Kettering arts group for people with additional needs receives £300,000 funding boost

A huge financial boost!

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 11:36 am
A Picture the Difference member at an outdoor performance

A Kettering arts group for those with additional needs no longer needs to 'Picture the Difference' £300,000 would make after a huge National Lottery funding boost.

Picture the Difference C.I.C was set up by an ex-drama teacher and supports people with additional needs such as autism, physical disabilities and sensory impairments, by providing them with a space where they can train and take up paid opportunities within the performing arts sector.

And thanks to National Lottery players, the £300,000 funding boost means they can now provide creative leadership opportunities to young people and adults who have additional needs and expand and support people to develop skills such as filmmaking, song writing and dancing.

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It is just one of 24 charities and community groups in Northamptonshire to receive more than £1.5m of National Lottery funding in the past quarter, supporting them as they seek to overcome social and economic challenges raised by the pandemic.

Ryan Lunness is just one member of Picture the Difference who has benefited from its support.

He said: “Picture the Difference has helped me in a lot of ways. I have learnt how to write a script, how to sing, cook, and, more recently, train to become an arts leader. Thanks to the support from National Lottery players, the group has helped me to improve my social skills and take up new exciting opportunities.

“I feel so happy that I have had a chance to make new friends and that I now meet up with outside of the project. Since joining Picture the Difference I have had a lot of support, especially during difficult times in the pandemic. We’re a big team that works and motivates each other to reach and achieve our goals. I really feel grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund.”

Zoe Martin, founder and creative director at Picture the Difference, added: “As an ex-drama teacher, I found that performing arts and creative groups weren’t accessible for young people and adults with additional needs. That’s when I set up Picture the Difference in 2016. Thanks to National Lottery players, we’ve been able to create a space that prides itself in providing people with a place that allows them to participate and provide them with a purpose.

“The funding has allowed us to extend past just being a performing arts group, but we’re able to offer leadership training that leads to paid employment within the group. It’s exciting to be able to offer experiences and career opportunities to those who otherwise would not be able to access them.”

Claire Jopling, senior head of funding for the Midlands at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, this vital funding is having a huge impact on people’s lives across the East Midlands. It’s so inspiring to see dedicated volunteers and groups, like Picture the Difference C.I.C, supporting their communities to prosper and thrive. This funding has given a much-needed cash boost to communities, so they can build back stronger from the pandemic.”