Your community needs you! Calling all leaders of tomorrow

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The King's Fund and Millennium Commission are stepping up their search for community leaders of the future who can make good use of grants for projects that improve the health of Londoners.

The grants of £2,000 are designed to transform local communities across Greater London and enable people to put their own bright ideas for health enhancing schemes into action.

Award winners will undertake community projects under the themes of taking charge of your health, helping people to have their say, creating healthy environments and working together for health. Individuals will participate in a leadership development programme at The King's Fund which will give them the skills and support necessary to successfully carry out their projects.

Almost 150 people who have already received grants and whose schemes have changed the lives of people living in the capital gathered today at the King's Fund to celebrate their achievements.

One of the grant recipients, Dianne King, who used her grant to set up a support group for struggling carers in black and ethnic minority communities in Lambeth, said:

'The money enabled me to find isolated carers and bring them out of the woodwork as far too many carers get lost in the system and don't get access to the support they are entitled to.

'The support group has made more people aware of their rights and enabled them to meet other people who share similar experiences. These people felt disempowered before they arrived at the support group, but were much more confident and optimistic about their respective situations after attending.'

Other grants projects that were celebrated at the event included an initiative to alleviate food poverty in Newham; food and health classes with the Vietnamese community in Deptford; a medicinal plant garden in a council estate in Camden and a music, dance and drama group for children from refugee families affected by HIV/AIDS.

The King's Fund chief executive Rabbi Julia Neuberger said:

'I am delighted that these grants, which have tackled some of the worst inequalities in health, have made a real difference to the health of Londoners.'

The grants - which are distributed by The King's Fund on behalf of the Millennium Commission - are open to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, from all parts of the UK.

It is hoped that 300 new health initiatives and a network of people with the skills to act as leaders in their local communities will result from the awards scheme.

Notes to editors

The King's Fund is one of many award partners - charities and other organisations with community networks and a track record in grant making - that have been chosen to distribute Millennium Commission-funded lottery grants of £2,000. Grant recipients who have successfully completed a project receive a certificate and become a member of the Millennium Awards Fellowship.

For more information about The King's Fund Millennium Awards scheme, please call Daniel Reynolds on 020 7307 2581 or 07831 554927. To register for an application pack, please call our dedicated voicemail service on 020 7307 2821. If you have any other queries contact Kate Higginson, Millennium Awards scheme manager, on 020 7307 2436; Fax: 020 7307 2801.

Journalists and photographers are cordially invited to attend the Millennium Awards event at the King's Fund, 11-13 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0AN, on Wednesday, September 25. The event, which will start at 6pm, will see grant recipients give presentations on their individuals projects from 6.30pm.