Festive cheer as 60 communities celebrate £3.7 million of National Lottery funding  

60 community groups across Wales have reason to be cheerful after successfully being awarded a total of £3.7 million of National Lottery funding during the past month. The successful projects include creative sessions and support for people with visual impairment, rugby and education lessons for young people in danger of becoming NEET, and accessible museum activities for people suffering with dementia 

Below are some of the amazing projects which will support their communities to thrive thanks to National Lottery players.  

UCAN Productions 

UCAN Productions will use £165,974 over three years to set up peer to peer support networks that will provide a range of activities delivered through performance and creative arts workshops. Alongside UCAN staff, these workshops will be delivered by visually impaired volunteers. 

Hannah Matthews first joined UCAN as a member at 10 years old and will now work on the new project as a peer support officer. Hannah explained, “UCAN Productions has supported me since I was 10 years old by providing me with all kinds of opportunities and an ever increasing number of friends who, like me, all have a visual impairment.   Having been part of developing the UCAN Network project, which is for blind and partially sighted young people over the age of 18 in Wales, I can’t wait to help others try new things, learn new skills and most importantly make new friends.” 

Ospreys in the Community 

Ospreys in the Community received £358,135 to expand their existing TACKLE programme to provide hands-on engagement sessions where small groups of young people come together to participate in activity designed to develop skills and build confidence supporting positive mental wellbeing. The programme will benefit young people aged 12-16 who have been identified as not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) or at risk of becoming NEET in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend and Powys. Everyone who completes the programme can go on to become a TACKLE ambassador to provide peer support to future participants. 

Tom Sloane, Foundation Manger at Ospreys in the Community, said “We’re delighted to have been awarded this funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to increase the capacity of the great work within the community. TACKLE is a community response to the endemic problem of young people not being in employment, education, or training in South West Wales. TACKLE began as a community idea to harness a sporting brand to support young people and has evolved through the active and ongoing engagement of young people, their friends, families and communities.   

“Thanks to this funding, we’ll be able to support, guide and empower more people than ever across our communities and continue to work closely with local public, private and third sector organisations. We have an aim to engage with 900 young people who are disengaged from education/employability, reengage them into various settings and open up other avenues for a successful future that they are passionate about.”  

National Museum of Wales 

The National Museum of Wales, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, will use £378,600 over three years to deliver the Dementia Friendly Heritage/Treftadaeth Dementia Gyfeillgar project across its seven museums. The project will develop and deliver practical ways to engage with people living with dementia across Wales to improve their quality of life. This will include a programmes of activities such as social events, workshops, tours and trails. They will also develop bespoke dementia awareness training for staff working within the heritage sector. 

Sharon Ford, Learning Manager for Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, who leads on the development of the organisation’s health and wellbeing programme, said:  

   

“In recent years, we have been working to make sure that we meet the needs of those living in the communities around us. This work has included working with, and for those living with dementia in Wales.   

   

“We are extremely grateful to the National Lottery for their support. The funding will allow us to further develop our programme over the next three years together with those who are living with dementia and external partners.   

   

“Working in this way, we can make sure that what we create is something that’s of real benefit to those who face challenges every day.”  

The Crysalys Foundation 

The Crysalys Foundation will use £10,000 to support traumatised people in Wales through cross sector partners by providing free trauma-informed training webinars, information, resources, self-help tools and a national help directory.  

Development Manager of Crysalys Foundation, Jane Dreamer, explained “The Crysalys Foundation is absolutely delighted to receive a grant to increase the reach of our national Tackling Trauma project into Wales for 1000+ beneficiaries. The new Taclo Trawma Cymru (Tackling Trauma Wales) web pages and targeted community networking will progress in 2022 offering free info, resources and self-help for all ages and trauma-informed training webinars for practitioners. The service aims to improve health and wellbeing, increase trauma knowledge, strategies and collective impacts.”   

Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity 

Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity received a grant of £100,000 over three years to establish a new bereavement support service for children under six years old, and to expand the existing Sandy Bear service for six to eleven year-olds in Pembrokeshire. It will increase volunteer numbers and deliver professional training to provide greater capacity to meet an increasing demand for services. 

Ceri Crichton is the Charity Development Lead at Sandy Bear and said, “The National Lottery Community Fund award of £100,000 has secured our new Sandy Cubs service for the next 3 years, supporting babies, toddlers, young children and their families when faced with one of life’s most devastating losses – the death of a significant loved one.  

“This means that through the award, Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity can offer support to bereaved children, young people and their families throughout  their entire childhood and teenage years, if they need us.  

  

“We want to express our thanks and gratitude to the National Lottery players who are making a huge difference in our children’s lives that we serve. We are dedicated to helping children and teenagers through their grief journey and this is made possible because of you.” 

  

Treble Media Ltd 

Treble Media Ltd in Rhondda Cynon Taf were awarded £8,900 to create opportunities for communities to tell their own stories. Working with young people to create media content will help them to  develop their aspirations and provide them with positive role models. 

David Kemmer, project coordinator at Treble Media, said “This is an amazing opportunity given to us by the National Lottery. We are very grateful to the National Lottery and our community for their support and involvement in this project.  

“We hope to continue to build a platform that amplifies the voices of those who feel unheard and cast a spotlight on those who feel unseen. It is important to prepare today for the tomorrow we want.  

“To anyone who has a passion and a great idea, don’t let these ideas perish in your head or your notepad, take a step today – don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers yet.”  

Prestatyn & Meliden Community Action Group  

Prestatyn & Meliden Community Action Group will use £247,802 over three years to run targeted programmes to support young people and the wider community in Prestatyn. The various programmes will enable people in the community to improve their mental and physical wellbeing and reduce isolation. 

The manager of Prestatyn & Meliden Community Action Group, Jonathan White, explained, “We were delighted to receive the news that the National Lottery Community Fund have approved our application to fund the SHAPE Project over the next three years.  This project will provide much needed local support across all age groups in our community.   

“The project will particularly focus on the needs of young people, families with Autistic and Additional Learning Needs children, and older people.  The investment of £247,802.00 from the National Lottery Community Fund will enable us to provide a comprehensive programme of activities and enable us to increase much needed staffing capacity.   

“The Pop In Centre has a long history of working with both young and senior citizens in Prestatyn and has built a strong and sustainable rapport with them. Our work spans over 20 years and during this time we have developed an understanding of what it takes to make our community a wonderful place to live.” 

These projects are among the 60 communities awarded a total of £3.7 million by the National Lottery Community Fund in the past 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 . 

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