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“Males are three times more likely to take their life and it’s a problem that’s especially difficult and critical at the moment.”

May 15, 2019

“Hi, my name’s Rosie and I’m a student at Cardiff University, and I’ve also just completed an internship with the student’s union in a National Lottery funded project in suicide prevention and mental health support. This project was funded by the National Lottery and we’re so incredibly grateful for the funding and the ability to put this project on.

“I’ve personally delivered the training that this has funded to 300 students but there’s a team of us delivering it and looking to deliver to 1,000 students and staff members by the end of the year so it’s really going to benefit a lot of people in our community, and help to teach people how to spot the signs among their friends, peers, families and colleagues exhibiting signs of suicidal thoughts and ideas, and really teaching them about how to help them and how to help themselves as well.

“Another part of our campaign that I was really passionate about being involved with and starting was a campaign specifically aimed at male students. Males are three times more likely to take their life and it’s a problem that’s especially difficult and critical at the moment, so we wanted to put on a campaign for male students to encourage them and say that it’s ok to speak about your mental health and to reach out and get support, and that everybody regardless of their gender or identity has mental health just as they have physical health and it’s a strength not a weakness to reach out for support.

“Personally I suffer from depression and anxiety and that’s really affected me as a student but Cardiff University and the Student’s Union have helped me so much, and every time that I’ve felt like I needed support it’s been there for me and I’ve been able to speak out. There’s been no barrier to me speaking out, and I really want that for my male friends, colleagues and peers who have some unique barriers that they might face like they need to be strong and that it’s not a strength to speak out as there’s a lot of stigma around men accessing mental health support and speaking out about their mental health, so I really wanted to create a campaign and provision that encourages them to wear their hearts on their sleeves which is where the “Alright Mate?” campaign came from.”

Speaking up about mental health is a STRENGTH, NOT a weakness. Cardiff University Students’ Union launched the #AlrightMate? campaign. The campaign is their response to the alarmingly high rate of male suicide in the UK, which is the biggest killer of men under 45. They want to help put an end to these eye-opening statistics and break the stigma of talking about mental health.

Cardiff University Students’ Union received £9,600 of National Lottery money to train six staff members, who deal with students who may be in crisis, to deliver a ‘Suicide Prevention Skills for University Students’ programme to the student body. The National Lottery Community Fund spoke to Cardiff University students to talk about their experiences to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people.

Funding what matters most to communities in Wales.

April 26, 2019

As the leading community funder, we distribute money raised by the National Lottery to community groups and charities in Wales. This year, thanks to National Lottery players we will distribute £34 million to communities across Wales who enable people to improve their lives by drawing upon the skills, assets and energy in their communities. We know that our communities are ever changing and therefore it’s important that we respond to the issues that matters most to the communities.

Here, John Rose, Director of The National Lottery Community Fund explains how we set about involving communities in a meaningful conversation about how we best allocate our funding this year to support communities in Wales to thrive. Read more…

Building Resilience for a Thriving Third Sector

March 20, 2019

The National Lottery Community Fund recently commissioned The Funding Centre to create the first map of the third sector support landscape in Wales. The Funding Centre is a consultancy who have worked with more than 100 charities across Wales. They have seen first hand just how challenging things really are for the third sector.

We were seeking to list, understand and assess what help is available to enable the sector (charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises) to survive and thrive. Our focus was on help to build organisational and financial resilience. We asked The Funding Centre about the process and what they identified: Read more…

Help shape National Lottery funding

March 14, 2019

logo.pngWe are looking for 10 – 12 people in Wales to take part in user testing to help The National Lottery Community Fund (formerly ‘Big Lottery Fund’) improve the process of applying for funding.

The National Lottery Community Fund wants to improve the overall experience of applying for National Lottery funding, which includes transforming our digital and web services and refining the application process. Participants can be successful and unsuccessful applicants, who will help us to map out the stages of applying for funding (the ‘customer journey’), and tell us their experiences of what went well and what was difficult.

We would be very grateful for your contributions as it is so important to improving our services and making sure our funding has the best possible impact on a wide range of communities. Read more…

Carmarthen ten-pin bowling’s right up our alley

February 27, 2019

As part of our rebrand to become The National Lottery Community Fund we went to visit some of the projects that we’d awarded grants to over the years. Alex Davies from our Communications team tells us about his visit to the Xcel Bowl centre in Johnstown, Carmarthenshire which was awarded a Community Asset Transfer grant of nearly £800,000 way back in 2010.

“My initial thoughts about my visit were that I could have picked a better day to go and visit the centre as there was some of the heaviest rain I’ve driven in for a long time. That thought, however, was quickly dispelled once I’d arrived as I wasn’t sure where I’d be able to park given there were so many cars there. It turned out that it was the perfect day for dozens of families that were looking for something to do to go there as the place was full-up, and I even spoke to a few students from the local school who were there on their lunch-break to play a few games who said how valued the venue was to have so close to them.

Read more…

Sports projects: What can we fund?

January 21, 2019

The National Lottery Community Fund supports a wide range of activities including projects that develop people’s skills, promote community involvement and encourage healthier lifestyles. However our funding doesn’t cover projects where the main purpose is to promote or develop the arts, heritage or sport.

Having said that, we recognise that these types of projects are often a focal point within the community and play an invaluable role in people’s lives so our Funding team has shared their tips for distinguishing the blurred line between fundable and non-fundable sports projects.

What we can fund:

We can fund projects if they use sport as a means to support community activity and meet the aims of our funding programmes. These could include projects that use sport to tackle inequality or integrate communities by bringing together people of different ages, projects that improve the ability of disabled people to take part in activities, or projects where for example, a sports club is also used as a community centre.

Read more…

“I lost a friend to suicide recently so it’s a big motivating factor for me to try and make a difference.”

January 14, 2019

“I’m James, I’m a second year Translation student at Cardiff University. I first got involved with Mind Your Head through working with the Welfare department of the Students’ Union where I met Rosie and Lewis our Co-Presidents. I’m now Secretary of the group and took part in the launch week of Mind Your Head week and helped facilitate a Mind Your Head café which we’re doing again this week for the “Alright Mate?” campaign.

“I mostly got involved to try and make a difference with mental health. I lost a friend to suicide recently so it’s a big motivating factor for me to get involved and try and make a difference. When I was growing up my mum had pretty ill health which progressed into me needing to seek help through my sixth form and eventually through to university when I got here. I struggled with anxiety surrounding that for a while, and stigma was definitely something that prevented me from seeking help because I felt like it shouldn’t have been an issue or should I just get over it, or my mum’s problems were worse than mine.

Read more…

Merry Christmas from the National Lottery Community Fund

December 10, 2018

With Christmas just around the corner and the year drawing to an end, big Lottery Fund Wales’ Director John Rose would like to take this opportunity to share his personal appreciation to the many people and communities that have enabled great things to happen all over Wales during 2018.

Firstly, I want to start by thanking National Lottery players. Sometimes people forget that buying a National Lottery ticket helps good causes and this year alone we will have distributed £34 million in Wales. So thank you to every one of you that buys a National Lottery Ticket. You all play a part in supporting communities the length and breadth of Wales and indeed the UK.

You cannot always appreciate the difference this makes until you speak to funded projects and meet the people they support. Then, once you delve a bit deeper, you see that every day the National Lottery is making a positive difference and changing lives for the better. Read more…

Elsa’s smiling more than ever thanks to her new role as Engage to Change Ambassador

December 8, 2018

IMG_0257 - Copy.JPG“Hi Elsa!” The calls ring out as Elsa Jones walks down the street in Llanidloes. Clearly well-known in the community, Elsa has a learning disability and has been volunteering at the Severn Hospice charity shop in the town for the past four years. Now, following work placements and job coaching through Engage to Change, she has been successful in her application to become an Ambassador and promote the Engage to Change project across Wales.

“I enjoy going out to work. It gives me confidence, meeting people, socialising, and I enjoy keeping busy,” says Elsa. “I really enjoy it so much.” At the charity shop she spends her time at the shop serving customers, dressing mannequins, sorting donated items and putting them out on the shop floor. “I always like to make sure it’s presentable.” One of her favourite aspects of her work has been the opportunity to learn new skills and to develop her existing ones, such as time management and money handling. Read more…

Community mini bus brings people together thanks to National Lottery

December 7, 2018

This week in the run up to Christmas we’re celebrating some of the amazing projects that we’ve funded recently, making an amazing difference to their communities.

Earlier this year we awarded Llandysul a Phont-Tyweli Ymlaen Cyf a National Lottery grant of £98,300 to run a community transport scheme in Carmarthenshire. They are one of 29 projects that received £2.77 million for community facilities in 2018.

We went to visit the project for the day to see the bus in action helping local groups.  We joined the bus carrying people with Alzheimer’s and their carers to a local dementia group. Madelaine Richards, one of the carers told us how much she valued being able to get out of the house, joking “I can’t leave my husband alone, if I was in prison it wouldn’t be much different and at least I’d get my meals.”

Read more…