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Top 10 Accessible Days Out supported by the National Lottery

August 13, 2018

Have you ever played the National Lottery? If so you might not know it, but your pounds supported these great projects which have something on offer for people with disabilities. So, take the kids (young and young at heart), get out and about this summer and visit these wonderful projects that have received funding from the National Lottery.

The National Lottery generates over £30m every week for good causes supporting people and communities across the UK. Every time you buy a National Lottery ticket you help make a difference to communities across Wales by funding projects that bring communities together, protect and celebrate our heritage and improve lives through arts, sports and culture

Haverfordwest Skate Park – Picton Playing Fields, Haverfordwest SA61 1TP.
This popular skate park developed with a grant of nearly half a million pounds in 2011 from the Big Lottery Fund, is now extremely popular. Kids on scooters and skateboards practise beside kids in wheelchairs. Lily Rice WCMX, silver medallist at 2018 WCMX world championships in California trains at the Park, check her out

Rhianna’s Swing – The Gnoll Country Park, Gnoll Estate, Fairyland, Neath SA11 3BS.
Built in the lovely Country Park this free to access, inclusive play park is open for children. The park is fitted withspecialist equipment designed to enable children with disabilities to play and is open 8am – 7pm during the summer months. For details of what is on offer visit: .

Abercynon War Memorial Paddling Pool – Parc, Abercynon, CF45 4UY.
Open until 29th August, this volunteer run community venture offers exclusive swimming sessions for children with disabilities and their families between 4pm and 6pm on Thursday evenings – check for details before you go Read more…

60 seconds with our Funding Officers…

August 10, 2018

There are currently four opportunities to join our team for people who are passionate about supporting communities in Wales. So to give people an idea what it’s like working at the Big Lottery Fund, we interviewed Liz, a Funding Officer in our Cardiff office, and Hywel, a Funding Officer in our Newtown office, to give you the inside scoop…

Tell us a bit about what the Big Lottery Fund does.

Liz: The Big Lottery Fund distributes the funds raised by people playing the National Lottery.  We give out money to organisations who make a real difference to people throughout the UK.

What made you decide to join the Big Lottery Fund?  

Liz: I started with the fund five years ago as a temp. Before I was told about the job I didn’t know much about the Fund and what they did so I had to do some research to find out. I have always chosen to work in the third sector because it’s important to me that my job makes a difference. Everything I found showed that the Fund was working to improve the lives of people who are most in need and I wanted to be part of that.

Hywel: I have been with the Fund for over 18 years. I was at a stage in my life when I fancied a new challenge with regular hours. I had previously been self-employed and a director for various manufacturing companies for over 20 years. The thought of giving out money and helping others for a living as opposed to chasing money from creditors appealed greatly. Read more…

Volunteers supporting older people to tackle isolation and live as independently and possible through the Attic Project.

August 8, 2018

Throughout our lives many of us accumulate possessions which often end up piling up in the attic or dotted around our home. Over time these possessions can be a major obstacle when it comes to downsizing or allowing access for key repairs, adaptations and improvements that make our homes safe and comfortable as our needs change.

Sorting through your possessions can bring back a lot of memories and letting go of them can be both emotionally and physically challenging. The Attic Project is a partnership project between Care and Repair and VCS Cymru supporting older people in Newport, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan to organise their personal possessions so that they can live as independently as possible.

Through a specialist caseworker and volunteers, the Attic Project supports older people to sort through or dispose of their possession in a way that is good for them and good for the environment. Having the opportunity to record and talk about the stories behind possessions can be an empowering process, reducing feelings of social isolation and improving wellbeing. Read more…

Tips for applying for funding for community buildings

August 7, 2018

Need funding to build or refurbish a community centre or hub? We’ve put together answers to the most commonly asked questions about applying to help guide you through the application process. These questions are based on applying to our People and Places programme which offers grants of £10,001 to £500,000 for 1 to 5 years.

  • Why is your project important?

Firstly we need to know that your project is something that really matters to your community and that you wouldn’t be duplicating the services of other facilities in the area. If the facility is already being used, you will need to show a significant enhancement or expansion to the services offered.

We also need to be sure that the wider community supports the project you are asking us to fund. You should have or should be planning to engage with the people that currently use your building (if there is one), potential people that would use the building, as well as organisations and community groups in your area that could benefit from using the building. Try to get them involved in the process as early as possible so they can get meaningfully involved in designing and delivering the project and its activities. Read more…

“It’s amazing, and I can’t thank all of you who buy National Lottery tickets every week enough.”

July 30, 2018

Watch the incredible moment Y Bont in Bridgend are told that they’ve been successful in being awarded £530,000 of money raised by National Lottery players.

Two of our Mid and West Wales team, Rosie Dent and Alex Davies went to visit the centre, where staff and families thought they were doing some filming about services for children with disabilities but were amazed to instead be told that they had received the grant!

Y Bont is a charity that provides support to families of a child with a disability or complex medical conditions and was founded by parents who wished for a centre where they could meet other families in similar circumstances. Today they provide a unique service to more than 140 families in Bridgend and the surrounding area. Read more…

Top tips for managing your project bilingually

July 18, 2018

If you receive funding from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver a project in Wales, you will need to provide certain services bilingually, to comply with Welsh language legislation. Offering your projects’ services in both Welsh and English is a fantastic opportunity for you to make sure that your project is accessible to everyone in your community.

Our Welsh Language Team give their top ten tips on managing your project bilingually. Read more…

How to involve young people in designing your project

July 16, 2018

Interested in applying to the Big Lottery Fund for a project involving young people? You’re more likely to be awarded funding if you can demonstrate that young people have been involved in designing and developing your project idea.

It can be quite easy to fall into the trap of having an idea for a project that you want to deliver, designing the activities yourself and then approaching a school or youth club to consult with young people to see whether that’s something that they want.

We believe that projects and activities are have a stronger chance of success if projects are designed and developed with the people it will benefit. That’s why we look to fund projects that are people-led through involving the community throughout the design and development of the project.

One of the best ways to involve young people in your project is through co-production or co-design. If you’re scratching your head wondering what exactly these are, here’s a definition from Co-production Wales: Read more…

Train-ing for a bright future on our coast

July 11, 2018

Summer’s here and while the sun shines and the temperature soars we can start planning some of the great sunny adventures we’ve been waiting all year for. Now, thanks to the incredible work of some very talented apprentices, more people than ever can join in the fun after the opening of the Vale of Rheidol Railway’s disabled access carriage in Aberystwyth.

After being awarded £251,280 in August 2017 as part of Round 4 of the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) programme, the railway helped train two young people in the skills to refurbish derelict steam train carriages and to ensure that the expertise stays in the local area for generations to come. This is the second project that the Vale of Rheidol has completed as part of the programme, after also being successful in Round 3 with a grant of £288,000, and has now created a total of 6 new apprentices, 4 trainer posts, while also safeguarding a further 8 roles.

Local resident and wheelchair user Carwyn Daniels had the honour to test out the new carriage and was delighted to ride the train for the first time since he was a young child. After a short journey with stops along the way, the packed train was greeted on the other end of the line in Devils Bridge with an ensemble from Mynach Community School’s choir and a grand buffet to celebrate the occasion.

The effects of the project will also greatly benefit the wider coastal community with the opportunity to partner with other local businesses to provide new experiences like wedding trains, afternoon tea and even murder mystery journeys. On both sides of the line, businesses are sure to reap the rewards for years to come with a forecasted 2,000 extra visitors per year.

Hywel Lovgreen, Funding Officer for the project, said, “It was a wonderful day and a real milestone for the company. The accessible carriages are not just a welcome provision in catering for the needs of all but are also a result of, and a credit to, the hard work of the highly skilled workforce and apprentices that the company now employs – a perfect fit to the Coastal Communities Fund Programme”.

As the Big Lottery Fund administers the Coastal Communities Fund on behalf of the Welsh Government we’re currently awaiting news of a further funding round. If you’d like to register your interest for the programme you can do so by emailing

£34 million to support people and communities across Wales

July 3, 2018

Big Lottery Fund Wales Director John Rose explains how as a funder we want to support people to access National Lottery funding through us to make great choices for communities the length and breadth of Wales through our ‘People in the Lead’ vision and new regional structure.

The Big Lottery Fund believes that people should lead in improving their lives by drawing upon the skills, assets and energy in their communities, and on 4 July 2018 we announced that we have £34 million funding available for communities in Wales to do just that.

We feel that strong, vibrant communities can be built and renewed by the people living in them – making them ready for anything in the face of future opportunities and challenges. That’s why we’ve developed our approach to enable people and communities to lead that change to improve their lives by drawing upon the skills, assets and energy in their communities,” Read more…

Welcome to our Woods

June 20, 2018

Welcome to our woods, Trehebert

We caught up with this project on a lovely, sunny Sunday in June.  The project was awarded £1,282,000 from Create your Space. Welcome to our Woods works with a wide range of third sector organisations including Interlink, Valleys Kids, Keep Wales Tidy, Spectacle theatre, Blaencwm Chapel and Active Nutrition.

Welcome to our Woods has built on previous projects in the area to encourage local people and especially children to respect and enjoy the woodlands which surrounds many of the villages in the Valleys. The team are also exploring how they can use the woodlands sustainably to improve local employment.

We were met by Julie, the diminutive ball of energy who 22 years ago began the original project in Treherbert when the estate, which backs onto the woods, was virtually a no go area for social services and the fires then were from burnt out cars and uncontrolled fires on the mountain.   These days the well-used Community Centre faces the path which leads temptingly up into the trees, gentle music and laughter drifts down from the hill.  Read more…