creative mentoring scheme for those who want one-to-one support.

Unscene Suffolk’s 2017 production Time Hackers. Picture: MIKE KWASNIAK

Unscene Suffolks 2017 production Time Hackers. Picture: MIKE KWASNIAK - Credit: Archant

A spokeswoman from the cause said: “The grant is recognition of the effective therapeutic arts programmes Inside Out have provided over the past 15 years and of the charity’s ambition to continue growing this innovative service for people in Ipswich and east Suffolk.”

Among the other Ipswich good causes to have received some much-needed backing were the East Anglian Russian and International Cultural Society’s community theatre and dance scheme, open to youngsters from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, and the True Thoughts Wellbeing Project run by the Phoenix Project which delivers music and media workshops for those who experience mental health issues.

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Both were awarded £10,000 from the funding.

Unscene Suffolk was awarded £6,170 for its music hall project, which is currently in development ahead of a performance at Ipswich Town Hall in October.

The charity works as a community theatre for adults with visual impairments, putting on projects each year.

The team is currently studying music hall theatre including stand-up comedy, sketches, magic and dancing.

Director Jenni Halton said: “It’s really good – we have had some ups and downs in terms of funding because it is never an easy thing to come by.

“It’s absolutely lifesaving – a lot have said to us in the past that coming to a group of this nature really gives them a lifeline.”

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