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Over £4 million in National Lottery funding awarded to community groups across Wales

81 community projects are celebrating receiving a share of £4,221,789 of National Lottery funding raised thanks to National Lottery players. These community groups are caring for their communities from offering emotional support through online therapy service to free activities to improve physical wellbeing.

With support of a £423,075 grant Solva Care in Pembrokeshire will provide direct support for communities to meet their expressed needs. The project will build on the work of their “Together for Change” project by supporting communities to embed sustainability into projects that improve community wellbeing. They will also support community action and decision making through mentoring projects, workshops and events that bring communities together to support each other.

Jessie Buchanan, Coordinator of Together for Change told us more about the project:

“Together for Change was created by the small grassroots charity Solva Care. It was founded on the belief that for communities to thrive and have a future they need to connect, build on their strengths and share power. We are delighted to have received this grant by the National Lottery Community Fund which will enable us to continue our work with communities and partner organisations. This will involve connecting people to generate, share and use knowledge about the communities and community action, so that the best conditions are created for all to live well.”

Epilepsy Action Cymru received a £328,875 grant to provide an online bilingual talking therapy service. The service will be delivered by professionals to adults with epilepsy in Wales. The service will be free, accessible, and appropriate to individual needs, offering one to one and group therapy sessions.

Epilepsy Action Cymru supports everyone living with epilepsy, raises awareness and campaigns about the impact this neurological condition has on those affected and their families.

Jan Paterson, Manager at Epilepsy Action Cymru expressed her excitement about the funding saying:

“We are absolutely delighted to have secured over £328,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund to help us launch our Wellbeing Service in Wales. Epilepsy affects around 32,000 people in Wales and can have a devastating impact on people’s lives and those of their families. Talking to someone can make a huge difference and help people feel less alone. This new service will provide timely access to talking therapies for people affected by epilepsy across Wales.”

Newport and Gwent Samaritans received a £9,200 grant to increase their capacity to provide confidential, non-judgemental, emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress and despair. Their new refurbished premises will provide a larger base of operations will allow for more volunteers to support those in need.

Volunteer project manager, Sharon Beckett yesterday said:

“Volunteers at Newport & Gwent Samaritans were beyond excited to find they had been granted a sum from the National Lottery Community Fund which will help renovate their new building. It was humbling to have this level of support which means Newport & Gwent can extend their services for people in distress. The new building, at Waters Lane in central Newport, will be used to answer calls, emails and webchat 24/7. It will have a community room where other charities and organisations will be welcome to use as a hub and meeting point.”

The Big Skill CIC in Powys received a £10,000 grant to hold four, five week long craft and recycling workshops where participant can gain a qualification once the course is completed. This can lead to longer term work placements. This will boost the well-being of the beneficiaries, promote positive interaction, and increase environmental understanding whilst helping people gain vital new skills.

Trevor Stringer, Chair of the Big Skill CIC, yesterday said;

“We are delighted to announce, thanks to National Lottery funding, the launch of our Crafts, Chat & Reciprocity project. Thanks to the National Lottery players the project will be at five different centres offering five accredited Agored Cymru courses from willow workshops at the Muse Brecon to the craft of traditional line & wash at Aberdare. We are looking for participants who can benefit from the skills enhancement at a friendly craft & chat as well as centres and local organisations/businesses able to offer taster placements.”

Bowel Cancer Support North Wales in Wrexham received a £1,200 grant to continue running support groups for those affected by bowel cancer. These support groups allow people to meet up with other people who have been affected by Bowel Cancer and are able to talk freely and in a safe environment. The group also hold awareness days in local settings to promote Bowel Cancer Awareness, the importance of screening and early diagnosis.

Janet Lonsdale, Treasurer for Bowel Cancer Support North Wales, yesterday said:

“Thanks to the grant from the National Lottery Community Fund we will be able to continue running our group supporting people who have been affected by Bowel Cancer and spreading awareness of Bowel Cancer in our local community”

Raw Performance in Bridgend will provide free outdoor fitness sessions in Port Talbot and Bridgend working to support all ages in the community who suffer from poor physical or mental health. The project activities will be encouraging people to be more physically active, understand the importance of nutrition and eating well to support their own wellbeing.

Louise Simons, a participant at Raw performance praised the project saying:

“This is a fantastic project with so many great benefits, improving the health, fitness, and mental wellbeing to all who attend. My 13-year-old son absolutely loves coming, he has never found a sport that he enjoys so it’s amazing that he has found something he loves.”

John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, congratulated all the organisations saying:

“We are proud to be the largest funder of community activity in the UK, supporting grassroots groups and charities doing amazing things, like Solva Care and The Big Skill CIC. The Fund is dedicated to supporting projects that bring people together to support their communities, create stronger social connections and help develop new skills. Without the support of National Lottery players who raise over £30 million each week for good causes like these throughout the UK, projects like these wouldn’t be able to access this financial support.”

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