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Senedd surprise for Dr M’z at National Lottery’s 25th Celebration Event at the Welsh Assembly

Dr M’z Youth Club, run by Carmarthen Youth Project received a big surprise in front of AMs yesterday. One of 25 projects invited to the Senedd at lunchtime to celebrate 25 years of National Lottery grants, Carmarthen Youth Project reacted with amazement when they were called onto the stage by John Rose, Wales Director at the National Lottery Community Fund. The crowd cheered as project manager Gayle Harris and her team reacted with surprise and delight to the news that their application for a grant for £209,307 had been approved.

Carmarthen Youth Project will use the money to build on their work developing the centre called Dr M’z which helps more than 400 young people a year. They will now create a community garden and give workshops on growing and cooking vegetables.

Greeting the news Gayle Harris from Dr M’z said

“When we came here today we had no idea there was a big surprise in store for us, we thought we had come along to talk about all the great work we have done and to introduce some of the young people from Carmarthen. It’s great that they had the chance to be here and realise that they will benefit directly from this grant– we can’t wait to get started. ”

John Rose, Wales Director for The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“It was a privilege to share Dr M’z’ excitement and joy when they realised that all their hard work has paid off and they will get the grant, I think AMs were quite moved to see how much it meant to them today.

“Today’s Senedd launch is a celebration of 25 years of giving National Lottery grants to communities the length and breadth of Wales. The 25 projects who came along are representative of thousands of other projects. They represent the diversity and creativity of people and communities throughout Wales.

“None of this would be possible without the support of National Lottery players and the commitment of the many volunteers who make our communities a better place to live.”

Staff, volunteers and people who had improved their lives from 25 different organisation came in from all over Wales along to tell the story, with one organisation for each year since 1994. A photographic exhibition gave a flavour of what is happening in each of the projects today. Emily Hillier- Rees described the impact the grants had at Y Bont, the Resource Centre for children with disabilities based in Bridgend and to close the event the Tenovus Cancer Choir sang a couple of numbers. Since 1995 11,500 community groups in Wales have been awarded £973.5m worth of National Lottery funding.

Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism told the participants and AMs:

"It is a pleasure to welcome representatives from 25 projects from 25 different constituencies to demonstrate the incredible impact of the National Lottery investment on communities across Wales. Over the past 25 years, the National Lottery has had a very positive impact on the lives of the people of Wales. Therefore, it is very appropriate that this year we celebrate the incredible contribution that the National Lottery has made, and thank the players of the National Lottery who contribute thousands of pounds each week towards excellent projects across Wales.”


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