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Saving the environment, and saving lives

March 21, 2017

Dean experienced debilitating life events throughout his childhood that impacted negatively on his later life; his mental and physical health and his relationships, going as far as being involved in a court case over contact with his son. He also experienced a bout of extreme anxiety and depression which prevented him from leaving the house for many years and saw him repeatedly try to take his own life, but thanks to Tir Coed’s VINE project, he felt ready to engage in a Tir Coed training course.

A year on and Dean has successfully completed two Tir Coed three month Training Courses and has achieved Level one accreditation for Sustainable Woodland Management and level two Practical Conservation. He has participated in and increasingly adopted a supportive role within numerous special activity days and community open days.

Read more…

Women Connect First Have a Big Celebration of Women’s Accomplishments

March 10, 2017
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Women Connect First in Cardiff aim to empower and improve the lives of disadvantaged black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) women and their communities to help people realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to Welsh society.

One of the volunteers at Women Connect First, Rehana Nadeem, comments on how volunteering has inspired her to help others.

“I’ve been working as a volunteer for Women Connect First for nearly four years. It’s been a very rewarding and enjoyable project as I’ve gained so many new skills. I assist tutors with their basic skills classes, helping to interpret and translate, teach art classes, cater some of the events Women Connect First hosts and I’ve been given a job opportunity as an allotment coordinator. I’ve become more confident and the organisation has given me the opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and put into practice the skills I’ve got. I’ve also been able to give advice and help other women.” Read more…

Celebrating Projects and Communities in Wales

March 9, 2017

The Wales Committee of the Big Lottery Fund recently got out and about in West Wales to visit a few of the funded projects that look to improve the local environment and offer opportunities to the people of the area.

Local AM Simon Thomas joined the committee for the visit of  Hanes Llandoch in St Dogmaels, which,  through The People’s Orchard project, offers training and educational opportunities to locals while looking to recreate and expand the parish’s historical orchard. For more information regarding The People’s Orchard, click here.

Mr Thomas sat down for a lunch of locally sourced food at the centre’s café before getting his hands dirty as he helped plant a fruit tree and also met with volunteers who helped secure the £247,000 grant from our People & Places programme.

Next up was a tour of Cardigan Market Hall, situated in the heart of the town. The market has been managed by Menter Aberteifi since July 2014 and, with the help of a £109,974 grant from the Coastal Communities fund, the organisation has created a vibrant hub for local traders and producers.

With freedom to roam the market, many of the committee members spotted a bargain, from birthday cards to antiques, and were given an explanation of how the market has gone from strength to strength under the new management as it achieved sustainability. The Committee met with Rhian Blackford, the market hall manager and whose post was funded by the grant, and given a tour of the spectacular guildhall which has hosted the market since 1860 and where Menter Aberteifi has managed to support local businesses whilst also increasing publicity and raising public awareness of the market. You can learn more about the market here. Read more…

Our most frequently asked questions of 2016

February 21, 2017

Applying for a grant can be quite daunting for any first-time applicant; some groups might have a better idea than others of what they want to do for their project and it’s not always easy to find out where to start. If you’re looking to apply for a grant in 2017, here’s what we were asked the most by our customers in 2016.

Do you need to be a registered charity?

No, you don’t need to be registered charity to apply for an award through Awards for All, People and Places, or the Rural programme. If you are a voluntary, community or public sector organisation, working individually or together then you will be eligible for a grant. Read more…

£30 million of small grants have got to the grassroots of Welsh communities

February 6, 2017

Main 1.jpgWhen you think of the National Lottery you often think of that money shot of someone popping a bottle of champagne after scooping millions of pounds.

These scenes of celebration have been repeated by many thousands of good causes across Wales who have received life-changing grants thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

Some of these grants are distributed by us at the Big Lottery Fund and in the next financial year we will be awarding over £40 million to community groups, giving them a similar jackpot-winning feeling.

And many of individual grants are big, ranging from hundreds of thousands to £1 million but many are much much smaller too.

It is these grants from as little as £500 up to £5,000 that really get to the grassroots of communities. Read more…

5 ways to have a great conversation with a funder in 2017

January 13, 2017

the-young-foundation-amplify-ni-4new1. Check out the website first

It may seem obvious, but checking out a funders website will help to give you an idea of what they can fund, things that aren’t mentioned and when their funding deadlines might be. You can then plan that phone call to ensure your ringing them at the best possible time. Happiness

2. Make a note of all the questions you want to ask

Jotting down a handful of questions before you call will help to keep the conversation on point, as well as help you to get all the information needed. Remember, there are no silly questions and if you’re unsure about something it’s always better to ask! Key questions to ask- when are your deadlines, what size grants do you give, what do you look for in an application, what’s the process to apply and how long does it take to get a decision, as well as can you give an example of a funded project? Read more…

2016 at the Big Lottery Fund!

December 19, 2016

2016’s been a huge year here at the Big Lottery Fund – we launched four new programmes including Create Your Space, Third Sector Skills, Celebrate, the Rural programme and the second round of our Community Asset Transfer 2 programme that are part of our brand new Strategic Framework. The year’s about to come to an end, so sit back, put your feet up and take a look at our 2016 round-up of news and top tips!

In January, we heard from Judith Thatcher who is a volunteer at the Down to Earth project in Swansea. Read more about how the project transformed her life.

One of the things that we’re asked about the most is about project outcomes. In February we put a beginner’s guide to help you get your head around how you can demonstrate the results of your project.

Read more…

The Ultimate 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Coastal Wales

December 14, 2016


Whether you’re stuck with gift ideas, have no plans for the holidays or looking for somewhere to walk off all those mince pies, we have the ultimate list of Welsh coastal businesses for you.

These outstanding local, often family- or community-run businesses are supported by the Coastal Communities Fund, endowed by the Welsh Government and delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, promoting sustainable economic growth and jobs in coastal communities.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Coastline Sofa Cinema (Tape Community Music and Film)

TAPE Community Music and Film Ltd based in North Wales is an award-winning charity delivering high quality projects from one-hour taster sessions to their annual film festival. While their annual film festival takes place in October, they just recently launched their Coastline Sofa Cinema in Old Colwyn with free screenings for children, families and adults you can enjoy relaxing on lush red leather sofas. Tickets are free but a quick advanced booking is required….and you can bring your own snacks!

For more information on the booking and screenings visit their website.

2 Turtle Doves

Colwyn Bay Watersports

Colwyn Bay Watersports delivers taster sessions and full courses in sailing, windsurfing, power-boating, and paddle boarding, they also hire canoes and kayaks in season. There is also a beach activity club for young people ages 8-14 years old, so it might be worthwhile to ponder about those summer plans as you walk down on the breezy beach after your lunch of Christmas cookies and mulled wine.

Visit Colwyn Bay Watersports’ website to find out how to take part in activities. Read more…

Thank you for making a difference to communities in 2016

December 13, 2016

Supporting communities in Wales

With Christmas just around the corner and the year drawing to an end, Big Lottery Fund Wales’ director John Rose would like to take this opportunity to share his personal appreciation to the many people and communities that have enabled great things to happen all over Wales during 2016.

Firstly, I want to start by thanking National Lottery players. Sometimes people forget that 28 pence of every pound spent on a National Lottery ticket goes to good causes and this financial year alone we will have distributed over £30 million in Wales.

You cannot always appreciate the difference this makes until you speak to funded projects and meet the people they support. Then, once you delve a bit deeper, you see that every day the National Lottery is making a positive difference and changing lives for the better.

Of course winning the lottery is what many people dream of, but if you are not lucky enough to hit the jackpot, then remember that by buying a ticket you are helping to make an incredible difference to a good cause somewhere in the UK. Need convincing? Then read this story about how our funding for Scope’s Face 2 Face 2 Face service is helping to make dramatic changes to the lives of parents and their disabled children.

And, in case you’ve missed it, watch the new National Lottery film thanking players for supporting projects that have transformed our nation.

Read more…

How can a trustee help your organisation?

December 13, 2016

We’re sometimes asked “what do trustees or committee members do for their organisations, and how do they support them?”. Stuart Williams, Principal Officer at the National Union of Teachers Cymru in Cardiff and Chair of Show Racism the Red Card’s Wales Advisory Committee tells us more about his role, the challenges he faces, and how he contributes to the success of their campaign.

“There are many responsibilities in being Chair for Show Racism the Red Card, one of which is to chair the advisory committee meetings which are usually held four times a year. I’m also a media spokesperson for the charity and am expected to conduct television and radio interviews if and when required. I meet up regularly with the UK Chief Executive and Wales Campaign Manager to review and assess the needs of the campaign and give advice on how to achieve the charity’s goals in Wales, and I’m also included in the recruitment process if the charity needs to expand its staff.

Read more…