Delight over lottery fund cash hand-outs across Staffordshire and the West Midlands

An ice skating project, exercise and bingo club for the elderly and an outdoor learning centre for food writer Nigel Slater’s old school are among a range of groups to benefit from an £883,000 lottery hand-out.

More than 100 clubs and associations across Staffordshire and the West Midlands have received a slice of the cash which is paying for an assortment of good causes. The Big Lottery Fund announced the funding in its latest round of Awards For All grants.

One of the more innovative schemes was submitted by Cannock International Ice Skating club which was given £9,850 to help children with physical and learning difficulties learn to skate.

Walsall Deaf Peoples Centre received £9,559 to carry out essential wiring work at its base in Lichfield Street, Walsall.

Pauline Beckett, accountant at the centre, said such grants were “crucial” in the present climate.

St Peter’s Church in Darby End, Dudley, is looking forward to installing double glazing in the church hall. The Rev Stephen Carter said it would reduce the heating bills.

In Smethwick, staff at Devonshire Junior School were celebrating a grant of £9,968 for a much needed Breakfast Club to provide a healthy start to the day.

In Willenhall, Lodge School Junior and Infant School will spend its grant on a mobile digital recording studio that will also be used as a base for a radio station.

Mr Slater’s old school, Woodfield Junior in Penn, Wolverhampton, has rec-eived £9,000 to develop an outdoor learning area to build links between pupils and the local community.

Woodfield bursar Jo Phillips said: “This is very exciting for us. We have a new community room and this garden project will further enhance what we can offer to the wider school community.”