This month, 62 groups across Wales have been successful in applying for National Lottery money to support their communities; from a companion service to music sessions to improve wellbeing, from an outdoor community theatre performance to school workshops raising awareness of climate change.
The groups will receive a share of £836,417 to support their communities to prosper and thrive, thanks to National Lottery players. Here are just some of the amazing projects that are making a difference to people’s lives.
Your Trusted Friend
Your Trusted Friend received £10,000 to deliver a befriending service for people across north Wales, building more long-lasting and genuine friendships. The group already offers its companion service in Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire, and will use the grant to help with growing into new areas and to support more people and communities.
Gareth Mason from Wrexham uses the service of Your Trusted Friend and he told us: “My mum doesn’t need a carer. What she needs is a companion. A companion who will do things with her – take her for walks and to places, talk about anything and everything, do jigsaws, get the shopping she wants and generally potter around the house. Oh, and spot things that I need to know about and deal with.
“At 93, Mum is ‘all there’ but she needs company. Being on her own has never ever been something she could bear. So, this past three years, I seem to have gained a sister. Your Trusted Friend is absolutely a lifesaver for me and a life-enhancer for my mum. Mum is happy and that is the most important thing in the world.”
The Rock Works Academy Ltd
The Rock Works Academy Ltd in Wrexham will use £10,000 to deliver free music sessions to young people and adults with complex issues in mental and physical health, learning, and anti-social behaviour to improve wellbeing.
Michael Harmina, Director and Tutor at the Academy said, “The National Lottery Community Fund grant will empower us to respond to the needs and interests of local youth, community and voluntary organisations by delivering a wide range of unique and exciting music activities. It will also give us the opportunity to provide a welcoming and inclusive, town-centre based music facility offering recording sessions, instrument lessons and music courses aimed towards enriching the lives and improving the prospects of people in Wrexham.”
Hay Theatre CIC
Hay Theatre CIC in Powys will use £10,000 to run community workshops, rehearsals and performances, bringing the classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to life during the summer of 2022. Using professionally-led community actors, this inclusive project will bring together communities to take part in and experience interactive theatre in unusual outdoor spaces.
Sue Hodgetts, Trustee at Hay Theatre, said: “This project will provide a wonderful creative outlet, with Hay Theatre working outside with both young people and the elderly in places where people’s imaginations can flourish and strong community relationships develop.”
Epic Dad CIC
EPIC Dad CIC will provide training and ongoing support for new fathers in Ceredigion. £10,000 will fund staff costs, baby items, activity costs, stationery, publicity, and travel expenses.
Jon Butler, project lead for EPIC Dad Wales, said, “It’s fantastic that we have been able to secure funding and support from The National Lottery to grow this great work of supporting men, empowering fathers and transforming families in Aberystwyth and this area of Wales. EPIC Dad Wales is key in strengthening families in our communities, to see the role of Dads and fathers thriving as they raise their children and future generations. Diolch i chi i gyd.”
Awel Aman Tawe
Awel Aman Tawe, based in Neath Port Talbot, will use £9,600 to engage pupils of primary and secondary school age in climate change and energy reduction learning through a series of innovative workshops. These workshops will include hands on experiments with an ex-coalminer to discover the history of energy from steam to wind and solar energy, providing the music and power for their own pedal-powered disco.
Jennifer James, Education Officer at Awel Aman Tawe, explains more about the project:
“It is fantastic that the ‘We are Energy Warriors’ project has been recognised by The National Lottery Community Fund. As a result of this grant, we are thrilled to be able to offer pupils the chance to explore the history of energy with TTS Practical Science and renewable technology with Ynni Da. They will also share their message through music with beatboxer, Mr Phormula. As a community energy charity, Awel Aman Tawe believes that education is a key enabler to empower young people to take action on climate change in their communities. Our project enables pupils to act on energy use by using real data. From being energy analysts, detectives and communicators, pupils will learn, think and develop the skills needed to take action on reducing energy use in their school and community.”
Renew Mind Centre CIC
Renew Mind Centre CIC in Swansea will continue to deliver after school clubs to support young people with their homework with its £9,992, as well as provide workshops in music, creative arts, painting and dance.
Coach Chris, CEO of the Renew Mind Centre, said, “Renew Mind Centre After School Club develops a sense of creativity and improves youth’s knowledge to reach their potential and enhance their confidence. It also creates a good environment for understanding and tolerance between different cultures.”
Women’s Aid Rhondda Cynon Taf / RCT Domestic Abuse Service
Women’s Aid Rhondda Cynon Taf will use £9,940 to rebrand their organisation to RCT Domestic Abuse Service to enable them to engage with a wider audience, especially male victims of domestic abuse, and children and young people.
Charlie Arthur, CEO at RCT Domestic Abuse Services said: “The rebranding represents the specialist domestic abuse support we provide through a person-centred, needs-led approach, regardless of gender or sex.
“This does not dilute the comprehensive range of services available for women but recognises that violence and abuse is also directed towards men and boys and can also be perpetrated by women. This change aims to break down barriers for individuals in accessing support services and respond effectively through a distinct and proportionate approach.”
Bangladeshi Women’s Association
Bangladeshi Women’s Association Wales, based in Cardiff are going to engage with women in their community to improve the mental health and wellbeing with a grant of £10,000. Following the COVID-19 pandemic they will offer regular activities, training courses, and support groups.
Ismatara Begum, BWAW Project Lead and Coordinator, said, “This grant will help our Bangladeshi community women and young people adapt, recover and thrive from the mental impact of COVID-19. We endeavour to remove the stigma of mental health in our communities and support the wellbeing of as many people as possible. Thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to prevent the deterioration of mental health and enhance the lives of those affected and/or struggling through therapies and training support.”
Antibiotic Research UK
The Antibiotic Research UK charity will provide information and ongoing support for people across Wales whose bodies are resistant to antibiotic medicines with its £5,006.
Arlene Brailey, Patient Support Lead, said, “I am over the moon about this generous award. It will enable our Patient Support Team to continue to provide the help and support that Welsh people with antibiotic-resistant infections tell us is so important to them.
“Antibiotic-resistant infections are not well understood by the public until, sadly, it happens to an individual or family member. That’s when people contact us for trustworthy information about their resistant infection. They also benefit from emotional support and practical help, such as helping them decide what questions to ask their medical team.”
“The support of The National Lottery Awards for All Wales is extremely timely. This week (18th-24th November 2021) marks World Antimicrobial Awareness Week with the theme this year being ‘Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance’. We are trying to raise awareness amongst the antibiotic resistant community in Wales, the wider public and health professionals about the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.”
These are just some of the 62 projects across Wales which received a grant to support people in their communities this month.
National Lottery players raise more than £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. To find out more about applying for a grant to help your community, visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/wales .