First recipients of £10 million capital fund to tackle poverty announced
Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, has announced the first two successful community projects to benefit from a £10 million capital fund to tackle poverty across Wales.
The Communities Facilities Programme enables community and voluntary groups, as well as social enterprises, to bid for capital grants of up to £500,000 to improve community facilities which provide services for vulnerable local people.
Homeless charity Emmaus will receive £500,000 to provide accommodation and support for homeless people in Bridgend, while Canolfan Deulu Dolgellau has been awarded £138,230 to turn a derelict hall in the town into a family centre.
Announcing the grant winners, Lesley Griffiths said:
“I am delighted to announce the first two successful projects to benefit from our £10 million capital fund. Both projects will improve the community facilities available locally and contribute to the Welsh Government’s aim of tackling poverty.
“The Emmaus facility will help reduce homelessness in South Wales, while having a life-changing effect on the people using the service. Meanwhile, Canolfan Deulu Dolgellau will ensure children in Gwynedd get the best possible start in life, improving their access to health, education and support services.
“I encourage other community and volunteer groups who want to create opportunities in their local area and tackle both the causes and effects of poverty to apply to the fund. We want to see improved facilities in the heart of communities, benefitting individuals and families now and in the future.”
Emmaus is a homelessness charity with 24 successful projects in England and Scotland. The funding announced recently will support its first project in Wales – the renovation of Nant Lais, a former sheltered accommodation block in Bridgend. The refurbished building will provide high quality accommodation for 23 homeless people.
Long term, the project will reduce homelessness in South Wales by providing intensive support to around 40 homeless people per year. This will help residents to gain work, move into private rented accommodation and eventually ensure they can support themselves and live stable, fulfilled lives.
Tom Clarke, Director, Emmaus South Wales said:
“Emmaus South Wales is delighted to receive a grant of £500,000 from the Welsh Government Community Facilities Programme. We are able to proceed with renovating Nant Lais, a former sheltered accommodation in Bridgend, and turning it into a vibrant Emmaus Community home for 23 formerly homeless people.
“We believe that we can make a real difference to those affected by homelessness; the fact that this is Wales’ first Emmaus Community makes it really special. We are grateful to the Welsh Government and our other funders for their practical support and confidence in us as an organisation. It is also important to recognise the months, and in some cases years, of hard work put in by Emmaus South Wales trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters which has taken forward the vision of setting up an Emmaus community in South Wales and turning into an attainable reality.”
The grant awarded to Canolfan Deulu Dolgellau will fund the renovation of the local derelict Drill Hall into a centre for the families of Dolgellau and the surrounding villages.
The centre will improve Early Years’ provision in South Gwynedd, providing a venue for Cylch Methrin Dolgellau, local Health Visitor led baby clinics, Ti a Fi group, Barnado’s sessions and the Welsh Government’s Twf scheme, which provides advice on raising children bilingually - all of which are currently taking place in separate, unsuitable venues throughout the town.
Eleri Lewis and Eirian Davenport, Canolfan Deulu Dolgellau Secretaries said:
“The Grant offer received from the Welsh Government will be a great help to establish Canolfan Deulu Dolgellau.
“The Centre will provide an opportunity for various services for children and their families to be offered under one roof. We hope to offer more work to people in the area so that further services can be developed.
“As the town’s Cylch Meithrin leaders we are looking forward to having a new venue, which is suitable to provide the children with all the experiences required by the Foundation Phase and ESTYN. This is an exciting time for Cylch Meithrin Dolgellau, which was established in 1977.”
The Community Facilities Programme operates on a rolling programme which means that applications can be submitted at any time.
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