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Thanks a million!  The latest National Lottery funding in Wales

October 1, 2020

As part of our commitment to support communities across Wales we wanted to highlight some of the organisations across the length and breadth of Wales that are making an incredible difference for people and communities as they look through COVID-19 and into the future.  

Throughout September we’ve awarded £1,070,870 of National Lottery money to 34 organisations that are supporting people and their communities. Some of the organisations include: 

Mental Health Football in Wales 

Thanks to National Lottery players, Mental Health Football in Wales in Swansea will use £9,950 to train 12 individuals as co-founders of the charity, who will in turn organise activities and events for people experiencing mental health difficulties in South Wales.

Paul Francis, a volunteer coach, told us: “I think that mental health football in wales is an amazing idea that will have a positive impact on 100’s of people’ lives across Wales! It’s something I’m really proud and honoured to be part of!”

Anthony Barnett, a volunteer coach, said: “Mental health football in Wales couldn’t have really come at a better time, it offers help and safety to people, including myself who could not be more proud to say I volunteer for such an amazing charity.”

Mental Health Football in Wales

Mental Health Football in Wales

Read more…

Young people! We’re teaming up with you

September 23, 2020
Young people in the lead

In August we announced that we had recruited our Young People in the Lead Wales advisory panel, a dynamic and diverse team of 10 young people from across Wales to take the lead in how National Lottery money will be used to support young people across Wales. Over the next few weeks they will be reaching our and engaging with young people to hear about the issues that are most important and matter most to them, and how National Lottery money can be used to make a positive difference.

As part of this work we are also working with ProMo Cymru, in partnership with Ministry of Life, to help support our 10 young people to best reach out, engage, and hear more from young people right across Wales. Find out more about our Young People in the Lead Wales advisory panel and how they are working with The National Lottery Community Fund on our website. Read more…

Our top 3 tips for school-based projects

September 11, 2020

With schools in Wales now welcoming pupils back for the first time in months, we’re expecting a rise in applications for school projects and equipment.

We can fund both schools themselves, and charity groups doing work in schools – mainly through our National Lottery Awards for All Wales fund. We’ve funded lots of fantastic school-based projects over the years!

Unfortunately though, many of the more recent applications we’ve received are for things we can’t fund.

With that in mind, here’s our top three tips if you are applying for funding to do work in a school:

1. Steer clear of teaching time

We can’t fund school-based activities during teaching time. This is the case whether you are a school applying for a grant, or a charity applying to run some activities for pupils in a school. Even if the activities are quite different from normal lessons, we can’t fund them if they will replace teaching activity.

Before school and after school are fine, as are break times and lunchtime.

If there’s no other time the activities could happen it’s best to speak to us before applying, and we’ll chat about what we can and can’t help with.

2. Avoid applying for equipment that could be used in school teaching time

This is a common request, but isn’t really something we can fund. For example, we are unlikely to fund sports equipment that could be used in P.E. lessons or computers for IT classes. This is the case even if the equipment will also sometimes be used outside of school hours.

We understand that COVID-19 social distancing rules mean many schools want to install outdoor teaching areas to ease the pressure on classrooms. Unfortunately, this isn’t something we can fund. We aren’t allowed to fund equipment that will mostly be used for teaching the school curriculum, even in these difficult circumstances.

3. Make sure to involve the wider community

The main point here for schools is this: we are unlikely to fund work that only, or mainly, benefits school pupils or staff.

We look for wider community involvement in both planning and delivery of any work we fund – in schools or otherwise. You can read more about what this means on this blog, and a bit about what this means specifically for schools here.

For us, the best examples of this are when you have asked your community ‘what would you like to do?’ rather than ‘do you support this idea we’ve already come up with?’ or ‘would you like to do this free activity we have arranged?’

Some examples

Here are some examples of things we couldn’t fund, based on some recent applications:

  • Stationery supplies for children returning to school
  • Installation of outdoor classroom to allow lessons in the playground
  • iPads for pupils to allow them to do lessons from home online

We also receive many applications for improvements to school grounds for the sole benefit of pupils, which is something we are less likely to fund.

So what can we fund?

I’m happy to say that there are also lots of things we could consider funding as well!

If it’s happening outside of school teaching time, is wanted by and involves people from the wider community, then we would consider it. For example, we might fund things like an after-school drama production that is performed online for local care homes, or a food club where local people are invited to work alongside pupils to grow food on a community garden.

If in doubt, talk to us!

And finally, remember – we’re always happy to have a chat about your idea before you apply, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you aren’t sure.

15 million thank you’s: £15 million awarded to support communities in Wales during lockdown

August 6, 2020

Since the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown began, 588 charities and community groups across Wales have been awarded a total of £15 million National Lottery money.

The money, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, is helping people to support each other through this challenging time. We wanted to tell you about some of the organisations that are making a substantial difference in their communities the length and breadth of Wales.

Read more…

We challenge YOU to take on the #TNLComFundCycle.

August 5, 2020

The pandemic has encouraged many people to take up cycling, which not only boasts positive effects for people’s physical and mental health, but choosing a bike over a car is also great news for our environment. We developed our #TNLComFundCycle with this in mind. We want to encourage people to get on their bike – whilst raising awareness of the difference National Lottery funding has made in their communities. 

To take part, our Cardiff route is below. We’d love for you to tell us all about your journey on social media with photo of you at one of your favourite landmarks or projects on the route alongside the hashtag #TNLComFundCycle. 

For those who aren’t local to Cardiff, we’d still love you to get out on your bike – so why don’t you plan your own cycle route past your own favourite National Lottery funded projects in your community? If you’re looking for cycle route inspiration, you could follow one of the pre-existing UK cycle routes developed by National Lottery funded Sustrans.

However you choose to cycle, we want to hear all about it using #TNLComFundCycle. 

Read more…

Green energy boost for Swansea Community Farm thanks to National Lottery

July 31, 2020

Swansea Community Farm is a community farm based in Fforestfach, Swansea that is focused on supporting people in the community with voluntary opportunities as a means to improve people’s health, wellbeing and mental health. Earlier this year they received a National Lottery Community Fund Green Top-Up grant of £9,900 to, with support from Renew Wales and Sustainable Communities Wales, install solar panels on their roof to improve the energy efficiency of their building.

The Green Top-Up grants a pilot in Wales that is supporting existing National Lottery projects to make small changes to their projects to tackle climate change in their communities. The Green Top-Ups pilot is part of our environmental strategy to make positive change to tackling climate change in communities. Find out more on how to reduce your environmental footprint on our website.

We spoke to Kate Gibbs from Swansea Community Farm about their grant, and how what difference it’s making to their work.

Read more…

Green grant gives rugby club community boost

July 16, 2020

Clwb Rygbi Bethesda Cyf is a rugby club in Bethesda, Gwynedd that are using their facilities as a centre for local businesses and social enterprises to operate out of to support people in their local community.

They received a National Lottery Community Fund Green Top-Up grant of £10,000. The Green Top-Up grants are part of our environmental strategy to make positive change to tackling climate change in communities. Find out more about our strategy on our website.

We spoke to William Sandison from Clwb Rygbi Bethesda about their grant, and what difference it’s making for their community.

Three men laughing
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Speak to an advisor from The National Lottery Community Fund

July 16, 2020

Thinking of applying to the National Lottery Community Fund for a grant?

Information and guidance is available for each of our funding programmes on our website. Links to each are below.

Want to talk to someone about your project idea or ask questions?

Our advice team are happy to help, they’re available Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm by calling 029 2168 0214 or emailing

If you prefer to talk over video, we will do our best to accommodate that. However due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to meet with every project. Below is a list of places you can find us over the next few weeks. Due to COVID-19 we are not currently offering face to face meetings. Read more…

How Empower– Be The Change are adapting to COVID-19

June 18, 2020

We are proud to see how the thousands of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations funded by The National Lottery Community Fund are adapting their services to support their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We recently spoke toEmpower – Be The Change based in Wrexham. Working in partnership with local organisations they adapted their work to go online to continue supporting the needs of their community.We spoke to Jo Clay, Director at Empower Be The Change to find outmore: 

Getting online

“Empower – Be The Change is an award winning social enterprise delivering personal and professional development courses, with Institute of Leadership and Management accredited qualifications and mentoring. We empower people and teams to build positive mental resilience, fully realise their self-worth and achieve their potential!

Usually, we deliver our courses in classroom settings in community buildings across North Wales.  People from a range of backgrounds come together and are encouraged in a safe environment to discover their skills, strengths and how they can use these to take positive actions to transform their lives. 

Read more…

How are The King’s Church adapting to COVID-19?

June 9, 2020

We understand that COVID-19 is impacting on many of the groups funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, but we are also very proud of how those we fund in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors are adapting their services to support their communities.

In this blog we’re talking to The King’s Church based in Newport. They work with community and social agencies to supply food and other essentials to deprived communities and provide practical support to families living in poverty and deprivation. We spoke to Faye Edwards Volunteer Coordinator for their Jesus Cares project to find out more:

Adapting the ways of working

“We were mindful at the start of lockdown in that we thought about how we can could get our provision to people that need it to support the most vulnerable people in our community. We decided that the right call was to join forces with Newport City Council knowing that they were taking a big lead in helping those that were vulnerable and isolated.

Read more…