HAMPSHIRE'S community organisations have been awarded more than £570K in funding.

In total, 30 community projects in Hampshire, ranging from an intergeneration horse-based therapy project on the Isle of Wight to a mobile Men’s Shed in Basingstoke, have been awarded a total of £576k in National Lottery funding for the last quarter.

The money, raised by players for good causes, is being distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

One Hampshire organisation that has received funding is Isle of Wight-based Bodster Equine Assisted Learning C.I.C, which received £8,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund to run the Ponies Connecting Communities project - an intergenerational project that aims to reduce the stigma around ageing and encourage local community cohesion.

The funding will support twenty people over the age of 50 to run sessions for younger adults, teaching them crafts and encouraging them to engage with nature, as well as joining them in mindfulness activities with ponies.

Jo Boddington, from Bodster said: “Thank you so much to National Lottery players as without this grant we would not be able to run this project and offer a space where older and younger adults can have the space to enjoy nature and be with our herd of ponies on the ground and regain a sense of self-worth.

"We gain amazing feedback from people we work with about how this is one of the only spaces where they feel comfortable to talk about their worries.

"The common interest of ponies, nature and crafts will help the two groups interact and develop friendships and support networks.”