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Golf sessions give a confidence boost to stroke survivors

November 16, 2018

Stroke survivors have been celebrating the success of cross-Wales New2Golf Back2Golf sessions in helping to boost their confidence and wellbeing. The Stroke Association in Wales’ Stroke Community Steps is a four-year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund Wales. The programme enables people affected by stroke to access community facilities and activities, including accessible golfing sessions, organised in conjunction with Wales Golf and supported by additional funding from the Sports Foundation for the Disabled and the Stroke Research and Innovation fund.

Former golfers and those new to the sport have been gathering weekly at clubs around Wales, going from taster lessons to getting out onto the course. Their success was celebrated at Clays Golf, Wrexham on 1 November and The Vale Resort, Cardiff on 13 November. One person who attended the celebration at the Vale Resort was Paddy Pratt from Pembroke Dock, whose confidence has really been boosted by getting out onto the golf course. Following a stroke four years ago, Paddy, 84, felt she wouldn’t be taking part in anything active ever again. Read more…

5 Top tips on getting funding for your project

November 6, 2018

1. Find the right funding programme for you

When developing your project, speak to the people you are working with and listen to what they tell you. Ask them about what matters to them and find out what strengths they can bring to the table that would help others. You could also chat to their families, the wider community, local community groups and similar organisations you might work with. Projects tend to be more successful when communities are involved in them from the very start and remain involved during the life of the project.

Once you have an idea for a project Visit our website to find out what funding programmes we have available. Remember that we may not be the best funder to support your project idea so having a look at other funders will help you find the best funding option for you.  You might want to speak to other National Lottery funders or chat to helper organisations like WCVA or your local County Voluntary Council to find out what other options are available. Read more…

Lliwen is happier and more independent than ever a year into employment, thanks to Engage to Change

October 30, 2018
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Lliwen Roberts

“I like being with animals,” says Lliwen Roberts from Cerrigydrudion, a village east of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. “I did a Small Animal Care course at Northop College.” Now her favourite part of her job at Derwydd Eggs, a farm near Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, is being with the chickens, although she emphasises that she likes everything about the job she has now had for just over a year.

Lliwen has a learning disability and works three mornings a week. At this time of year, she starts by picking out eggs from the belt that have been laid during the night. She follows this up by checking on the chickens in the shed, making sure they have enough water and food, and assessing the wellbeing of any chickens that may be ill. Once that’s done, there could be as many as 50 eggs to collect. She checks the machine to make sure there are no cracks or dirt on the eggs. She repeats the process and eventually finishes by cleaning up, leaving at around midday. Read more…

Congratulations, your application was successful!

October 12, 2018

One Friday we set out to surprise three projects across Wales. When the funding committee meets here at the Big Lottery Fund it takes a day or two to process the outcome.  We decided to use that time wisely and we made excuses to meet up with three projects waiting for the outcomes of their applications for large grants.   We filmed their fabulous reactions:

We told two of them we were coming along to interview them for a short film, the other one we just snuck up on.

Milford Youth Matters in Pembrokeshire applied for £436,621 to enhance and expand the existing services for young people aged 16-25 who are not employed or in education. The new elements will provide job placements and mentoring. Once he’d recovered from the shock Dayle Gibby, Project Co-ordinator, told us:

“This is going to mean so much to the young people we work with, they can’t wait to get started on all the plans we made.”

The Outdoor Partnership applied for £500,000 to develop an existing project which delivers inclusive adventure activities, volunteering and pathways to employment in North West Wales. The project uses outdoor activities to engage with women and girls, people with pan-disabilities and unemployed people living in disadvantaged areas. The new project will expand the project to the whole of Wales.

Tracey Evans, Chief Executive Officer of the Outdoor Partnership said:
“This is fantastic news! The National Lottery funding will allow us to expand our inclusive adventure, volunteering and pathways to employment programmes to other communities in Wales. Over the next five years, the project will empower people and communities to improve access to outdoor activities in a sustainable way, improving health, social and economic wellbeing of communities across Wales. On behalf of the charity and all our beneficiaries, a big thank you to all National Lottery players.”

Twyn Action Group Youth Club’ applied for £229,916, they have worked with their community to decide what is most important to them. Residents are going to form a community panel to research and design a programme of new services and activities. The programme will build on the organisation’s current work with young people and families in Merthyr Tydfil and will extend the opening of the Centre. Callum Palmer, project manager was equally pleased

“That is fantastic, we needed someone to back us, it will mean a lot to the community who have really got involved with the project.”

How to gain maximum value from your project

October 11, 2018

As a distributor of public money the Big Lottery Fund has a duty to ensure value for money when funding projects, particularly through ‘People and Places‘, our large grants programme. Every year we receive more than £100m worth of applications for the £20m of funding available, so here’s everything you need to know to get the maximum value from your project. Read more…

We don’t do the programme “to” young people. We do it “with” them.

September 26, 2018

As famously quoted by Mahatma Ghandi; “You must be the change you want to see in the world;” and this is the philosophy that drives Jo Clay, Founding Director of Empower Be the Change.

Empower Be the Change has successfully secured £246,000 from the National Lottery through investment from the Big Lottery Fund – People and Places programme.

The funding will enable Jo and her team to support 1,000 individuals in Wrexham, Conwy, Flintshire and Denbigh through its Volunteer to Employment programme which sets to increase their confidence, resilience and employability skills.

Read more…

Engage to Change support Sarah-Jayne into work and boost her confidence

September 21, 2018

Sarah-Jayne Mawdsley was only supposed to be in the Pharmacy Department for a one-term internship last year, but today she finds herself in the position of Apprentice Pharmacy Assistant, having secured a two year apprenticeship at Ysbyty Gwynedd. “I’m just really happy that this has happened to me,” says Sarah-Jayne. “From a year ago, I never thought I’d get here and it’s a big deal for me. If it wasn’t for Project SEARCH then I wouldn’t be here at all.”

Sarah-Jayne was diagnosed with Mosaic Down Syndrome at a young age. In September 2017, Sarah-Jayne began her journey towards employment with Engage to Change at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. As a member of the first cohort of interns to take part in Engage to Change’s Project SEARCH stream in North Wales, she was entering uncharted territory.  She wasn’t sure what to expect at first. But she quickly settled in in the Pharmacy Department at the hospital in Bangor, impressing her employers with her motivation and her willingness to learn.

Read more…

Advice for schools applying to National Lottery Awards for All

September 11, 2018

Schools across Wales are at the heart of their communities and play a much larger role in daily lives than just education in the classroom. Here are our top tips for schools in writing your National Lottery Awards for All application to ensure that everyone from the pupils, parents, teachers, and the wider community benefit as much as possible.

National Lottery Awards for All offers funding from £300 to £10,000 to support what matters to people and communities. There are three funding priorities and you must be able to tell us in your application how your project or activity will:

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

Adding Value to Your Community

The Big Lottery Fund strives to build stronger, more resilient communities in Wales and works together with other funders to ensure that we make the most effective use of our funding. As a result we cannot fund anything directly relating to the school curriculum i.e. textbooks, art supplies etc. as these are the responsibility of the Local Authority. Think carefully about what your activity will be achieving and how this fits with the above funding priorities of the programme, you will need to describe this in your application. Read more…

Glamorgan Voluntary Services helps Bryn go cycling for the first time since 1961

September 7, 2018

“My name is Bryn. I’m 86 years old and I live in Barry, and I’m a carer for my daughter. I got involved in the Glamorgan Voluntary Services’ Connected Carers project after being invited by the Parents Federation to go along to one of their breakfast groups, and I enjoy people’s company and meeting people, and that was enough for me to get involved more.

The first thing I got from that meeting was finding out what else was going on with the project, like going cycling with Pedal Power in Cardiff and going for walks. The first time I’d ridden a bike at that sessions was a bit wobbly, but I enjoyed it. I haven’t ridden a bike since I left in Swansea in 1961, when I used to ride that bike to work. Even after not riding for so long my legs didn’t ache or anything like that. I had a bit of a sore hand afterwards from leaning on it so the next time I went I had a bike that was like lying down and pedalling from that.

The project has reintroduced me to riding a bike, and thanks to the project as well it’s got me back into swimming too, and again I can’t think when I last went swimming. Read more…

A people-led approach to wellbeing for single parents.

August 17, 2018

Single Parents Wellbeing (SPW) is a peer support group based in Cardiff established by Amy Holland and Rachel Cule in 2016. The group emerged out of Creating Connections, a peer-led project for single parents funded £318,000 by the Big Lottery Fund and delivered by the Mental Health Foundation and Gingerbread from 2014-2016. Once this project ended, Amy and Rachel set up SPW supported by a National Lottery Awards for All grant.

We spoke with Amy and Rachel to learn more about the journey they’ve been on and the people-led approach the group is founded on.

In 2013, Rachel tried to find a single parents group to join: “I have lots of friends but none that were single parents and I was feeling lonely.” She couldn’t find a group so posted an advert on Netmums through which she met other single parents who began meeting up at weekends. She later met Amy who was also a single parent and working for Gingerbread on the Creating Connections project at the time. Read more…