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Funding of up to ₤20,000 available to local charities

LOCAL charities and good causes are being encouraged to apply for funding of over ₤3million that has been raised by the players of People's Postcode Lottery. Applications are open from 6 February until 20 February, where a whole host of good causes from social enterprises to voluntary groups and registered charities are eligible to apply for grants of between ₤500 and ₤20,000. The financial support is available through 3 different trusts that are all funded entirely by players of People's Postcode Lottery with the sole purpose of supporting people and their communities across Great Britain.

Each Trust supports projects focussed on specific themes:- -

Postcode Trust looks to fund projects that are aimed at promoting human rights, combating discrimination and the prevention of poverty

Postcode Community Trust supports initiatives working to improve the health and wellbeing of communities, including arts and physical recreation projects, as well as those with a focus on reducing isolation

Postcode Local Trust want to hear from groups working on flood prevention measures and those looking to implement renewable energy strategies. They also want your application if you're dedicated to improving outdoor space, whether that's a play park, a skate park or even something else!

Sports groups for military veterans, counselling support services for young carers and accessible play parks are just a few examples of the over 1,600 projects that were successful in their application and received funding in 2018. Local good causes are advised to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity by reading the short funding guides available and applying to the trust that best fits the aims of their project.

Laura Chow, head of charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said:- "It's not just players who win with People's Postcode Lottery - over ₤3 million in grants will have a tremendous impact on the work that grass-roots community groups are doing all over Great Britain. With 3 trusts to apply to, a huge array of projects can benefit and I would urge all groups to take a look at the funding guides, see where their project best fits and apply."

A minimum of 32% from every People's Postcode Lottery ticket goes directly to good causes. To date, players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised over ₤382 million for more than 5,500 good causes across Great Britain and internationally

Merseyrail Network leads the way on accessibility as work starts on Meols Station lifts

WORK is starting to install passenger lifts at Meols Station; helping continue the work to make the Merseyrail Network 1 of the most accessible in the country. The ₤2.2 million project, which will see the lifts link to the current overbridge, will provide step free access to both platforms and will be especially useful for people travelling from the direction of Liverpool, who currently cannot exit the Station without using the stairway. The lifts will be installed over the next 6 months in a scheme funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) Access for All programme with the work being delivered by Merseyrail. Currently 40 of the 68 Stations on the Merseyrail Network are accessible. The new trains that will be introduced on the Merseyrail Network from 2020 will be a game changer for accessibility, allowing level access on and off the train from every platform at every Station.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said:- "Meols Station has always presented a challenge for those with limited mobility and people with pushchairs, so the new lifts will make a big difference. Hopefully it will encourage more people to take the train who couldn't previously. Our work to ultimately improve access at all our Stations through these kinds of infrastructure improvements, combined with new, state of the art trains on the Merseyrail Network that will allow unassisted access for wheelchair users or those with buggies and luggage, demonstrates our commitment to making our trains and Stations an option for all."

This is the tenth Station that Access for All funding has been secured for in Merseyside. Previous schemes have included the installation of passenger lifts at Formby and Birkenhead North Stations.

Andy Heath, Managing Director for Merseyrail, said:- "Merseyrail will become 1 of the most accessible networks in the country when the new trains arrive and the installation of lifts at a number of Stations will help to deliver improved access to rail travel. We are looking forward to offering lifts at Meols Station for passengers who may not have been able to travel with Merseyrail before."

The Access for All fund was launched to address issues faced by disabled passengers using railway Stations across the country and provides an obstacle free, accessible route to and between platforms.

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