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Medway's Big Lottery bid, led by Family Action, Medway Council and Medway NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, has been turned down

By Jenni Horn

A bid for millions of pounds of Lottery funding to help families in the Towns has been turned down.

Medway was one of 15 areas shortlisted for a share of £165m to tackle issues such as teen pregnancy, smoking, breastfeeding and obesity. But today it has been announced that it will not be getting any cash.

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The bid, worth up to £50m, was led by the charity Family Action, working with Medway Council and Medway NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The aim was to improve the foundations for a child’s early years. The money would have been spent on initiatives such as a network of “buddies” to provide support for families and making better use of green spaces.

A team from the Big Lottery bids panel visited Medway in February and spoke to mums at All Saints Children’s Centre in Chatham.

Big Lottery representatives at All Saints Children's Centre, Chatham

On today’s announcement, Cllr Mike O’ Brien, in charge of children’s services at Medway Council, said: “We are naturally disappointed that Medway were not awarded investment on this occasion; however, through this process we have gained and not lost, as we have created a strong partnership to drive change.

“We are incredibly grateful to our community, parents, partners and businesses, all of whom contributed so much hard work and energy into creating a very powerful bid."

"There are still lots of opportunities" - David Holmes, Family Action

Family Action, Medway Council and Medway CCG have said they will continue to work together and are now drawing up plans to seek alternative funding.

Dr Pete Green, from Medway CCG, said: “Although it is disappointing that we have not been awarded funding on this occasion, we as a CCG are determined to work with partners and the community in Medway to make improvements to services to better support parents and children.”

David Holmes, chief executive of Family Action, said: “There are still lots of opportunities for everyone who came together and worked so hard on the bid.

"We need to capitalise now on the wealth of knowledge, expertise and commitment that has been developed through the Better Start campaign.

“I know that all members of the Medway partnership are determined – with the continued support of the community - to drive forward our shared goal of securing funding for new services that will have a positive impact on families in Medway.”

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