76 community groups are celebrating after being awarded a share of £4.6 million from The National Lottery Community Fund over the past month. The funded projects include
- a community pantry and befriending service in Merthyr Tydfil,
- a community garden and training opportunities in Pembrokeshire,
- and support for young people and adults with additional needs across north Wales.
Hope Church Merthyr Tydfil were awarded £78,000 over three years to build on the services the organisation has been delivering throughout the pandemic and to expand their current food pantry and befriending services. The project will focus on both those affected by food poverty and those who are lonely or isolated.
Dr Paul Gaskin, Chair of the Trustees at the charity, explained
“Hope Church Merthyr are delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund are supporting us to deliver and expand our projects. The grant will directly help the community with both food insecurity and issues of loneliness and isolation.”
Local Member of Parliament for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney also Gerald Jones welcomed news of the funding saying:
“With the cost of living crisis causing hardship for families across the country, Hope Pantry provides much needed access to affordable food.
“I’ve seen first-hand the work Hope Pantry does, and I know that this funding will make a real difference to the lives of people across Merthyr Tydfil.”
The Windfall Centre, based in Llandrindod Wells, Powys were also successful and received nearly £70,000 to deliver therapeutic support for vulnerable families. Over three years, the project will work with families to reduce the likelihood of children being taken into care.
Claire Hurford, service manager for The Windfall Centre, said “We are delighted that The National Lottery are supporting The Windfall Centre to deliver The Nurturing Families Programme. The three-year project will support families and children from birth to 5 years old as well as expectant mothers and fathers to build and strengthen healthy family bonds.’
Counter Force (CF Systems) CIC in Rhondda Cynon Taf were awarded a £9,920 grant and will empower domestic violence survivors through ‘counter force systems training’, which includes martial arts, confidence building, self-defence, and personal training.
One attendee of Counter Force System, Allyson Evans, explained “Counter Force System is passionate about helping domestic violence and abuse survivors in the local community…they care.”
Esteam – The Environmental Sustainability Team in Pembrokeshire will use their £7,840 grant to turn an area of wasteland into a community garden and outdoor classroom with training opportunities, and activities for the community.
Tom Williams, a participant with the project, said “The project means that I can work outside in the fresh air with my friends. I was stuck at home during Covid, with nothing to do to.
“I didn’t used to like gardening, but with all the work we had to do to get the garden ready I now enjoy it. Working up here also means that we get to meet everyone who comes to The Warren; the postman, care workers, the scrapman, our neighbours and tourists all get to see the work that we do. Because people can see us working, they often come over to chat, and sometimes they even donate things to the project.”
Stand North Wales CIC were awarded £333,000 and will use the grant to support children (and their families), young people and adults who have additional needs and disabilities. Thy will build on existing work to support stronger, more inclusive communities, where people are connected, included and respected.
The directors of Stand North Wales said “This will make an enormous difference to our families. We will be hosting an event on the second of November to celebrate at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, which will also showcase the work of our community partners, and we will be inviting families and organisations to attend in due course.
“We would like to thank all our families for supporting our application and helping to shape the work we deliver.”
John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said “Hope Church Merthyr play a vital role in supporting their community and this grant will allow them to continue being there for people in Merthyr Tydfil in future.
“National Lottery players raise more than £30 million each week for good causes across the UK and the projects funded over the past month show the crucial difference players make through their tickets. I look forward to following all of their progress.”
To find out more about applying for funding, please visit https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/wales.