Metro’s grant to deliver extra community work

October 15, 2021 | by Matt Halfpenny


Bolton’s Metro Community Boxing Gym has been given a £5,000 grant to deliver more outreach boxing classes throughout the community as part of pilot partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund and IKEA UK.

The sessions, which bring together people of all ages and help improve the mental and physical health of local residents, are just one of a range of projects made possible by the new funding.

A total of £1.5 million has been made available to 330 community groups across the UK via the  Places Called Home programme to inspire, enable and resource people to invest in their local community as an extension of their home.

The grants aim to help organisations build back better and differently as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It builds on the energy and creativity of communities coming together during the crisis to support each other and aims to inspire them to take action around healthy and sustainable living, while learning from each other and building meaningful connections.

“We’re so pleased that National Lottery players and IKEA are supporting our new project to provide people across Bolton with access to boxing classes,” said Leigh Alexander, Secretary and director of Metro Community Boxing Gym.

“This Places Called Home funding will help us increase the boxing sessions we deliver in the community, and ultimately help improve both the mental and physical health of more people.”

Emma Ackerman, Funding Strategy Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, added: “As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that we can build on the energy and creativity we’ve seen to make stronger communities and a better everyday life.

We’re delighted that together with IKEA and National Lottery players we have been able to support this across the UK with our pilot partnership and funding.”

And Hege Saebjornsen, Partnership Advisor at Ingka Group said: “The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated how fragile the world is, reinforcing the need for collective resilience – for our neighbourhoods, our communities and our planet.

“Through this programme, we have an opportunity to make sustainable and healthy living accessible and affordable for everyone while also unleashing the skills, energy and enthusiasm of communities to take part in making a difference every day.”

Alongside the funding, all community groups that applied – whether they received funding or not – have been invited to join a community of support. This virtual learning and support programme has been created by Participatory City Foundation.

The community of support will mean participating communities are better able to develop capabilities and knowledge around community action, sustainable and healthy living, co-creation, and participation.

Additionally, researchers from Middlesex University and the University of Surrey will support the partnership to understand how both grant funding and a community of support and knowledge sharing can help deliver meaningful and lasting impact.

To share initial learnings and insights from this pilot with interested parties, including other funders and businesses, IKEA UK and The National Lottery Community Fund are initiating a Learning Lab.

If you want to get involved with the Learning Lab please contact –