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Teenager able to stand for the first time in 18 years welcomes Lottery funding

Eighteen-year-old Ben Joseph from Pontypool has lived with Cerebral Palsy all his life and has never been able to stand. That was until his family were able to buy a front-wheel drive powered wheelchair. It not only helped him stand but gave him the confidence to start university this year, and he is even thinking of learning to drive.

Ben’s family have welcomed the news of National Lottery money being awarded to disability charity, Caudwell Children, who are one of 76 community projects across Wales receiving a share of £301,671 under the latest round of the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All small-grants programme. (Full project descriptions can be found here).

They receive £4,934 from the Big Lottery Fund to develop a Child Ambassador Network (CAN) that will support young people with disabilities to influence the views of disability across Wales whilst building positive social networks.

Prior to having the wheelchair Ben’s symptoms had been so limiting that he was unable to stand, and this had a massive impact on his emotional wellbeing. With the support of his family and Caudwell Children he now has a “sit-and-stand” wheelchair that allows him to become more upright to suit his needs rather than feel that he is constantly being stared down at.

It means that Ben has now become more empowered to live as close to a normal life as every university student. He can sit at a table to eat and work, reach high and low cupboards and also stretch his muscles, helping to relieve stress and delay permanent shortening of his muscles. Ben’s wheelchair is also compatible with disability-modified vehicles, and he is hoping that he will be able to learn to drive in the future.

Welcoming the funding, Jane Joseph, Ben’s mother, said: “Caudwell Children provided us with the fundraising support that enabled us to purchase a sit to stand powered wheelchair for Ben. It’s been vital in ensuring his physical and emotional wellbeing and has helped his transition to University to study Creative Computing.

“The charity understands the importance of social integration and the Big Lottery funding will allow them, through its Child Ambassador Network (CAN), to empower even more disabled children. CAN members become the face of the charity; they educate people about disability, attend fun events, support other young people, meet and inspire their celebrity Ambassadors and, importantly, make new friends in the process.”

Speaking of the award, Head of Community Programmes at Caudwell Children, Julia Hayne said: “We’re delighted to receive Big Lottery funding. It will allow us to enlist even more CAN members in Wales. They will visit new and exciting places, learn new things, share their views, shape local and national policies and services and make new friends from all backgrounds.

“On behalf of our future CAN members I’d like to thank the Big Lottery Fund for their invaluable support.”

In Conwy, St David’s Hospice receive £4,983 to pilot a programme for palliative patients who are experiencing the symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and breathlessness (FAB), aimed at helping people and their families and carers with progressive, life limiting diseases cope with these symptoms that they are experiencing and enjoy a better quality of life.

For five years 73-year old Bill Ganley from Llanddulas, Conwy has lived with pulmonary fibrosis, for which there is no cure, leaving patients to try and relieve the symptoms and slow its progression. Bill suffers from sudden painful coughing bouts several times a day usually lasting up to 15 minutes though some have lasted four hours, leaving him in extreme pain, exhausted and suffering from anxiety attacks.

Speaking of his condition, Bill explains:  “Living with this lung condition can be very frustrating but I can’t afford to let my lungs stop me continuing to have a normal life. Anxiety is a big problem with breathlessness; it can lead to panic, everything tightens up and there can be feelings of terror.”

Welcoming the funding and speaking of his experience at St David’s Hospice, Bill said: “Going to St David’s is the best thing that I have ever done. When I first attended, I realised what a haven of peace it is. The care is very much patient driven, the staff and volunteers have time for everyone, particularly time to talk. They are so helpful.

“That’s why I think that Lottery funding being used for projects like this is so important. For patients with my condition, taking part in a fatigue, anxiety and breathing programme such as the new St David’s Hospice scheme would provide substantial help.”

Read more about what Bill had to say on our the Big Lottery Wales blog, hereGoes to different website.

Welcoming the funding, Trystan Pritchard, Chief Executive of St David’s Hospice said: “We are delighted to have received the Big Lottery Fund grant to pilot our Fatigue, Anxiety and Breathlessness (FAB) project. Respiratory conditions can affect people’s lives both physically and psychologically.

“Thanks to the funding, we are now able to offer a new six week course aimed at helping patients and their families with progressive, life limiting illness cope with their symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.” 

In Mid-Wales, An Apple A Day (Health and Wellbeing) Limited in Brecon will use £5,000 to run a weekly social group for those participating in a 1-2-1 mentoring programme, being delivered in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, for people with long term health conditions. Furthermore, in Carmarthenshire, Llandovery YMCA will use £5,000 to establish an arts workshop for up to 25 local people who experience mental health problems, have learning disabilities, or are at risk of social isolation.

In Pembrokeshire, Learning Disability Wales will use £2,244 to train four members to deliver a wellbeing course and produce an accessible toolkit for people with learning disabilities, and Transition Bro Gwaun Ltd will use £5,000 to expand their services to develop a structured programme for the skills development of activities and services aimed at encouraging people to waste less food and reuse more at home.

In South East Wales, Fresh Ideals Community Interest Company in Cardiff will use £4,788 to run sessions to teach 30 mothers confidence and resilience skills to positively influence their behaviour and their children. Furthermore, in Newport, Active Angel’s Sensory Experience will use £4,558 to develop a nutritional and sensory exercise project to improve the health and wellbeing of the local community, in particularly black and ethnic minority groups, and gypsy and traveller communities.

Elsewhere, in Swansea, Welsh Housing Aid Limited will use £3,890 to provide accredited training on matters surrounding housing and homelessness to 100 younger people across Wales, and Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales will use £4,976 to pilot a volunteer recruitment campaign to develop and expand the charity.

Gareth Williams, Awards for All Programme Manager for the Big Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “Awards for All is having a positive impact throughout Wales.

“Money is helping to establish groups, societies and clubs, promoting learning, increasing volunteering opportunities and helping to build stronger communities.”

Available in English and Welsh, application forms are available to download fromwww.awardsforall.org.ukGoes to different website or by phone on 0300 123 0735.

Further Information:

Alexander Davies - Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 029 2067 8236
Public Enquiries Line: 0300 123 0735                           Textphone:  0845 6021 659
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available at:www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
Follow The Fund on Twitter: www.twitter.com/biglotterywalesGoes to different website
Find The Fund on Facebook: www.facebook.com/biglotteryfundwalesGoes to different website

Notes to Editors:

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes. 

Since June 2004 we have awarded over £6.5billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.

 

Channel website: https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/

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