Mens’ support group gets up-cycling thanks to National Lottery funding boost!

Community Bees CIC is celebrating after being awarded almost £20,000 to support its Odd Balls Men’s Support Group.

The National Lottery ‘Awards For All’ funding will enable the York-based group to expand to provide up-cycling sessions and activities, and provide support for men in the York community who struggle with hoarding.

Outline of a hand, crossing second and middle fingers. Text says Community Fund.

Led by manager Michaela Shaw, Community Bees CIC is a beacon of support and empowerment for individuals facing the challenges of hoarding disorder. The Odd Balls Men’s Support Group, in particular, provides a safe space for men where they can engage in community activities.

Michaela Shaw, Manager of Community Bees CIC says; “We are immensely grateful to the National Lottery for their generous support. This funding will allow us to enhance our efforts in aiding men who are struggling with hoarding. Through our upcycling group, we not only teach valuable skills but also foster a sense of camaraderie and belonging.”

Hoarding disorder is a lonely and isolating mental health condition. Since 2019, Community Bees CIC has supported hundreds of people struggling with hoarding, in York, through a range of projects and practical decluttering. Without this support, sufferers would continue to live in an unsafe home, risking fire, disease and homelessness.

The Odd Balls Men’s Support Group offers a unique blend of practical skill-building and emotional support. Participants will not only learn how to refurbish furniture but also develop strong bonds with their peers, creating a supportive community where they can openly discuss their challenges.

To ensure longevity of the project, all items upcycled by the support group will be available through regular auctions and sales.

The funding from the National Lottery Awards for All Fund will enable the Odd Balls Men’s Group to find their own permanent venue, where they will be able to transform items and improve their well-being. 

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to the National Lottery for recognising the importance of our work and for their continued support.” added Shaw. “Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need it most.”

The National Lottery Community Fund recently launched its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’, which will underpin its efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030. 

As part of this, the funder has four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives. 

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£615.4 million) of life-changing funding to communities.