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Delight for Merthyr Tydfil as charity secure £78,000 to fight food poverty

Hope Church Merthyr Tydfil, a food poverty charity are celebrating £78,000 for their ‘Help@Hope – Hope Pantry’ project to develop their community pantry and offer a one-to-one befriending service. The charity is just one of 76 community groups across Wales celebrating a share of over £4.6 million from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Hope Church’s current work began during the first lockdown as they shopped for those unable to leave the house, before evolving into delivering free, emergency, food parcels and offering a telephone befriending service. Demand quickly grew and the charity adapted their activities to offering up to £25 worth of food per week in return for a £3.50 weekly membership fee.

The latest grant will let the charity increase membership of the pantry by half again. At least 30 local volunteers will develop their skills and confidence delivering a face-to-face befriending service and weekly café style get togethers, which will build strong friendships within the area.

Dr Paul Gaskin, Chair of the Trustees at the charity, explained

“Hope Church Merthyr are delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund are supporting us to deliver and expand our projects. The grant will directly help the community with both food insecurity and issues of loneliness and isolation.”

Local Member of Parliament for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney Gerald Jones welcomed news of the funding saying:

“With the cost of living crisis causing hardship for families across the country, Hope Pantry provides much needed access to affordable food.

“I’ve seen first-hand the work Hope Pantry does, and I know that this funding will make a real difference to the lives of people across Merthyr Tydfil.”

Gwyl Maldwyn in Powys were also celebrating their successful application for £8,820 for their upcoming festival between 24-26 June with entertainment for people of all ages. It will expand on previous festivals and re-introduce community activities following the pandemic.

Emyr Wyn, Chair of Gwyl Maldwyn, said:

“The grant we’ve received from The National Lottery Community Fund has allowed us to move to a new location and expand our activities for the whole community. The Festival will be open to all ages, babies and the young on the Saturday, and a feast for everyone in the evenings.”

Stand North Wales CIC were awarded a £333,000 grant and will support children, young people, and adults who have additional needs and disabilities. They will build on existing work to support stronger, more inclusive communities, where people are connected, included and respected.

The directors of Stand North Wales said:

“This will make an enormous difference to our families. We will be hosting an event on the second of November to celebrate at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, which will also showcase the work of our community partners, and we will be inviting families and organisations to attend in due course.

“We would like to thank all our families for supporting our application and helping to shape the work we deliver.”

Volcano Theatre Company in Swansea will use their £2,500 grant to help children aged 9 to 10 to explore their mental health and re-integrate into school through creative arts workshops.

Cerian Appleby, Year 5 teacher at St Joseph’s Cathedral Primary School who will work with Volcano Theatre, said:

“We are very excited in St. Joseph’s Cathedral Primary School to have the opportunity to work with Volcano Theatre thanks to National Lottery funding.

“The ‘Growing Together’ project will allow our children to explore some of the emotional challenges that they faced during the Covid-19 pandemic through a unique, immersive theatre experience. We are hoping through this funded opportunity children will not only have opportunities to be more creative and imaginative but also through theatre, they will become more expressive; ‘growing’ in their ability to communicate their emotions with each other and to express thoughts and feelings more freely.”

John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said “Hope Church Merthyr play a vital role in supporting their community and this grant will allow them to continue being there for people in Merthyr Tydfil in future.

"National Lottery players raise more than £30 million each week for good causes across the UK and the projects funded over the past month show the crucial difference players make through their tickets. I look forward to following all of their progress.”

To read the full list of 76 community organisations who received a total of £4,685,612, please see the attached list.

National Lottery Awards for All Wales

A quick way to apply for smaller amounts of funding between £300 and £10,000.

Read more about this programme

People and Places: Medium grants

Funding capital and revenue community projects from £10,001 to £100,000.

Read more about this programme

People and Places: Large grants

Funding capital and revenue community projects from £100,001 to £500,000.

Read more about this programme

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