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Chance for Charities to double donations this Christmas

June 7, 2017

Castlehaven Community Centre (25).jpgSummer has barely arrived but it’s never too early to look ahead to the season of giving. That’s why the Big Lottery Fund has teamed up with the amazing people at The Big Give to offer the opportunity to double public donations to charities in Wales this Christmas.

Since The Big Give was founded by Sir Alec Reed in 2007, the organisation has helped raise an incredible £82 million for over 2,800 charity projects in the UK.

This year, the Christmas Challenge launches on 28 November on #GivingTuesday, and will double public donations made through the website until 5 December. The match-funding pot is funded through ‘Champions’  like Big Lottery Fund.
Read more…

Volunteer Chris dedicates an outstanding 3000 hours to Te a Cofi

May 25, 2017

Main image.jpgAfter being long term unemployed at the age of 28, Chris struggled to find work/ volunteering opportunities that suited him. He loved to learn but unfortunately education through college etc. wasn’t a good experience for him. This never stopped him for going for what he wanted and was determined to find something to do and an opportunity to learn.

Now 30 years old, thanks to GISDA and their Training Centre Te a Cofi in Cernarfon, Chris found a new love for volunteering in the catering centre. He now has been volunteering over 2 years and has contributed an outstanding 3000 voluntary hours.

‘’I wanted to live more independently and find opportunities to learn. I didn’t enjoy college it was a bad experience for me but loved to learn new stuff. I needed the help to find the right opportunity that allowed to me to do something I enjoy, somewhere I could learn and had the right support that suited me. Eventually I found the café’’ Read more…

A valleys charity is stepping up to support people’s health and wellbeing.

May 11, 2017

Valleys Steps main image.jpgValleys Steps is a health and wellbeing charity providing free information and psycho-educational courses on Mindfulness and Stress Control for the people in the communities served by Cwm Taf University Health Board. Courses are designed to provide people with the tools to understand more about themselves and learn ways to boost well-being.

Trustees, staff and volunteers of the charity have benefitted from the lessons that we have learned from applying Mindfulness and Stress Control techniques in our own lives. We want to share what we have learnt, and benefitted from, with everyone.  We do not want to do assessments and give anyone a label. We do not want people to feel under any pressure to disclose anything about themselves. We want to provide a welcoming safe place for learning and reflection. Read more…

What can community shares do for you?

May 8, 2017

Community shares are a growing option in Wales for local people looking to create big opportunities in their community. From financing community facilities and sustainable energy sources to buying the local shop or pub, the chance is there for the entire community to come together and take pride in their home.

So what are they and how are they unique? Community shares work like other large business, but rather than buying a part of an existing company, it’s local people giving money towards a share in a company they’ll start and own. Community shares and cooperatives ensure that the venture is truly one for the community by offering a “one-member, one-vote” policy, meaning however many shares an individual buys, everybody in the community gets the same right to a vote and a voice. Read more…

£150,000 of National Lottery money has been won across ITV Wales

April 19, 2017

Missed The People’s Projects being announced on ITV Wales? Three projects across ITV Wales have each won up to £50,000 of National Lottery funding to support their local communities.

Elderfit, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Western Beacons Mountain Search and Rescue Team won the most public votes in The People’s Projects, which saw 95 projects across the UK compete for grants to develop their work further.

The People’s Projects is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, ITV and The National Lottery which gives the public the chance to decide how £3 million of National Lottery funding could make a difference in their local area. Read more…

Why National Lottery players should join in with Merched y Wawr’s celebrations

April 5, 2017

main image.jpgThis year it’s not just those who win the National Lottery who’ll be celebrating, but also members of Merched y Wawr who are celebrating half a century since their establishment.

Of course, this is an important milestone and one National Lottery players should be proud of as well. So why is this? Well, because through the National Lottery, Merched y Wawr groups have received a total of around £400,000 in small grants from the Big Lottery Fund – one of the organisations distributing National Lottery funding.

Indeed, ever since the Big Lottery Fund started awarding grants we have made large investments in Welsh social projects. Since 1994 we have invested £60,955,911 in community projects where the applicant has indicated that the beneficiaries mostly speak Welsh.

Ruth Bates, Head of Communications at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “On average, successful Merched y Wawr branches have received grants of under two thousand from us. Although these are small grants, it is evident that they have helped transform the experiences of members and rural communities. Read more…

Engage to Change supports Elen into employment

March 29, 2017

main image.jpgElen loves working at the Eurospar in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Whether it’s working the tills, stock rotation, deliveries or simply chatting to customers and making them feel welcome in their local shop, Elen enjoys the sense of family she gets from the Eurospar and all the staff there.

Elen is autistic, but that has never stopped her from working towards her goals. From studying her Business Level 2 qualification at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor to her position now in the working world, with the right support for her needs Elen has flourished. Since November, the Engage to Change project has been supporting Elen in her 16 hour-per-week role at the Eurospar with a person-centred approach that includes job coaching, CV and interview training, and other such employment support for both her and her employer. In her role, her employer Emma says that Elen is particularly good at active selling and with people with children. Read more…

People and Places applications – what are we looking for?

March 21, 2017

Inge Deane

Thinking of applying to our People and Places programme? We asked Inge Deane to share her advice on completing a stage one application. Inge’s been a funding officer at the Big Lottery Fund for 13 years and works on the People and Places assessment team – so who better to ask?!

“Well the main aspect we need to see is that the project idea has arisen from the people who will ultimately benefit from the project. This means that it is those ‘potential beneficiaries’ that have identified what the needs are within their community (place or interest) and developed a project to address those needs. This can be done via a variety of consultation exercises with the people set to benefit and the wider community. It is important, however that this forms the basis of the research, as this will allow you as an organisation to identify how you can best help the community you serve. Read more…

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…