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Welcome to our Woods

June 20, 2018

Welcome to our woods, Trehebert

We caught up with this project on a lovely, sunny Sunday in June.  The project was awarded £1,282,000 from Create your Space. Welcome to our Woods works with a wide range of third sector organisations including Interlink, Valleys Kids, Keep Wales, Tidy Spectacle theatre, Blaencwm Chapel and Active Nutrition.

Welcome to our Woods has built on previous projects in the area to encourage local people and especially children to respect and enjoy the woodlands which surrounds many of the villages in the Valleys. The team are also exploring how they can use the woodlands sustainably to improve local employment.

We were met by Julie, the diminutive ball of energy who 22 years ago began the original project in Treherbert when the estate, which backs onto the woods, was virtually a no go area for social services and the fires then were from burnt out cars and uncontrolled fires on the mountain.   These days the well-used Community Centre faces the path which leads temptingly up into the trees, gentle music and laughter drifts down from the hill.  Read more…

Visiting Ponthafren, Newtown

June 20, 2018

Ponthafren was funded through People and Places (£375,568). The project promotes positive mental health and wellbeing. The centre offers free counselling, 1-1 Recovery and activities including art, gardening, healthy living and mindfulness courses. There is also the opportunity to train as a volunteer or learn new skills and polish up CVs and interview techniques. People are welcome to drop in to see what is going on each week. The project is in the third year of its grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

We visited Ponthafren in Newtown as part of the Big Walk. The organisation first opened its doors in 1992, to cater for people who experience mental health issues or those who may be socially isolated or excluded. Read more…

The Big Walk steps up to the challenge of shining a light on communities across Wales

May 21, 2018

33058688_10160348189620564_5195480178280628224_n.jpgThe Big Walk is back! Four teams of walkers are embarking on four routes across each of our four nations, covering more than 250 miles over 18 days across the UK to shine a light on amazing groups and events that bring people together and working up an appetite for the Big Lunch at the end of their journeys.

The Big Walk is an Eden Communities initiative funded with a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.  The grant is made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. The Big Walk shines a light on the people at the heart of the UK’s communities, who work together to make great things happen every day. This annual event sees walkers visit projects and community groups that are making a real difference to local lives. Along the way they will be encouraging everyone to join The Big Lunch. Read more…

£30 million of National Lottery funding available for communities in 2018/19

May 17, 2018

John_Rose_1063_17_col_FF - Copy.JPGBig Lottery Fund Wales Director John Rose:

When you think of the National Lottery you often think of someone popping a bottle of champagne after scooping millions of pounds. These scenes of celebration have been repeated by many thousands of good causes across Wales who have received life-changing grants thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

Some of these grants are distributed by us at the Big Lottery Fund and in the next financial year we will be awarding over £30 million to communities, giving them a similar jackpot-winning feeling for the things that really matter to them.

Many of these individual grants are big, in the range of hundreds of thousands of pounds but many are much, much smaller too. Read more…

On top of the World with the Outdoor Partnership, Snowdonia

April 24, 2018

The Outdoor Partnership was formed 12 years ago in response to research by Bangor University which showed that the outdoor pursuits industry in North Wales and Snowdonia at that time had almost no local people working in it as instructors. Researchers summed up the local perspective then as “Climbing the mountains is for tourists”. The Outdoor Partnership set out to change that attitude from the grassroots up. They wanted to enthuse and inspire the communities who lived in the area about the benefits of the landscape on their doorstep. The project was awarded a £495,000 grant from People and Places.

One of the strands of the project (Pathways to Employment) works with local people who are unemployed to help them get out and get fitter, learn some skills and enjoy the environment while they are doing it. The project hit all their targets for moving people back into work through the programme. We caught up with two participants who have both been in the project for three months – Carren and Ioan. Read more…

60 seconds with a Knowledge and Learning Officer…

April 19, 2018

We’ve got an opportunity for someone to join our team as a Knowledge and Learning Officer for people who are passionate about supporting communities in Wales. If you’re not sure what exactly a Knowledge and Learning Officer does, then we asked Dave from our Knowledge and Learning team to give you a flavour of what’s involved.

What’s the best thing about working for the Big Lottery Fund?

I’ve been at the Fund for nearly 10 years now so I guess that says something. There are not many organisations whose mission is ‘helping communities most in need’ so because of that it’s a really motivating place to work, especially when you see the difference our funding makes, and being able to demonstrate that to stakeholders. On top of that, the people are great too! Read more…

£150,000 of National Lottery funding up for grabs across Wales in The People’s Projects

April 16, 2018

Five local community groups across Wales are set to compete for up to £50,000 of National Lottery funding each. The People’s Projects is giving these groups a chance to go head to head compete in a public vote to help them make an extraordinary difference to their community.

For 13 years, the Big Lottery Fund, ITV and The National Lottery have been teaming up to give the public a chance to decide where National Lottery money should go in their local area.

The three projects in Wales with the most public votes will receive grants of up to £50,000. This will help them to continue their work to bring people together, build stronger communities and make a difference to people’s lives.

Voting is now open at www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk. Here are the projects competing in Wales:

Read more…

Will my National Lottery Awards for All application be successful?

April 3, 2018

National Lottery Awards for All is a very popular programme and we frequently receive many more applications in excess of our available budget. Because of this, we are not always able to fund all of the worthwhile applications we receive, which means we have difficult decisions to make about how to prioritise our funding.

The key areas we will use to make a decision are how strongly your project meets one of our funding priorities and how involved your community is with the design, development and delivery of the activities you are planning.

National Lottery Awards for All has three funding priorities and your project idea must meet at least one of these:

  • Shape the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • Bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities
  • Enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage

Read more…

What next for Magi Ann?

March 21, 2018

Winning the Education Category in the National Lottery Awards 2017 was a fantastic experience for Menter Iaith Flint and Wrexham. With the lottery funding, we succeeded in creating 6 apps to help children to learn to read Welsh. We have received priceless publicity as a result of the nomination and winning the award. We reached a far wider audience than we would have through our current networks, not only across Wales, but throughout Britain. Read more…

“I love the farm – it’s a great, inclusive place. It’s helped me get my mojo back.”

March 15, 2018

A community farm in Swansea that was on the brink of closure less than 12 months ago is celebrating the news that National Lottery money will open up opportunities for its community. Thanks to National Lottery players, Swansea Community Farm have received £99,992 to support new people in the community with mental health difficulties into volunteering and training opportunities with the help of the animals at their farm. Read more…