South Shields charity calls on more groups to apply for heritage lottery funding

South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade celebrate their award of �50,500
South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade celebrate their award of �50,500
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A life-saving charity is urging others to try their luck on the National Lottery after it scooped a £50k grant.

South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade is one of a number of groups who have been successful in applying for funding from the Heritage Lottery initiative.

My simple message will be, people should not be daunted by the application process which is necessarily very thorough

Tom Fennelly

In 2015, they were awarded more than £50,000 to support its year-long celebration marking the charities 150 year anniversary.

Now, they are encouraging other groups not to be daunted by the application process and to apply.

Tom Fennelly, Honorary Secretary of the Volunteer Life Brigade, said: “We are delighted to support this Heritage Lottery Fund initiative to promote what funds are available to help local groups and organisations and to encourage them to submit applications for their projects.”

“My simple message will be, people should not be daunted by the application process which is necessarily very thorough. There are excellent guidelines available and officers at both the national and regional headquarters of the Heritage Lottery Fund are very accessible and ready to help at every stage.”

The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade will be opening it’s doors to the public to hold a special open day on Wednesday.

The event at its historic Watch house on the South Pier is part of a Heritage Trail featuring locations and organisations around South Tyneside which have been awarded HLF funding.

Representatives from the charity will also be at a HLF funding festival taking place at The Word in South Shields on Thursday to share project ideas and to offer knowledge and advice to groups looking to make applications.

Mr Fennelly added: “The HLF award allowed us to celebrate this landmark anniversary, make the Brigade even more resilient and secure a sustainable future. The outcomes of the project exceeded all expectations and we had record numbers of visitors to the Watch House and the Museum exhibition. Overall, the profile of the Brigade was greatly enhanced and many more people are now aware to the Brigade’s past and present roles”.

The Volunteer Life Brigade provides a 24-hour coastal search and rescue service from the Watch House and maintains the buildings as a local museum and visitor attractions dedicated to the celebration of its lifesaving role since its formation in 1866.

Working in partnership with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and South Tyneside Council, the Brigade’s displays were improved, and its collections were digitised and made available online.

More details are available on the Brigade web site www.ssvlb.org.uk