Josie Torpey has big plans. She wants to organise all sorts of events and trips in her role as Activities and Wellbeing co-ordinator in Southampton. The only problem was that she didn’t have the funds to support all these ideas.

So, using her initiative, she applied to the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Celebrate Grant’ to see if they could help her to provide some money to fulfil her plans.

The money was needed for social inclusion events for customers in the combined service in Southampton, for older people and those with a disability, which Josie called the ‘Unity in the Community’ project.

After a nervous wait, Josie eventually heard that she was successful in being granted the maximum amount of £10,000!

So, over the next 12 months, Josie is going to be able to arrange all the events she was planning; a Christmas party, activities throughout the autumn and spring, and a big summer party for all her customers.

This will make a huge difference to the lives of all the customers in the service and Josie is rightly proud of the achievement:

This grant has come as a huge shock to me and to the team, I didn’t believe the letter was even real! The Big Lottery Fund grant has allowed us to break down the barriers of age, disability and culture differences and to be able to bring all our customers together as a community.

Look out for the hashtag #BigCelebration in the future as this will link together all the events that this much needed funding will support.