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“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…

An Ad agency with a difference…

August 1, 2017

Eight young adults with learning difficulties came together to form an advertising agency, giving them the opportunity to harness their creativity and give them a stronger voice. With a range of disabilities and skills the team were supported by Ceridwen Hughes, photographer and founder of Same but Different and Tim Harriss a designer with many years experience.

“The idea came about during an earlier project called ‘We can…’ which is a photographic project I created for Same but Different” explained Ceridwen. “We recognised that many of the people who took part, and had learning difficulties, had this wonderful creativity that is often not harnessed. They all said they wanted to work but recognised finding an employer who accommodated their differences would be difficult. It started us thinking about ways we could demonstrate what they were capable of whilst also giving them a stronger voice in an industry that often patronises those with disabilities.” Read more…

Minding the Gap by Laura Columbine

July 21, 2017

When I was faced with the first group of young women, I knew I was going to do everything in my power to help them make the changes they wanted to see in their lives.  What I didn’t know was quite how much those 26 weeks would change my own life.  In the project I am known as a “Big Sister” and that is more than just a title. Read more…

7 fantastic changes to the National Lottery small grant programme

July 17, 2017

a4a piece.jpgOur National Lottery Awards for All programme gives out over £3.5 million per year for projects right across Wales. It’s our most popular programme owing to the short timescales, success rate and is open to most non registered charities and a range of third sector organisations.  So why are we changing it?

We want to make it even better, reducing the length of the application form, the requirements around what we can fund, and increasing the size of the grant to meet the needs of projects. We have tested our new materials with our customers to make sure the language makes sense, and we are offering improvements that will benefit your community. Read more…

Who will you vote for in The National Lottery Awards 2017?

June 29, 2017

tnl_logo.pngVotes are now open for this year’s National Lottery Awards, the search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects. Four Big Lottery Fund projects from Wales need your votes as they aim for nationwide acclaim on BBC One in the televised ceremony in September.

The winners of each of the National Lottery Awards categories will get a £5,000 cash prize, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and attend a star-studded Awards ceremony, broadcast on BBC One in September. Read more…

A great big adventure walking the length and breadth of Wales

June 26, 2017

IMG_0773.JPGThe Great Big Walk – a new initiative made possible by National Lottery funding and run by Eden Communities – came to a close on 17 June. Over 21 days and 1,400 miles the walkers hiked down country lanes, along canals, down roads and over hills to visiting communities doing extraordinary things, including 35 National Lottery projects across the UK. They’ve been able to see first-hand how National Lottery players are helping to create stronger communities in villages, towns and cities.

The team Walking though Wales was made up of three volunteers, Richard Parry, a management consultant from Coleridge who loves a sing along, Merlin Blockley from Llanidloes, who took the challenge head on, despite having cerebral palsy and dealing with cancer and Amelia Thomas, a community artist from Tongwynlais. Read more…

Watch the moment National Lottery funding made a splash in the Afan Valley

June 16, 2017

A community in Cymmer in the Upper Afan Valley were stunned to find out that their application for £344,761 of National Lottery funding had been successful.

Afan Valley Community Leisure, a group from the local community, in partnership with Llandarcy Park Ltd, a subsidiary of Neath Port Talbot College, applied to the Big Lottery Fund’s People and Places programme to bring their local leisure facility back to life. They thought we were coming to visit to find out more about their project and film the visit to feedback to staff. Little did they know, the committee had already made their mind up and John Rose, Director of the Big Lottery Fund was actually there to deliver the news…

The five year grant will fund two full time and three part time staff as well as sessional workers and running costs to provide a swimming pool in Cymmer for 5,000 people from Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend. Activities at the facility will include swimming lessons, aerobics, mother and toddler group, inflatable fun, children’s swimming, pool parties, rookie lifeguard sessions and competitive swimming. Read more…