An independent Northamptonshire charity dedicated to promoting and improving rural life has been awarded a large sum of money from the National Lottery.
More than £272,000 will be handed over to Northamptonshire ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) to support its work in rural areas of the county.
The charity, which is based at the Hunsbury Hill Centre, Northampton, will use the cash to develop 30 neighbourhood schemes which will help ensure that people in rural areas are not isolated.
ACRE will employ two Good Neighbourhood fieldworkers to work alongside 600 local volunteers to help set up the schemes over the next three years in communities across Northamptonshire, including Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough.
The schemes will provide residents, mostly older people, carers, or those who are isolated, with day to day support and activities on an occasional or regular basis.
The funding will also enable the new employees to carry out further visits to villages across the county to provide advice, information and signposted referrals to over 2,000 more vulnerable community members.
This will enable the charity to reach more people and make sure they get the support they need, as well as providing advice surgeries in local libraries and village halls.
Elaine O’Leary, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire ACRE, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way.
"We have seen with the Daventry schemes how effective they are, not only in lessening isolation and bringing communities together but making the volunteers feel valued as well. And now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to support more rural communities to develop their own Good Neighbour Schemes and enjoy the benefits.”