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If I wasn’t supported by my family or UCAN, I think things would’ve turned out a lot differently.

September 27, 2017

Starting out from founders Bernie and Jane Latham’s kitchen, UCAN was established in 2005 running drama workshops in partnership with RNIB Cymru at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff. Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength; delivering workshops across Wales and into Europe, and launching the UCAN Go app which supports visually-impaired people to confidently navigate a growing number of theatres.

Today they’re based in Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Visual Sciences where members are delivering confidence-building theatre workshops to visually impaired young people on the Big Lottery Fund-funded Future Insight project, and thanks to Cardiff University, teaching 300 of the next generation of junior doctors about living with a visual-impairment each year. Read more…

“I’ve been with UCAN for over 10 years now, and I can’t imagine what my life would be like had I not been a part of it.”

September 21, 2017

Megan John is 24 from Cardiff and was born with Cataracts, Nystagmus, and Aniridia. She joined UCAN as a founding member and came to realise that performing arts could change her life.

Starting out from founders Bernie and Jane Latham’s kitchen, UCAN was established in 2005 running drama workshops in partnership with RNIB Cymru at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff. Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength; delivering workshops across Wales and into Europe, and launching the UCAN Go app which supports visually-impaired people to confidently navigate a growing number of theatres.

Today they’re based in Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Visual Sciences where members are delivering confidence-building theatre workshops to visually impaired young people on the Big Lottery Fund-funded Future Insight project, and thanks to Cardiff University, teaching 300 of the next generation of junior doctors about living with a visual-impairment each year. Read more…

People and Places: Putting people at the heart of the design, development and delivery of your project

September 19, 2017

In July 2017 the Big Lottery Fund in Wales relaunched our People and Places grant programme which is open to applications of between £10,001 and £500,000 for community projects lasting up to five years. You can read about the changes here. One of the key changes is that we’re asking all applicants to show us how their project fits into three themes: people-led, strength based, and connect.

To help explain these in more detail, we’re publishing a series of blogs to help outline what we mean by each theme. For this post we asked Communications Manager Rosie Dent to tell us a little more about people-led projects.

In a snapshot, what does ‘people-led’ mean?

We want the projects we fund to have meaningfully involved the people they’re working with in the development, design and delivery of the project. When we say people, we mean the people that take part in projects, their networks (such as family, friends, carers) and the wider community that your organisation works within. Read more…

7 opportunities to join a Big Lottery Fund Wales committee

September 12, 2017

Castlehaven Community Centre (20).jpgThe Big Lottery Fund is responsible for distributing 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery. We are committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and have been rolling out grants to health, education, environmental and charitable causes across the UK since 2004.

We currently have seven opportunities for proactive, passionate people to join two of our committees:

People and Places committee

The People and Places grant programme distributes up to £15 million a year across Wales and aims to fund projects where working together, people and communities use their strengths to make positive improvements on the things that matter to them the most.

We’re seeking two individuals to join a like-minded group of people deciding how this money is allocated. We don’t expect you to have any past experience of being on a committee or making funding decisions. We will provide training and support and mentoring will be provided by our existing Committee members. However, you will need to be:

  • Passionate about seeing people’s lives improved
  • Committed and motivated
  • Happy to voice your opinion in a constructive way
  • Comfortable raising questions.

This is a voluntary role with expenses, such as travel, covered. The deadline to apply is midnight, Monday 9th October 2017.  Find out more here: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/ppcommitteerecruitment

Wales Committee

The Wales Committee set the strategic direction for funding programmes that make a distinct contribution to the Big Lottery Fund’s mission in Wales. In doing this, they will take account of UK-wide frameworks established by The Fund’s Board and the Policy Directions issued by the Welsh Government. Key roles and responsibilities for members of the Committee include:

  1. To lead in setting the strategic direction and policy framework for funding programmes that make a distinctive contribution to the Big Lottery Fund’s mission in Wales.
  2. To oversee the effective and efficient distribution of the Big Lottery Fund’s funding in Wales, including proposing an initial grant budget for each financial year within the parameters agreed by the UK Board.
  3. To complement the executive in Wales by providing support, advice and an independent view whilst ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of the Big Lottery Fund’s functions and monitor the exercise of delegated authority and the efficiency and effectiveness of the executive.
  4. To promote externally all aspects of the Big Lottery Fund’s work and to enhance and protect its reputation within Wales.

We’re looking to appoint up to five people that can demonstrate:

  • an understanding and commitment to The Big Lottery Fund’s mission, vision and principles
  • a strong track record of strategic decision making
  • a clear understanding of the issues faced by Welsh Communities and the political context in which we live
  • public speaking, presentation and media handling skills

 The successful applicants will receive an annual fixed payment of £5,232. Expenses, including travel and subsistence costs, will be paid in line with our policies. The deadline to apply is midnight, Sunday 24 September. Find out more here: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/walescommitteerecruitment

“It’s all down to these guys and the National Lottery. It’s really changed my life completely.”

September 12, 2017

Starting out from founders Bernie and Jane Latham’s kitchen, UCAN was established in 2005 running drama workshops in partnership with RNIB Cymru at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff. Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength; delivering workshops across Wales and into Europe, and launching the UCAN Go app which supports visually-impaired people to confidently navigate a growing number of theatres.

Today they’re based in Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Visual Sciences where members are delivering confidence-building theatre workshops to visually impaired young people on the Big Lottery Fund-funded Future Insight project, and thanks to Cardiff University, teaching 300 of the next generation of junior doctors about living with a visual-impairment each year.

Ben Richards is 25 from Barry, was born with his visual-impairment and can only see 3 metres for every 60 that fully-sighted people can. He joined UCAN after a chance encounter with Bernie and Jane. Read more…

Speak to a Big Lottery Fund advisor

September 6, 2017

Thinking of applying to the Big Lottery Fund for a grant?

Information and guidance is available for each of our funding programmes on our website. Links to each are below.

 

Want to talk to someone about your project idea or ask questions?

Amy and Backs.JPG

Our Advice Team are happy to help, they’re available Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm by calling 0300 123 0735 or emailing wales@biglotteryfund.org.uk.

If you prefer to talk face to face, we will do our best to accommodate that. However due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to meet with every project. Below is a list of places you can find us over the next few weeks. Read more…

“I live with macular degeneration, and train doctors for the next generation”

September 5, 2017

Being a teenager isn’t easy for anybody, but Mared Jarman from Cardiff was entering hers barely being able to see.

But today she’s one of four young people involved with UCAN Productions that are training the next generation of doctors in Wales.

Starting out from founders Bernie and Jane Latham’s kitchen, UCAN was established in 2005 running drama workshops in partnership with RNIB Cymru at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff. Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength; delivering workshops across Wales and into Europe, and launching the UCAN Go app which supports visually-impaired people to confidently navigate a growing number of theatres.

Today they’re based in Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Visual Sciences where members are delivering confidence-building theatre workshops to visually impaired young people on the Big Lottery Fund-funded Future Insight project, and thanks to Cardiff University, teaching 300 of the next generation of junior doctors about living with a visual-impairment each year. Read more…

What’s new about the People and Places grant programme?

August 16, 2017

Worthing Community Homes 140 (1).jpgSince launching in 2005, People and Places has distributed over £200 million of money raised by National Lottery players to thousands of community projects across Wales.

Any third sector organisation, community group, public body or social enterprise can apply to People and Places for a grant between £10,000 and £500,000. We want to fund projects lasting up to five years where people and communities are working together and using their strengths to make positive impacts on the things that matter to them the most.

Over the last few months we’ve been looking at how we can improve the process based on customer feedback, making it quicker and simpler. On 31 July, we launched our new and improved application materials. Read more…

10 great National Lottery days out across Wales

August 16, 2017

Have you ever played the National Lottery? If so you might not know it, but your pounds supported these great projects, 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 across Wales by funding projects that bring communities together, protect and celebrate our heritage and improve people’s lives through arts, sports and culture.

Read more…

A wave of new grants and new jobs for Wales’s Coastal Communities

August 7, 2017

The Sea Cadet Corps - Margate unit 140.jpgIt’s no secret that Wales has some of the most stunning coastlines in the world but soon you’ll have even more reason to visit the beautiful seaside after £4million was awarded to projects as part of the Coastal Communities Fund. From energy to tourism, and ice creams to seaweed, the diversity of the projects reflects everything that Wales has to offer on our shores.

Food lovers especially can look forward to a host of tasty new treats including artisan ice cream on the beach after the Snowdonia Ice Cream Company was awarded £94,000 to expand their business. But it’s not just traditional seaside foods that will benefit as Torth y Tir will utilize the land to produce organic products in their community supported bakery, and share their wealth of knowledge and expertise through their educational programme. Bluestone Brewery in Pembrokeshire received £81,750 funding to install a bottling plant. Read more…