Since the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown began, 588 charities and community groups across Wales have been awarded a total of £15 million National Lottery money.
The money, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, is helping people to support each other through this challenging time. We wanted to tell you about some of the organisations that are making a substantial difference in their communities the length and breadth of Wales.
Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Club and Community Activities
Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Club is a boxing club and community hub in a deprived area of Cardiff. The club provides a safe space for children, young people and adults to use the gym, get fit and improve their mental well-being as well as make new friends.
It has received £295,543 to expand its schedule of activities over the next three years. These include work with children at risk of exclusion, a project delivered in partnership with Cardiff Council Homeless Service which aims to improve fitness and mental health, and programmes aimed at tackling dementia, depression, anxiety and isolation.
Huggard in Cardiff is Wales’ leading centre for people who are sleeping rough and its day centre and hostel is open every day of the year. It has received £48,204 to continue providing specialist counselling support for people experiencing homelessness in the capital city, to help address the additional challenges presented by COVID-19.
Tros Gynnal Plant
Tros Gynnal Plant has received £87,000 to expand its existing ‘Team Around the Tenancy’ service. This service supports care experienced young people throughout North Wales with their tenancies and will be provided remotely. A service to combat isolation and loneliness will be introduced as a direct response to COVID-19 challenges.
A young person from Gwynedd who has accessed Tros Gynnal Plant’s service, said: “Thank you for checking in. I can’t tell you how many displays of wondrous humanity and compassion I’ve seen these past few months – among many bad deeds the good lie silent. People like you really make a difference to people’s lives. For that, I thank you so much and commend your passion and care.”
Genetic Alliance UK
Genetic Alliance UK receive £162,821 to expand the SWAN UK project to Wales. They will work with families of children with undiagnosed genetic conditions to grow their support networks. Initially, this will be through an online community, but then developing further local networks to improve the knowledge, resilience and emotional health and wellbeing of families.
Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel (SSAP) and North Wales African Society (NWAS)
These organisations will use £64,625 to fund the Jamii Project (‘Jamii’ means ‘community’ in Africa’s most spoken language, Swahili). This project aims to foster community spirit and community interdependence between and within African communities in Cardiff and Bangor, to help them cope with and mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
Selina Moyo, Director of SSAP, said: “This project is aiming to support African communities who, besides the health perspective, have been adversely affected by the ripple effects of the pandemic, especially from an economic point of view.”
Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centre
In Swansea, the Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centre will use £100,000 to continue providing individually tailored and expert advice and services free of charge to anyone affected by cancer and the disruptions to treatment and support caused by COVID-19.
Tara White, Centre Head at Maggie’s Swansea, said: “Thank you so much from all the team here. This significant donation has made a huge difference to the centre and our visitors. It has allowed us to continue our programme of support for people with cancer and their families across South West Wales during this difficult time.”
Coast Community Radio and Media CIC
Coast Community Radio in Conwy will continue to broadcast its local radio station, Bayside Radio, to share information tailored to the needs of a local audience whilst shielding due to COVID-19. Bayside is indebted to many local volunteers who provide 60 hours of radio programmes, news, podcasts and online content each week.
They are now looking to build on this success with its £9,187 to fund broadcast, PRS and performance licences, and by working with their communities to identify and deliver content which highlights and addresses local issues.
Abbey Road Centre
Abbey Road Centre in Bangor, Gwynedd has offered help and a variety of activities to positively support mental health for over 30 years. It will use £9,912 to provide outside activities for the community, many with mental and physical health conditions, as they move out of COVID-19 quarantine.
Fiona Owen, Chief Officer at Abbey Road Centre, said: “We are so grateful for the National Lottery grant. There were happy tears and dancing when we heard the news! The new ‘Eryri Awyr Iach’ (Snowdonia Fresh Air) project, in partnership with Snowdonia Donkeys, will help the community during this challenging time.”
Our funding programmes remain open for new applications. For more information visit: tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/wales.