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Welsh projects star on Community Channel

April 23, 2013


 

Matt Johnson from This Morning tells us about some of the Big Lottery Fund projects that have given Welsh communities a renewed hope. The TV Presenter was the host for the third in a series of Big Lottery Fund specials broadcast on the Community Channel. The UK360 programme gives a voice to local communities across the UK and in this episode, four funded projects took centre stage, explaining how they’ve used BIG funding to improve people’s lives.

BIG_B_BLU_screenWatch the video as we hear from some of the projects that have given Welsh communities renewed hope with the support of the Big Lottery Fund.

We hear from the Ffrindia project in Gwynedd, North West Wales which helps people over 50 who are at risk of being socially excluded finally get the support they so desperately deserve. Thanks to BIG’s AdvantAGE programme, which awarded Ffrindia’ over £900,000, the scheme is set to thrive over the next four years.

And we drop in on Chris Dowling who was on a self-destructive, alcohol-fuelled path towards either prison or death until he linked up with Grwp Gwalia’s Street Football Wales project. A grant of £172,000 from BIG’s People and Places programme has helped the project to launch football leagues in Newport, Swansea, and Colwyn Bay, along with the new “Score a Goal for Change” campaign. The project is also entering a male and female team into the Homeless World Cup in Poznan this August. 

The episode also takes us to Wastesavers in Newport. Not only are Wastesavers responsible for recycling collections in the city, they also run the PEAK project which helps disengaged young people gain practical skills and qualifications for the workplace. Although the Peak project is currently running on a small scale, a successful bid for a Big Lottery Fund of £160,000 means things are set to improve. As well as a revamp of the current programmes they offer, young people will also have the opportunity to learn about sexual health and smoking awareness over the next three years from May.

And last but not least we drop in on the Bron Afon Aspire project which is building a diverse volunteering workforce that has developed to support local people in their community. The volunteers benefit from getting opportunities through support, training and work experience, with some going on to full-time work and setting up their own businesses. In turn, tenants in Bron Afon retirement housing are less lonely and spend more time with new friends. BIG’s contribution of £168,000 has helped employ more staff, run more community activities and build an employability hub to help get people into work. The volunteers themselves have seen improvements in their daily lives and their confidence increase, while the people they have supported have benefited from a better social life.

Community Channel is broadcast on Virgin 233, 24/7 on Sky 539 and on Freeview 87 from 2am-8am. Community Channel is available on BT Vision and Sky Anytime’s On Demand service.

What do you think of these films? Leave your comments below or join the conversation on Twitter using #biglf. Follow @BigLotteryWales on Twitter for more information.

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