NEARLY a year on from the first COVID-19 lockdown, The National Lottery Community Fund is sharing some positive news with 120 communities across Wales receiving a share of £3,800,912.
From a national mentoring programme to digital choirs and community projects supporting young families and people with disabilities, money raised by National Lottery players is helping Wales to adapt and recover from COVID-19.
Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales will use its £425,995 funding to work with Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team Wales (EYST), Disability Wales and Stonewall Cymru to deliver a mentoring programme to give participants the confidence, resilience and skills required to apply for a variety of public and civic roles, ensuring public institutions better reflect the diversity of Wales.
Catherine Fookes, Director of WEN Wales said: “We are absolutely delighted that our ‘Equal Power, Equal Voice, All Wales mentoring programme’ is receiving National Lottery funding, which will allow us to work with our partners to significantly expand the scheme. This national programme will be life-changing for the participants – we know from the mentoring schemes we have run already that they have helped countless women become more involved in political and public life – becoming councillors, governors or taking up board positions. The programme can help make Wales a fairer nation, with a much more diverse democracy at its heart. We can’t wait to get started!”
This organisation is one of 120 across Wales to receive a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund in the latest round of funding.
In North Wales,Conwy Connect for Learning Disabilities will use £5,000 to continue providing practises for the Makaton Choir to enable members to increase their confidence, and to feel safe and listened to.
Caroline, who supports Glyn, a member of the choir, said, “The choir practice is a very important social event for Glyn, as well as giving him the opportunity to improve his Makaton skills which he now uses much more confidently. Being able to continue with Makaton Choir during lockdown has given Glyn some stability and continuity during a difficult time, providing him with a means of keeping in touch with his signing friends whilst still learning and progressing despite the current situation. We are very grateful to Conwy Connect for managing to keep the choir sessions going.”
Welsh National Opera Limited will also continue digital delivery of Cradle Choir weekly choir practises for people with dementia, their families and carers with its £5,940 funding.
Tricia Jones, a member of Cradle Choir, said, “The choir is just a joy. I have met some lovely people and getting together to share our love of music and singing is a highlight in my week. Seeing everyone’s smiling faces at this difficult time lifts the spirits and makes the day brighter. I hope Cradle Choir is able to continue into the future, providing a unique and special service for people with dementia.”
SANDS (Stillborn and Neonatal Death Society) will use its £5,719 to provide Welsh language bereavement support to parents who have experienced the loss of their baby.
Heather Jane Coombes, Wales Network Coordinator, said, “Good bereavement care following the death of a baby can be life-changing and this amazing grant will ensure that parents can participate in their care as equal partners through the medium of Welsh language. It is so important that bereaved parents can access care and support in their chosen language. Thanks to the players of The National Lottery together we can ensure everyone can seek SANDS’ bereavement support without barriers.”
Meanwhile in Anglesey,Bryngwran Cymunedol will use £100,000 to develop the outbuildings at Bryngwran Arms into business units to include a shop, hairdressers, café and multiuse space to create jobs, provide services locally and to contribute to the sustainability of the area and wellbeing of the community.
In Flintshire,Penyffordd Community Council will use £9,999 to improve the play facilities for young people in the village by building a concrete skate park where they can gather, socialise and express themselves.
Richard Bestwick, Chairman of Penyffordd Community Council said, “Outdoor play areas are more important than ever for young people, helping them with their confidence and giving them a hobby where they can be active and meet new friends. The National Lottery funding is a welcome help – thank you very much from the village of Penyffordd.”
Feed Newport CIC will use £9,999 to develop a baby and toddler food bank to provide essential items to families in need, while Morfa Family Centre in Llanelli will use £10,000 to provide online and face to face support groups for new and expectant parents, to help develop their baby’s physical literacy and development.
Accessibility Powys Ltd, based in Llandrindod Wells, will provide digital access, services and friendships for people with sensory loss, cognitive and physical difficulties with its £99,990 grant.
In Cardiff,The Trinity Project will provide practical and educational allotment activities for asylum seekers and refugees, families, and students with its £9,996 funding. Regular events will enable different cultures to come together and form lasting friendships which will also help address social isolation.
Ruth Bates, Interim Director of The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales said: “Charities and community groups across Wales have played an incredible role in supporting people and keeping them connected throughout the pandemic and are still doing it now a year later. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to make a significant contribution to communities meeting the challenges of COVID-19. We have been privileged to see directly how people have stepped up to support each other and their community.”
National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. To find out more about applying for a grant to help your community adapt, recover and thrive, visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/wales. A full list of the 120 grants awarded in the latest round is attached.