NINE Keighley groups are sharing in a National Lottery payout of almost £100,000.

The Lottery’s Community Fund has handed out the nine grants over the past three months with the highest grant of £30,725 going to the Thinking Big ‘Friends and Family Project’.

The project will provide support for parents and carers of children with disabilities, allowing families to socialise, have fun and meet other parents in similar circumstances.

The Cougarmania Foundation, the charitable arm of the Keighley Cougars rugby team, will spend its £10,000 grant creating a new community classroom.

A Cougars spokesman said “The classroom will provide a range of activities to people in the community, which will increase confidence and skills in those taking part.”

The ECHO group was awarded £10,000 to run a Wellbeing Café, with cookery and exercise sessions for women from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The long-established AWARE group (Airedale and Wharfedale Autism Resource) will provide specialist training for parents with autistic children.

The £10,000 grant will pay for six courses, which together aim to build a support network for both children and parents.

Highfield Community Association, which runs a community centre in Drewry Road, won £9,944 to run free courses and activities for women, with the intention of increasing confidence and independence.

Highfield Food Coop was awarded £9,775 for its Empowering Young Men Project, which will provide training in IT and CV writing.

A spokesman for the Coop said: “The project aims to address issues of low mental health and self-esteem by teaching new skills.”

The National Lottery Community Fund is one of several grant-living bodies supporting the first-ever Keighley Arts and Film Festival, which will run in October.

The money is being used to deliver several film-making workshops for Keighley people, enabling them to create their own films addressing issues in their on communities.

HART Yorkshire CIC has gained £4,134 for its Keighley-based Threads of Life project.

A HART spokesman said: “The funding will be used to deliver a programme of weaving activities for older people culminating in a celebration event of their work. The project aims to provide positive and social activities to bring people together and reduce isolation.”

The Friends of Devonshire Park were awarded £3,921 to support their latest project, the opening up to the public of Redcliffe Orchard, a patch of land between streets in Highfield.

The money will be used to enhance the orchard, as well as delivering a series of fruit pressing workshops for local young people.