THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES FUND'S INITIATIVES
1. The Government gave the Fund its first
policy directions in August 1998. These covered healthy living
centres, out of school hours activities, ICT training for teachers
and librarians and the digitisation of learning materials. £1
billion is available for these programmes. After consultation
by the Fund, these initiatives were launched in the first half
of 1999. Grant making is well advanced in all these programmes.
Funds are being distributed to a planned timetable designed to
spread funding over the length of the programmes.
Healthy Living Centres
2. This programme will develop a network
of healthy living centres across the UK, accessible to the most
disadvantaged 20 per cent of the population and complementing
the Government's wider public health initiatives and the social
exclusion agenda. There is £300 million available.
3. Healthy living centres offer a range
of services focusing on the wider determinants of health and reflecting
the needs of local communities, addressing factors such as social
exclusion, mental health and poor access to services. There is
no standard blueprint for a healthy living centre. Activities
may, for instance, include smoking cessation, action to tackle
teenage pregnancies, physical activity and advice on diet. To
help us to assess applications, the Department of Health developed
a model to identify areas of particular deprivation in England,
which is being updated as conditions change.
4. By September 2000, 206 projects had been
given initial approval to work up more detailed plans (for bids
of £196 million). Twenty projects are underway following
final approval. These have been awarded nearly £17 million.
We plan to commit all of the money by September 2002.
Using a £6.4 million grant, the "Walking
the Way to Health" initiative is developing and supporting
200 community-based "Walking for Health" schemes in
rural and urban areas across England. The funding is being delivered
through the Countryside Agency and British Heart Foundation to
smaller local partnerships who will provide a programme of short
led walks. The scheme will give people the opportunity to take
regular exercise and will help reduce health inequalities by targeting
areas with the worst health. In pilot schemes, 63 per cent of
those participating felt their stamina levels were higher, 28
per cent thought their stress levels were lower and 20 per cent
said they felt they had reduced their weight. These are great
indications for the start of a successful programme.
Out of School Hours Childcare
5. There is £220 million (including
£20 million for integrated out of school hours childcare
and learning schemes) available for this programme, which aims
to create new and sustainable out of school hours childcare places
for 865,000 children by 2003. The programme complements government
funding for childcare infrastructure and project support, which
is being provided via local childcare partnerships in each country.
6. A wide range of activity has been supported,
including before and after school clubs, holiday provision and
childminding. A typical club will operate around a primary school's
hours for 5-11 year olds (an hour before and a couple of hours
after, perhaps). We also fund some schemes for younger and older
children. Over £45 million has already been committed to
create over 119,000 out of schools childcare places.
A £47,700 grant was awarded to the Creggan
Early Years project in Northern Ireland to create more than 70
new childcare places. These include before and after school clubs
as well as a holiday scheme, serving schools in the area. Creggan
suffers from high long term unemployment. A survey prior to the
award found that less than a third of young family households
contained a parent who had ever participated in employment training.
The project will help parents enter work and training.
Out of School Hours Learning
7. £205 million, including £25
million specifically for summer schools, is available to help
provide out of school hours learning activities involving half
of all secondary and special schools and a quarter of all primary
schools by 2001. The programme supports learning activities that
encourage and motivate pupils, build their self esteem and help
them achieve higher standards of achievement. Activities can include
homework clubs; help with key skills, such as literacy, numeracy
and ICT; sports; opportunities to pursue particular interests,
such as law and languages; mentoring; community service; and family
learning. To date over £77 million has been committed to
480 projects involving over 5,500 schools.
8. We are using data on eligibility for
free school meals collected from across the UK to ensure we target
the most disadvantaged pupils. In the summer school programme,
we particularly focus on summer schools catering for pupils with
special educational needs and gifted and talented pupils.
Tower Hamlets Summer University received a New
Opportunities Fund grant for £599,000 earlier in the year.
The Summer University was formed in 1995 and has been a great
success. It provides such activities as web and fashion design,
club DJ and club visuals, martial arts, babysitting, badminton,
bike riding and river science. Many of these activities will now
be extended to 12 and 13 year olds in the Junior Summer University
with the help of the grant. The grant will also enable the Summer
University to focus on young people in residential care, young
people with physical disabilities or learning difficulties, and
pupils "at risk".
ICT Training for Teachers and School Librarians
9. This programme is helping raise pupils'
achievement by increasing the expertise of serving teachers in
the use of ICT in subject teaching, and by improving the competence
and confidence of school librarians in their use of ICT. £230
million is available to fund courses for all teachers and school
librarians who need training.
10. All funding has been allocated to schools.
Schools have been told how much funding is available for them
to spend on training from approved suppliers. The Fund releases
grants as courses are taken. So far, 160,000 teachers have signed
up for courses and £55 million paid out for courses.
Training at Ranvilles Infant School in Fareham
began in January 2000 and continued through to the end of the
summer term. Ranvilles' ICT manager, John Whitmore, found it a
great success. He found that, "the training gave teachers
a sustained input of knowledge and understanding about the way
ICT can be used in their teaching. The training was within a set
time period, so the learning momentum was kept up. Teachers are
now using ICT in a much more creative way". For example,
the school now has an impressive web site.
ICT Training for Public Library Staff
11. There is £20 million for the training
of public library staff in the use of ICT. The scheme was launched
in summer 1999, having been developed in close consultation with
the Library and Information Commission (now Re:source) and a range
of partners. Each Library Service in the UK has been given a funding
allocation for training which is released subject to approval
of training plans and use of an approved training provider.
Digitisation of Learning Materials
12. The Fund has made £50 million available
for the digitisation of learning materials. The programme is digitising
material which supports lifelong learning needs, and which will
be made available, free at the point of access, through the People's
Network and the National Grid for Learning. All the providers
have been selected and are working on their final plans. The material
they will be digitising is very diverse, ranging from scientific
to cultural information.
13. In April 1999 the Government gave the
Fund directions on three new initiatives. These followed revised
estimates of the money that the Lottery is expected to generate
for good causes. The initiatives cover grant programmes for Living
with Cancer, Community Access to Lifelong Learning and Green Spaces
and Sustainable Communities.
Cancer Prevention, Detection, Treatment and Care
14. This programme is promoting cancer prevention,
improving access to screening and treatment and helping individuals
and families cope with the impact of cancer in their lives. £150
million is available across the UK.
15. In England £93 million of the total
available is being spent on new and replacement equipment to screen
for, diagnose and treat cancer, allocated on the basis of extensive
research by the Department of Health and targeting disadvantaged
communities. Allocations of equipment were agreed in November
1999. The first equipment was purchased and installed in May 2000.
The majority of breast screening equipment is already in place.
The first scanning and radio-therapy equipment has been delivered.
The remainder will be rolled out over the next three years in
line with plans agreed by Health Trusts, Health Authorities and
the NHS Supplies Authority.
16. A further £21 million has been
awarded in England to fund cancer care and information projects.
Ninety-one projects have been awarded grants, focusing on black
and minority ethnic communities and socially disadvantaged groups.
17. In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
health boards and authorities will co-ordinate prevention, detection,
treatment and care projects in their areas.
The Fund has awarded over £800,000
to help address inequalities in palliative care provision in areas
of high social deprivation and ethnic mix, covering North Mersey
Health Action Zone. Staff and volunteers will co-ordinate palliative
care services to enable more people to die at home, increase the
provision of home care and outreach services, provide support
for carers, and develop an up-to-date directory of palliative
care services for patients and carers.
Community Access to Lifelong Learning
18. The community access to lifelong learning
programme aims to encourage more adults into learning, with a
particular focus on improving access to learning opportunities
through the use of information and communications technology.
Over £11 million has already been awarded. We are allocating
£200 million by 2002 for:
projects that support the development
of a nation-wide network of learning centres with ICT access to
information and learning;
Community Grids for Learning, which
support the National Grid for Learning, and provide community
based web sites which are relevant and interesting; and
through library authorities, the
creation of a People's Network of ICT learning centres in public
In September 2000, £100,000 was awarded
to Lead Scotland, a charity working to provide education and learning
opportunities for physically disabled adults. It will allow them
to greatly improve distance learning opportunities for disabled
students. They will now be able to develop an interactive web
site, integrating on-line discussion into the learning available
to disabled adults. Over 700 students and 200 volunteers will
benefit as a result.
Green Spaces and Sustainable Communities
19. The green spaces and sustainable communities
programme is the New Opportunities Fund's first environment initiative.
We will distribute £125 million across the UK by 2002 for
schemes that will help communities understand, improve or care
for their natural and living environment, focusing on areas of
disadvantage. Projects need to demonstrate both environmental
and community benefits as well as a high level of involvement.
20. The Fund invited bids from organisations
to administer awards on behalf of the Fund. The successful applicants
were announced in September 2000. They include:
BTCVto create an England-wide
network of 1,200 green spaces in areas of disadvantage, using
volunteers to harness community involvement.
Sport Englandto provide and
improve playing fields, school playgrounds and green spaces and
develop projects for children's play.
Barnardo'sto provide opportunities
to play safely in neighbourhoods.
The Royal Society for Nature Conservationto
support projects including sustainable transport projects and
community food growing and marketing.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
(announced January 2000)to manage the Scottish Land Fund
which will assist rural communities throughout Scotland purchase,
develop and manage land.
21. Table 1 summarises the progress of the
FIRST AND SECOND ROUND INITIATIVES
||Money Committed By||Progress
|Healthy living centres||£300m
||September 2002||Over 200 projects given initial approval to work up more detailed plans (for bids of £196 million)
20 projects underway after final approval (£17 million)
|Out of school hours
|£220m||2003||1,564 grants have been awarded which will create 119,000 new childcare places (£45 million allocated)|
|Out of school hours
|2001 for out of school hours 2002 for summer schools|
|480 awards made, usually covering many projects (£77 million distributed)|
over 5,500 schools helped
|ICT training for teachers and school librarians
||£230m||2002||161,100 courses ordered by teachers|
all money allocated and £55m already distributed for completed courses
|ICT training for public library staff||£20m
||2002||all money allocated|
over half of library authorities have submitted plans which have been approved
||2002||all bids given an initial assessment and successful applicants are being given support in developing final plans|
|Living with cancer||£150m
||2002||£91 million allocated to purchase cancer equipment|
first equipment is now operational in hospitals
£21 million allocated to 91 care and information projects
|Green spaces and sustainable communities
||£125m||Money already allocated to award partners
||all funding has been allocated to national Award Partners after an open competition. These will distribute grants to local projects|
|Community access to lifelong learning||£200m
||2002||first grants given for learning centres and community grids|
over £11 million allocated
Subject to final negotiations. Back