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Helping Working Families: new programme, launching 22 November

November 20, 2017

We are launching a new funding programme called Helping Working Families at the Butetown Community Centre, Cardiff this Wednesday. The launch will begin at 13.00 and tickets are available online here: https://goo.gl/KWXTup

There will also be a round table event in Rhyl on 1 December to talk through the new programme with our funding officers https://goo.gl/KqjMGb .

Helping Working Families will provide funding for families affected by ‘in-work’ poverty. We recognise that there are a growing number of people in Wales who are affected by poverty, even though they are in work. We expect the fund to help households where at least one person has a full or part time job, is self employed and supporting at least one child under 18.

The new funding programme is taking an active role in encouraging projects to engage with the people by offering a different model for this fund. We want to see that the people who will use the service working in an equal partnership with the people who provide it.

Full details of the new programme and how to apply will be available on the Big Lottery Fund website from 22 November 2017. Completed application forms should be with us by midday on 15 March 2018 and successful projects will get the go ahead in July 2018.

Developing community owned assets

November 13, 2017

In a small valleys market town something big has been happening to put heritage and music on the map together.

The Ebbw Vale Institute (EVi) has been the backdrop to a secret album recording by a popular band Public Service Broadcasting who spent five weeks at EVi putting together their Every Valley album.

The Grade II listed building constructed in 1849 was in danger of being lost due to the extensive repair and refurbishment then in 2007, Pro-Mo Cymru – a registered charity – restored the historic building into its former glory giving it a new lease of life by turning it into a sustainable cultural centre of community activity and learning through asset transfer.

EVi has now been used for a whole host of community initiatives including private parties, office hire and teaching and comes with its own bistro café, bar, performance stage, function room, audio visual equipment and technical support and has a number of entertainment options including live music, film screenings, DJs, comedians and after dinner speakers.

It has also been used by Public Service Broadcasting for their two night sell-out launch events.

The band’s frontman J. Willgoose, Esq., explains: “I have no personal ties to mining, be it coal or otherwise, and I have no family links to the area, but something about the story drew me in.

Read more…

People and Places: Being connected

November 3, 2017

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In July 2017 the Big Lottery Fund in Wales relaunched our People and Places grant programme which is open to applications of between £10,001 and £500,000 for community projects lasting up to five years. You can read about the changes here. One of the key changes is that we’re asking all applicants to show us how their project fits into three themes:

  • people-led,
  • strength based and
  • connect

To help explain these in more detail, we’re publishing a series of blogs to help outline what we mean by each theme. Read about people-led here and read about strength-based projects here. For this post, we asked Local Knowledge Coordinator, Amy Wilson to tell us a little more about being connected.

We want our applicants and projects to have a good understanding of other activities and services in their community and can show how their project will complement these.

Read more…

People and Places: Building on your community’s strengths

October 16, 2017
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Derek Preston-Hughes, funding manager.

In July 2017 the Big Lottery Fund in Wales relaunched our People and Places grant programme which is open to applications of between £10,001 and £500,000 for community projects lasting up to five years. You can read about the changes here. One of the key changes is that we’re asking all applicants to show us how their project fits into three themes:

  • people-led,
  • strength based and
  • connect

To help explain these in more detail, we’re publishing a series of blogs to help outline what we mean by each theme. Read about people-led here. For this post we asked funding manager Derek Preston-Hughes to tell us a little more about strength based projects. Read more…

10 years and still going strong

October 16, 2017

Funded with a £109,495 Voluntary and Community Sector grant in 2004, Caia Park Deva House Day Centre in Wrexham was refurbished to provide a fully accessible centre for older people in Caia Park, Wrexham. 10 years after it opened the centre is still going strong; Alison Hill from the centre tells us more.

“Last year, ten years after it opened, Deva House has achieved financial sustainability.

“Deva House is an older people’s day care centre situated on Caia Park in Wrexham. Operating out of a small community centre that was renovated using a capital grant from the Big Lottery, Deva House provides a luncheon club, bathing services, social activities and meals on wheels. It provides day care for older people who are referred by social services and those who refer themselves. This means Deva House provides preventative support to people who don’t qualify for local authority funding, our care often helping them stay independent for longer. Read more…

Dance for Parkinson’s

October 11, 2017

Watching the participants arrive at the National Dance Company Wales’ Studio in Cardiff Bay for their Dance for Parkinson’s class you wouldn’t immediately think of a dance troupe. Especially as one gentleman turns up in a wheelchair sporting a sweatshirt with the legend “I don’t float like a butterfly or sting like a bee but I’ve got Parkinson’s like Muhammad Ali”. But in fact a dance troupe is exactly what you should be thinking.

Parkinson’s affects all people differently but as it advances it usually becomes increasingly more debilitating and impacts on the person’s whole body, including their face and speech. Read more…

Wales’ Chairman gets Down to Earth

October 9, 2017
The wooden roof of the central hall at Down to Earth

The wooden roof of the central hall built by participants.

Sir Adrian Webb, Chair Big Lottery Fund Wales, visited Down to Earth at one of their sites near Swansea.

The “Building Sustainable Communities” project received £945,000 in January 2015 through the “Our Bright Future” programme which aims to tackle three big challenges facing society today – a lack of social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people and vulnerability to climate change. Down to Earth supports young people to design and ultimately build sustainable structures in their own communities e.g. parks, community centre and sports ground.  They are provided with accredited training in sustainable construction on a “live” community based building site alongside green entrepreneur training programmes. The project is working with the most disadvantaged young people (16-24 years old) in south Wales to create inspiring, inclusive and sustainable buildings. Down to Earth also received £716,529 for a three year project in August 2013 through our People and Places programme.

We caught up with Sir Adrian to find out how the visit went, he told us: Read more…

If I wasn’t supported by my family or UCAN, I think things would’ve turned out a lot differently.

September 27, 2017

Starting out from founders Bernie and Jane Latham’s kitchen, UCAN was established in 2005 running drama workshops in partnership with RNIB Cymru at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff. Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength; delivering workshops across Wales and into Europe, and launching the UCAN Go app which supports visually-impaired people to confidently navigate a growing number of theatres.

Today they’re based in Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Visual Sciences where members are delivering confidence-building theatre workshops to visually impaired young people on the Big Lottery Fund-funded Future Insight project, and thanks to Cardiff University, teaching 300 of the next generation of junior doctors about living with a visual-impairment each year. Read more…

“I’ve been with UCAN for over 10 years now, and I can’t imagine what my life would be like had I not been a part of it.”

September 21, 2017

Megan John is 24 from Cardiff and was born with Cataracts, Nystagmus, and Aniridia. She joined UCAN as a founding member and came to realise that performing arts could change her life.

Starting out from founders Bernie and Jane Latham’s kitchen, UCAN was established in 2005 running drama workshops in partnership with RNIB Cymru at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff. Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength; delivering workshops across Wales and into Europe, and launching the UCAN Go app which supports visually-impaired people to confidently navigate a growing number of theatres.

Today they’re based in Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Visual Sciences where members are delivering confidence-building theatre workshops to visually impaired young people on the Big Lottery Fund-funded Future Insight project, and thanks to Cardiff University, teaching 300 of the next generation of junior doctors about living with a visual-impairment each year. Read more…

People and Places: Putting people at the heart of the design, development and delivery of your project

September 19, 2017

In July 2017 the Big Lottery Fund in Wales relaunched our People and Places grant programme which is open to applications of between £10,001 and £500,000 for community projects lasting up to five years. You can read about the changes here. One of the key changes is that we’re asking all applicants to show us how their project fits into three themes: people-led, strength based, and connect.

To help explain these in more detail, we’re publishing a series of blogs to help outline what we mean by each theme. For this post we asked Communications Manager Rosie Dent to tell us a little more about people-led projects.

In a snapshot, what does ‘people-led’ mean?

We want the projects we fund to have meaningfully involved the people they’re working with in the development, design and delivery of the project. When we say people, we mean the people that take part in projects, their networks (such as family, friends, carers) and the wider community that your organisation works within. Read more…