The essential journalist news source
National Lottery win for pioneering SARH project


                     Press Release

Ref:PRSH267                                                                                            Date: 21stMay 2019

National Lottery win for pioneering SARH project

Hi-res image 

The future of an award-winning project that's helping to tackle loneliness in Stafford and surrounding areas has been secured with the help of The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Established by 
Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH)  BeConnected has already helped scores of elderly, disabled or otherwise isolated members of the community to make new friends and engage in a wide range of activities.

Now the scheme is set for a bright future thanks to a grant of nearly £60,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund  which distributes money raised by National Lottery players to good causes.

Led by SARH, the area's leading provider of affordable homes, 
BeConnected includes a programme offun and free activities including arts, crafts, gardening and exercise classes at easy to access venues across the Borough.

It's also seen the recruitment of a small army of volunteers who play a vital role in bringing communities together.

Alison Poole, BeConnected Project Coordinator commented: "Since the scheme was launched with the help of Stafford Borough Council, BeConnected has proved a huge success. Over the past couple of years it has gone from strength to strength and is now helping more people than ever to break the cycle of loneliness and isolation."

Matt Poole, Senior Head of Regional Funding for the Midlands at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: "We're delighted to be supporting the BeConnected project, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. It's fantastic to see opportunities for people to come together to meet new friends and learn new skills, helping them and their community to thrive."

SARH Chief Executive, Karen Armitage, added: "The National Lottery Community Fund grant has provided a massive boost to this pioneering project, ensuring it can continue to bring people together who would otherwise be alone at home.

"We're very grateful for the support and can now look forward to delivering even more fun activities that are set to improve the health and wellbeing of all those taking part."

- END -


Jane Green, Funding Officer for The National Lottery Community Fund (seated, left) hands over a cheque for £59,916 to SARH Chief ExecutiveKaren Armitage, watched by (left to right) BeConnected customersSandra Matthews and Judy Stubbs; Alison Poole, BeConnected Project Coordinator, and Hayley Murphy, SARH Independent Living Manager.


About Stafford and Rural Homes

Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) is the largest social landlord in Stafford with around 6,000 homes across Stafford, Stone and the rural villages across the Borough. Established in 2006 to own and manage the former Stafford Borough Council housing stock, SARHset up a trading subsidiary company Housing Worx, to deliver planned maintenance works to its properties and fulfil commercial contracts in 2012. SARHalso offers 18 Independent Living schemes for people aged over 55 andan award winning Telecare home safety and personal security system for the elderly and vulnerable.SARH has invested more than £100 million on improvement and regeneration programmes and building over 500 high quality new homes for rent and shared ownership which have benefited SARH customers by improving neighbourhoods and creating job opportunities for local people. A Community Benefit Society (CBS), the housing association works in partnership with local authorities, health trusts, statutory bodies and a range of voluntary organisations to create safe, sustainable communities where residents can ‘Live, Work and Grow'.

Follow SARH on Twitter@SARHomes

Media contact:

Martin Farrow

CHANGEWORKS Communications
t: + 44 (0) 1785 247588

m: +44 (0)7771 970025


Stafford and Rural Homes contact:

Mara Hargreaves

Marketing Manager

t:01785 216793 (Direct) 

m:07800 619 863 (Mobile)

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK - we're proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people. 

Weare passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people's lives.At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We're privileged to be able to workwith the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.