THREE groups in Llanelli are receiving a National Lottery grant this month to help their community tackle the effects of COVID-19 on their communities.

Llanelli Town Council also receive £10,000 for their community. They will create a centrally managed fund for foodbanks, food and product distribution centres, and soup kitchens, operating across Carmarthenshire. They money will fund distribution, foodbank support, hygiene equipment, activities, and soup kitchen support.

The Leader of Llanelli Town Council, Councillor Shahana Najmi, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has seen the Llanelli Community pull together to support each other and those who are most in need, so many volunteers and organisations have stepped forward to provide this support through foodbanks and other arrangements. I am delighted that the Town Council has been able to secure the support of the National Lottery in order that funding can be provided to these organisations and help them continue their excellent work in the community”.

Chooselife UK in Llanelli will use a COVID-19 grant top-up of £7,700 to purchase personal protective equipment as well as food and other consumables. They will deliver essential supplies to people in Llanelli affected by substance misuse. Chooselife UK, who normally provide health support for people tackling substance misuse are adapting their work around COVID-19 to make sure that their service users are safe during lockdown.

Alan Andrews, Managing Director of Chooselife UK, said: “As a result of the on-going lockdown, Chooselife had to close the drop-in centre for the first time in over 20 years, however, after consultation with Public Health Wales it was agreed that we should provide take-away lunches for our vulnerable service users.

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“As a result of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and other funders for which we are extremely grateful we have been providing lunches for an of 30-45 people a day, seven days a week and all prepared by staff and volunteers who have been amazing.

“Some staff and volunteers haven’t had a single day off since March 23rd. We also deliver food to people who have been affected by the virus. One such person lost her husband two weeks ago and because of lockdown her and her son haven’t been able to leave their house since because they have had to isolate themselves.”

Carmarthenshire Youth and Children’s Association receive £10,000 to provide online counselling sessions for vulnerable members of the community, to help deal with the high levels of anxiety, fear and panic that social distancing can cause.

The National Lottery Community Fund is now prioritising grants to help address issues created by measures to tackle the impact of the virus. Information on applying for funding is available at www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk

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