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£3.4 million to improve wellbeing in communities across Wales

January 14, 2021

As we cautiously welcome the new year, our grants, totalling £3,431,842, will help improve wellbeing and mental health in communities across Wales, thanks to National Lottery players.

Read about just some of the groups who are playing an incredible role in keeping people supported and connected through this challenging time, helping communities in Wales recover, adapt and thrive.

Rose’s Way Foundation

Rose’s Way Foundation, based in Caerphilly, will use £10,000 to deliver mental health sessions for children in schools across Wales using tools such as worry wizard books and wellbeing bears. Catherine Coundley-Jeans and Andrew Jeans co-founded the charity to support children and families after sadly losing their baby girl, Rose, in February last year after a short battle with A.T.R.T cancer.

Andrew Jeans said: “We are very excited to start #WellBeingRosesWay and to help support young children and their mental health wellbeing. By teaming up with the Worry Wizard, we will bring young children of primary school age in Wales on a journey from the point of worry to wellbeing. We have supported five schools already, and with the support of The National Lottery Community Fund, we can now grow this project by a further 25 schools.”

Photo: Andrew Jeans, Catherine Coundley-Jeans and Oliver, Rose’s big brother

WOW Wales One World Film Festival Ltd

In Ceredigion, WOW Wales One World Film Festival Ltd will use its £9,520 to run online animation workshops for individuals 

with learning disabilities and the wider community, increasing their confidence and wellbeing during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Jan Kench, WOW Film Festival’s project partner, a volunteer with Mencap Ceredigion and co-founder of Ceredigion Animation Club, said: “Getting together as a group to be creative is always a good thing, but under the current circumstances, it’s much, much more than that. Running an animation club online helps us keep people in touch and together during the pandemic. It’s a big investment in people’s mental health, a lifeline. Thanks to National Lottery players, we can help tackle loneliness and isolation.”

Photo: Online team meeting. From top left going clockwise: Bethan Kench (Abercon Creative Director), Rhowan Alleyne (WOW Film Festival Coordinator), Hannah Rounding (Creative Facilitator), Jan Kench (Mencap Ceredigion Volunteer), Jacob Whittaker (Creative Facilitator)

Eryri Cydweithredol – Eryri Co-Operative Cyf

Meanwhile in Gwynedd, Eryri Cydweithredol – Eryri Co-Operative Cyf will provide a virtual befriending service to those experiencing isolation and support in basic IT with its £9,999 grant.

Gwenda Hughes, Director, said, “We were delighted to hear that our recent funding application to The National Lottery Community Fund was successful. We are now looking forward to launching E-Sgwrs/E-Chat, our virtual friendly chat service for individuals living in Gwynedd. The service will be available bilingually and will support people to connect with their local communities and be digitally included.”

Photo:  Patricia Hart, user of E-chat service

Swansea City Opera

Swansea City Opera will co-produce a musical production with Men’s Sheds Cymru with its £10,000, to highlight the positive mental health benefits that the group can bring, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. After interviewing members of the Sheds, they created the libretto from their stories – which reflects not only the struggles they have faced, but also the strength and humour upon which they have drawn to overcome their problems.

Robert Visintainer, Project Officer for Men’s Sheds Cymru, said: “The whole process has been fun and creative. We’re looking forward to doing more together in the coming weeks and months.”

Burry Port Plant Dewi

Burry Port Plant Dewi will deliver a programme of activities and services for families with children aged up to 11 in Burry Port, Pembrey, Kidwelly and surrounding areas. With its £299,162, they will deliver outreach sessions and remote support to improve families’ physical and emotional wellbeing and parenting skills over three years, including baby groups, parent and toddler play sessions and parenting courses. They will also help children with language sessions, a homework club and life skills sessions.

Shan Cheesman, Centre Manager at Burry Port Plant Dewi – T Mair, said: “In these unprecedented times, the support of The National Lottery Community Fund has provided a lifeline to services for families, enabling us to continue to deliver a fit for purpose service to local communities.”

Photo: Shan Cheesman, Centre Manager

Cwtch Baby Bank

Cwtch Baby Bank will use £9,672 to distribute essential baby items such as toys, clothing and food for families who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19.

Clare Bird, Distribution Manager, said: “The baby bank is an extremely valuable resource for the health and social care professionals working with vulnerable families in South East Wales. My role, funded thanks to National Lottery players, includes coordinating donations from members of the public, preparing bundles for clients, and overseeing the work of our nine volunteers.”

Photo: Baby bundles ready for collection

Blaina Community Sports Club     

Blaina Community Sports Club in Blaenau Gwent will use £9,955 to help renovate the cricket pavilion. The venue is at the heart of the community, who have taken ownership of the pavilion to create a space to promote health and wellbeing.

Chris Adams, Secretary, said “The funding from The National Lottery Community Fund is so welcome, and will be a massive help in the project we are currently undertaking. We are carrying out building work to what was originally the pavilion on Central Park Blaina to make it a headquarters for Blaina RFC and Blaina Cricket Club, which will hopefully help both organisations flourish. The pavilion will also be available as a venue for local community groups to use.”

Read about all 68 grants awarded in December 2020 by downloading a list here

Our funding programmes remain open for all applications that meet our criteria, including support during COVID-19. If you have an idea for a community project, call 029 2168 0214 to talk to us or go to

Speak to an advisor from The National Lottery Community Fund

January 7, 2021

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

The National Lottery Community is the largest community funder in the UK. Our goal to help people and communities to adapt, recover and thrive. We believe that the best way to do this is to put people in the lead. We want to help build on the strengths of individuals, and communities to improve lives. We’re open to all applications that meet our criteria, including support during COVID-19. You can find out about our different grants by following the links 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…

Happy New Year from The National Lottery Community Fund

January 5, 2021
Ruth Bates

As we cautiously welcome in 2021, Ruth Bates, Interim Director for Wales at The National Lottery Community Fund takes an opportunity to share her reflections, and looks ahead to continuing to support communities and charities through these uncertain times.

Ruth Bates, from Montgomeryshire, will act as the Interim Director for Wales over the next few months. Ruth has been part of the team at The National Lottery Community Fund for six years and is passionate about community action and the impact we can have when we work together to make our communities a better place to live: 

2020 was a challenging year for us all. However, throughout all of the uncertainty one thing remained consistent, the drive, passion and goodwill of communities across Wales to come together and to support each other during a difficult time. I have been humbled to witness community organisations rise to the challenge of supporting people and families across Wales. 

Being connected 

One of our strengths at the Fund is our extensive understanding of communities through our regional funding model. We’ve been able to move seamlessly to working remotely to support communities to access National Lottery funding.  

To put that in context, in 2020 we provided support and guidance to nearly 1,400 people through our advice line and we awarded £32.5 million to 966 community projects across Wales. It’s been quite remarkable too how our colleagues have stepped up and delivered a great service to our customers despite considerable challenges. 

The projects we fund 

We awarded £59,995 to Medrwn Môn, in partnership with the Isle of Anglesey County Council and Menter Môn to co-ordinate an impressive network of over 850 volunteers to support their community with services such as shopping, dog walking, food parcels and online networks.   

Congolese Development Project in Swansea received £10,000 to support people in their community by helping with shopping, spreading awareness of COVID-19 scams, and starting an online wellbeing class. A team of amazing volunteers like Richard has enabled them to make a big impact.  

Leonard Cheshire received £9,999 to support the physical and mental wellbeing of disabled people in Newport by providing access to online befriending, group activities, virtual contact with families, and digital skills. You can hear more about how Leonard Cheshire have adapted on our podcast.  

We allowed existing grant holders to use their funding flexibly to best support their communities and offered top-ups to their grant to help them adapt. For example we awarded an addition £9,500 to With Music in Mind in Vale of Glamorgan so that they could continue to help tackle loneliness by providing singing and social opportunities for people aged 50+, including those living with dementia and their families.  

In the Summer North Wales Wildlife Trust received £2.5 million from our UK wide Climate Action Fund to work in partnership with other Wildlife Trust’s across Wales to empower young people across Wales to take the lead on environmental action in their communities. 
Later in the year Datblygiadau Egni Gwledig in Gwynedd received a development grant of £562,315 from the Climate Action Fund to lead a partnership of five community organisations across Gwynedd to address climate challenges.  

Through our Climate Action Boost scheme 35 groups from across Wales are receiving support from Renew Wales and Sustainable Communities Wales to develop an environmental plan, which they are currently implementing with up to £15,000 National Lottery funding. 

Looking forward 

Our flagship funding programmes, National Lottery Awards for All and People and Places will remain to give communities the flexibility to fund the things that matter most to them. Through these we will encourage greater emphasis on supporting communities and charities to become more resilient to support their response to current and future crisis including COVID-19.  We will fund groups that:

  • Support organisations to adapt or diversify to respond to new and future challenges 
  • Support communities adversely affected by COVID-19 
  • Support communities and organisations to become more resilient to enable them to respond better to future crises. 

We will award £10 million through our Helping End Homelessness programme and will continue to put young people in the lead through our new Young People’s Programme. Working with the Young People Advisory panel will be an important element to shaping this exciting new programme. We will also be delivering Dormant Accounts funding on behalf of the Welsh Government which will focus on Young People and Climate Change. 

We strongly believe in the strength of collaboration. We will continue to work with other funders across Wales through the Wales Funders Forum to share best practice, and insights to avoid duplication and maximise the reach of the available funds for the benefit of communities across Wales. 

Thank you 

The National Lottery plays a critical role in supporting people and communities and I want to thank National Lottery players – every time you buy a National Lottery ticket, you’re contributing towards £30 million each week that’s raised for good causes throughout the UK. 

I want to wish you all a healthy and happy New Year and to reassure you that we will continue to distribute National Lottery funding to help communities in Wales recover and thrive from COVID-19. 

To find out more about applying for a grant to help your community adapt, recover and thrive visit You can talk to us by calling 029 2168 0214 or by emailing 

Youth resilience: The latest on National Lottery funding for young people in Wales

December 17, 2020

10 members of the Young People in the Lead Wales advisory panel

Young People in the Lead Wales advisory panel

We’re excited to share that the development of our programme to support young people in Wales is being driven by an amazing panel of young people drawn from across Wales.

Back in March we recruited 10 incredible young people from across the length and breadth of Wales to work with us, with support from ProMo Cymru and Ministry of Life, to design and carry out research into the issues that matter to young people in Wales.

Over the last few months the young people panel have been busy conducting research and reaching out to young people across Wales – asking them what matters most to them and what keeps them awake at night.

We at The National Lottery Community Fund have also been listening closely to public and third sector organisations that support young people. Together with the panel, ProMo Cymru and Ministry of Life we came together as a team and followed up our research with a series of co-design sessions to discuss what we and they learned. Read more…

How to use social media to find volunteers

December 11, 2020

Person helping with shopping

Person helping with shopping

Social Media is an incredible tool to reach out to people in the communities you’re interested in, but how do we harness the power of digital sharing to find an extra pair of hands to help out? In this blog, we look at the different ways you can use your channels to scout volunteers to help with your community group or event.

Make a visual advert

Perhaps one of the most simple ways to recruit volunteers is to create content that shows how incredible your project is and how wonderful it would be to get others on board. You could share a video showing all the fantastic things your volunteers normally get up to or drum up excitement for your upcoming event by designing a trendy graphic. Visual content performs best online, so keep this in mind when crafting a post. Read more…

Your right to use the Welsh language

December 7, 2020

On the 7th December, The National Lottery Community Fund joins other public organisations across Wales to hold a campaign to raise awareness of the public’s right to use the Welsh language.

Last year, when the Welsh Language Rights Day was held for the first time by the Welsh Language Commissioner’s office, the campaign reached nearly a million Twitter accounts and over 750 messages were shared using the hashtag #maegenihawl.

According to Ruth Bates, Interim Director for Wales, “Taking part in the Welsh Language Rights Day emphasizes The National Lottery Community Fund’s commitment to the Welsh language. We are proud to be a bilingual organisation and of being able to offer a complete Welsh language service to our customers.

“It’s also an opportunity to show our staff how they can use their Welsh in their roles, and to remind them of the rights that exist. More than twenty of our staff are fluent Welsh speakers with some also learning the language, therefore we can support our customers in their first language every step of the way.”

Read more…

Support for communities across Wales, plus some special Christmas spirit in Ruthin

December 3, 2020

With Christmas just around the corner this month our grants totalling £726,070 have
helped a farming community maximise the income from welsh mountain fleeces
• funded a beautiful garden in Cardiff Hospital especially for long stay patients recovering from spinal injury,
• supported a group helping people qualify for work in the construction industry
• helped some of Santa’s elves in Ruthin.

Pentredwr Community Association

Pentredwr Community Association in Denbighshire successfully applied for a grant of £71,927 through the Rural Futures fund which is managed by our partners Severn Wye. This project will train people in and around Pentredwr to process their own fleeces to make marketable products. The two year project will be delivered in in partnership with Gwlangollen CIC.

Ticky Lowe, a committee member at Pentredwr told us that “The project will be important to the future of the village, as a farming community this brings an opportunity to explore possible uses of the low grade welsh mountain fleece produced locally. Pentredwr Community Centre will serve as an ideal venue to experiment with different applications for the wool such as for fertiliser, as insulation, to line hanging baskets, as slug matting and also for crafts such as woven rugs, spinning into yarn and felt making. The grant will also fund wifi for the community centre which was something that everyone wanted. We are all looking forward to being able to plan events, workshops and get togethers including a busy calendar of wool related events as soon as it is possible again!”

Horatio’s Garden

Horatio’s Garden are a charity determined to provide a place of peace and tranquility for people recovering from life changing spinal injury to go while they are in hospital – often for very long stays. The garden will be part of the new, spinal injuries department at Llandough Hospital, the only specialist unit in Wales. The £60,000 grant will help to pay for the creation of the garden, a Head Gardener and a Garden Therapist. They will recruit a team of local volunteers to maintain the garden and provide a programme of events such as art sessions, book club, music, patient and family lunches.

Kathryn Furnell, Marketing Manager at Horatio’s Garden told us “The garden will be so valuable to the patients, it means so much to them to have the opportunity to get outside and engaged while they are undergoing such protracted rehabilitation. I have seen people at other sites leaving to go home with armfuls of plants that they have grown during their stay. This has been a very difficult year for fundraising, but thanks to this grant we have been able to go ahead with the garden at the new site here in Wales.”

Welsh Centre for Action on Dependency and Addiction Ltd

Colin Richards

Welsh Centre for Action on Dependency and Addiction Ltd in Swansea are planning to provide Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards to unemployed people, giving them the opportunity to gain new skills to help obtain employment in the construction industry. £6,960 will fund training fees, IT and travel expenses.

Colin Richards was supported by Cyfle Cymru, completed the accredited courses, then volunteer training and volunteer hours and is now fully employed on the project as a peer mentor. Colin said “I can hardly believe how Cyfle Cymru has changed my life. Having always worked in the catering profession, I joined the organisation as a volunteer and several months later became a fully-fledged Peer Mentor. I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed a job so much. From delivering training to doing CV’s and everything in between my confidence and skill set has soared. I am truly proud to be a member of such a tremendously helpful, talented, and inspirational team—we all care very much, not only about the project but about each other and this is something for which I am truly grateful.”

Ruthin Panto Society

Finally, getting everyone into the festive spirit we are delighted to announce that we have helped to SAVE CHRISMAS for the Ruthin Panto Society who could not get their usual fundraising off the ground. Every year for eight years they have put on a panto with subsidised tickets. This year they were unable to get the funding together within the strictures of lockdown. The National Lottery Community Fund has stepped into the breach to provide a grant of £5,007 and the elves are very happy.

We are open to all applications that meet our criteria. This has included offering support during COVID-19. If you have an idea for a community project talk to us about our funding call 029 2168 0214 or go to

Supporting communities in Wales through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

December 2, 2020
John Rose

By John Rose

COVID-19 has undoubtedly been a challenging time for all sectors in Wales. The voluntary and third sector is a dynamic and diverse movement, but it has been forced to adapt and respond to the societal changes which the pandemic has brought. The National Lottery Community Fund has been at the forefront of supporting communities in Wales to respond to the pandemic. John Rose, Director Wales recently presented evidence to the Senedd’s Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee’ s on the impact of COVID-19 upon the voluntary sector in Wales.

Our contribution to helping communities in Wales meet the challenge of COVID-19 has been significant, with over 660 awards being made through either grant variations or new applications, amounting to nearly £19million since April 2020. These awards have helped to tackle both the emergency and provide longer term funding beyond the immediate crisis.

It has been inspiring to witness and support community organisations rise to the challenge of supporting individuals and families across Wales. Though we are looking forward to the days when face to face activities can resume, we have learnt many things throughout COVID-19 and adopted some practices which we can take forward into the future. We have contributed to and convened events engaging hundreds of participants and published around 100 reports, blogs and stories sharing real life experience from community groups. You can dig into many of the materials generated from the insights gained and keep up to date with the events that are coming up.

Looking back, we were quick in our response to help our projects and grant holders support their communities in the chaos which Covid-19 brought. With lockdown rules enforced, increased isolation and all but essential face to face activities brought to a halt; we knew that our grant holders were in the best position to know how to help the most vulnerable in their communities through these immensely challenging times. Read more…

How Carmarthenshire Youth and Children’s Association (CYCA) are adapting to COVID-19 

November 27, 2020

Originally published on May 5th 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 thanks to a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.

In this blog we’re talking to Carmarthenshire Youth and Children’s Association (CYCA) based in Llanelli. CYCA provide a range of wellbeing support for families including counselling and mentoring, and also provide nurseries and after-school clubs for young children. Recently, they’ve been focusing their efforts on adapting their services online to meet the needs of their community. We spoke to Tracy Pike MBE, CEO of CYCA to find out more:  Read more…

£3.6 million brings comfort to communities across Wales

November 5, 2020

Additional support for people dealing with dementia, loneliness and mental health will bring comfort to communities across Wales, thanks to National Lottery money.

We are proud to distribute £3.6 million to help people to support each other through this challenging time, keeping them safe and connected. We wanted to tell you about some of the organisations that are transforming people’s lives in Wales.

Cariad Pet Therapy CIC

Cariad Pet Therapy, based in Pembrokeshire, will use their £6,600 to provide people with dementia and the elderly population, who are socially isolated as a result of the COVID-19, with automated pet therapy visits.

Robert Thomas, Project Manager, said: “We had seen evidence that robotic pets have a positive impact on our elderly population and those living with dementia, especially those who used to own cats or dogs. We have received fantastic feedback from people with dementia, their families and care home staff. One comment was that the robotic pets were the best thing they have tried during COVID-19 and that they have helped to bring happiness to the care home.”

Cariad Pet Therapy

Cariad Pet Therapy

Read more…