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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…

Thank you to these community groups who have had National Lottery money to help their communities

June 4, 2020

As part of our commitment to support communities across Wales through COVID-19 we wanted to highlight some of the organisations across the length and breadth of Wales that are making an incredible and important difference for people most affected by isolation.  

This month we’ve awarded £4,599,919 of National Lottery money to 91 organisations that are supporting people and their communities through this difficult time. Some of the organisations include: 

Single Parents Wellbeing, Cardiff  

Single Parents Wellbeing provide a range of activities and mental health support for single parents in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. They’ve received £9,990 to provide online crafting sessions, help with home education, and social support networks for single parents and their children during COVID-19. 

Read more…

A 10-step guide to make your social media content more accessible

May 21, 2020

Now more than ever, people are taking to social media to connect and offer services. For many of us, social media posts can be tricky to navigate and understand. Here we’ve compiled a guide to help you make your social media more accessible for a wide audience. 

  1. Consider the ‘readability’ of your posts, make your content easy to understand for its intended users. 
    Avoid unnecessarily complex language, keep what you’re saying simple and easy to read. Here’s our favourite readability checker
     
  2. When writing a post, use short sentences broken up with punctuation and paragraph breaks. 
    Long sentences with little punctuation will make your post difficult to read and it won’t allow screen readers to pause, which can make your post hard to understand. 
     
  3. Capitalise the first letter of every word in a hashtag #LikeThis so that people can read each word individually. Don’t use more hashtags than necessary. 
    If you don’t capitalise the first letter of each word in a hashtag – it will make it difficult for people and screen readers to read it. Using too many hashtags can make your post heavy and complicated. 
  1. Don’t embellish your post with too many emojis or punctuation marks. 
    Many screen reader technologies do not acknowledge when an emoji is used but will read out exactly what it sees. A top tip is to use emojis at the end of a sentence and avoid using them as substitutes for words. The same goes with punctuation – use your decorative elements responsibly to avoid complicating your post!  

  1. Keep text on images/videos high contrast, e.g. white font on black background or vice versa. 
    Having your text high contrast makes it much easier for people to see and read. 
  1. Always add image descriptions when posting a photo. 
    Without an image description, screen reader users will not know what the image is of. You can add an image description through the alt text/image description features on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. If these features aren’t available you can include [Image: description of image] in the text of the post. 

    Many people post images (like posters/flyers with more information) to cram more text into their post. Not all people can read the text from an image, and if your image must include text – make sure all that information is included in your image description. 
    Here’s a useful article on how to write image descriptions and use the alt-text functions


  1. Always use video captions/subtitles when posting a video – and make sure the text is large and high contrast enough to read. 
    This is important for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, but captions/subtitles also benefits engagement as a whole – as many people simply do not listen to videos on social media. Remember to include all sounds and not just dialogue. Here’s a guide on three ways to easily add captions to your video. 
     
  1. Make sure all your important information in videos is conveyed audibly as well as visually. 
    If there is key text on screen, it should also be read out or included in the body of the text in your post (so that a screen reader can read it out).
     
  2. Provide transcripts for audio-only content such as podcasts. 
    Here’s a helpful article on how to write transcripts
     
  3. Consider trigger warnings. 
    Let readers know that sensitive content is being discussed by writing ‘Trigger warning’ or ‘TW:’ at the beginning of your post. This simple warning can help avoid potentially upsetting someone dealing with trauma or a mental health issue. 

    To find out more trigger warnings and some suggested times to use one – here’s a resource Oxford University Student Union created



We hope you’ve found this useful. These suggested adjustments help many more people access your social media posts. Consistency is key, so keep up these steps when crafting your content and they’ll eventually become positive habits. 

How are With Music In Mind adapting to COVID-19?

May 20, 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 With Music In Mind based in the Vale of Glamorgan. They tackle loneliness in their community by providing singing and social opportunities for people aged 50+, including those living with dementia and their families. They’ve been moving as much of their work online as possible whilst supporting less-confident members to access social media and online technology. We spoke to Kate Whitestone, Director at With Music In Mind to find out more: Read more…

How Ponthafren Association are adapting to COVID-19 

May 18, 2020
Woman on phone

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.

For Mental Health Awareness week, we’re talking to Ponthafren Association based in Newtown, Powys. They provide a range of mental health support for people in the local area including counselling and mentoring. They took steps early to minimise disruption to their services, and have since adapted their services online to meet the needs of their community. We spoke to Claire Cartwright, Director at Ponthafren to find out more:   Read more…

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

May 5, 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…

How Glenwood Church are adapting to the COVID-19 crisis

April 27, 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 and help their communities.

We will be focusing on groups that are continuing to operate and keep people connected be that preparing food parcels for key workers, redesigning their websites to include dedicated sections on COVID-19, or even running 1-1 sessions via text messages. You can read our first blog on Men’s Sheds Cymru here and our second one on Dynamic Wrexham here. Read more…

How Dynamic Wrexham are adapting to COVID-19

April 21, 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 and help their communities.

We are focusing on three of such groups that are continuing to operate and keep people connected be that preparing food parcels for key workers, redesigning their websites to include dedicated sections on COVID-19, or even running 1-1 sessions via text messages. You can read our first blog on Men’s Sheds Cymru  here. Read more…

How Men’s Sheds Cymru are adapting to COVID-19

April 16, 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 and help their communities.

Over the next week we will be focusing on three of such groups that are continuing to operate and keep people connected be that preparing food parcels for key workers, redesigning their websites to include dedicated sections on COVID-19, or even running 1-1 sessions via text messages. Read more…