Eight projects in the West Midlands have secured a share of £1.5m from the Big Lottery Fund.

Nationally, 47 projects are benefiting from investment worth more than £10 million as the National Lottery prepares to mark its 18th anniversary.

The extra cash will allow work and volunteer placements to be provided by Chapter 1 through its 2nd Chance Furniture Re-use social enterprise in Nuneaton.

It has secured £299,000 for the programme which includes support from a mentor. Participants also have access to a regular work club which provides support to individuals seeking employment.

It also provides affordable furniture to people in financial hardship living in North Warwickshire and Nuneaton and Bedworth.

Peter Whitehead, Chapter 1’s project manager for 2nd Chance Furniture Re-use, said: “This grant will enable us to launch our new volunteer programme, which has been named 2nd Step Forward by one of our volunteers. For many of our volunteers, the first step they need to take is actually to walk through our door, but their second step needs to be out of our door and forward into a more confident and fulfilled life, and hopefully paid employment, where this is needed. Here, volunteers are given the opportunity to develop real skills in a real work environment.”

In Stoke-on-Trent, funding of £298,859 will allow Bentilee Volunteers Community Association to continue supporting older people with the provision of day services at the Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre. In the north of the city, Tunstall Methodist Church and Centre has secured £19,250.

Elsewhere in the region, Castel Froma has been awarded £71,181 to develop a small scale pilot into a full exercise and lifestyle management programme for disabled residents of the Castel Froma rehabilitation centre in north Warwickshire.

Birmingham Asian Resource Centre will use £297,676 to ensure older and disabled people within the South Asian and other BME communities receive the best possible support so they can have a better quality of life.

John Taylor, Big Lottery Fund head of region for the West Midlands, said: “Lottery funding has been changing people’s lives for 18 years, from funding charities and local communities to parks, museums, arts and sports projects.

“The Big Lottery Fund is committed to ensuring that the good cause funding it distributes continues to reach those most in need of support and is used to create opportunities that will help to improve lives - such as providing support for isolated older people in Birmingham or creating volunteer placements for disabled people in Stoke.”

Other recipients are Aspiring Futures Community Interest Company (CIC), in Wolverhampton, which secured £277,156; Derbyshire Dales Careline in East Staffordshire, which received £116,418; and Home-Start Staffordshire Moorlands which was awarded £199,187. It operates in Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Staffordshire, Stafford and Tamworth as well as the Staffordshire Moorlands.