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£3.6 million National Lottery funding brings comfort to communities across Wales

ADDITONAL support will be made available for people dealing with dementia, loneliness and mental health thanks to £3.6 million of National Lottery funding announced today.

Cariad Pet Therapy CIC, based in Pembrokeshire, is one of eighty Welsh groups receiving awards from The National Lottery Community Fund. They will use their £6,600 to provide people with dementia and the elderly population, who are socially isolated as a result of the COVID-19, with automated pet therapy visits.

Robert Thomas, Project Manager at Cariad Pet Therapy CIC said: “We had seen evidence that robotic pets have a positive impact on our elderly population and people living with dementia, especially those who used to own cats or dogs.

“We have received fantastic feedback from people with dementia, their families and care home staff. One comment was that the robotic pets were the best thing they have used during COVID-19 and that they have helped to bring happiness to the care home.”

Red Kite Health Solutions CIC in Brecon will use its £56,800 to provide a COVID-19 support service directly assisting people adversely affected by the pandemic.

Sian Jones, Business & Development Manager at Red Kite Health Solutions CIC, said, “We are delighted to receive this grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, which will go a long way in supporting and improving the health and wellbeing of the population in South Powys. Our aim is to promote and increase the uptake of crucial health checks as well as signposting to available health, wellbeing and community services and we are thrilled to be able to offer this service thanks to The National Lottery and the public.”

In Neath Port Talbot, Briton Ferry Llansawel AFC will raise awareness and understanding of the issues experienced by people living with dementia through a marketing and training programme. Their aim is to make the Old Road club the first fully ‘Dementia Friendly Football Club’ in the Welsh Pyramid System, and to create a planned partnership with MMI, a Briton Ferry based charity supporting people and families living with dementia.

Project co-ordinator, Stuart Williams, said, “We are delighted to have secured the National Lottery funding of £10,000. It will allow over 40 volunteers at the club to access dementia awareness training, as well as new signage to help people living with dementia when they visit the facility.”

Meanwhile in the Swansea area, Age Cymru West Glamorgan will continue to provide support for older people, lone parent families, and individuals with mental health problems and disabilities who are experiencing financial hardship, loneliness and isolation, and difficulty caring for themselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will use their £66,880 funding to provide a meals on wheels service to improve nutrition and reduce food insecurity, and a telephone advice and information service that will signpost other services in the community.

Angela Francis, Head Chef, said, “I love helping those who really need it during these difficult times. It is so rewarding!”

In Cardiff, SEF Cymru will use £10,000 to set up a mentoring programme for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, by using local, relatable BAME role models to help increase their confidence, self-esteem, and wellbeing.

Single Parents Wellbeing CIC will build on its previous project with its £271,237, to provide opportunities for single parents to improve their mental health and wellbeing through workshops and training, a handbook and peer support. The project will be delivered in Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire.

In North Wales, NEWCIS will provide the Keep Well, Keep Busy project to carers living in Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire with its £62,700. Depending on the recipients’ needs, they will receive boxes containing items such as healthy, fresh food and books or craft items.

North Wales Association for Multicultural Integration in Conwy will continue supporting excluded and vulnerable people who are negatively impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with a £9,920 grant.

Annie, from Colwyn Bay, said: “I am a single mother with two visually impaired kids. I lost my job in the past and lived in an unacceptable house. One day I came to know about NWAMI and they have been kindly supplying diet-based food for me and my kids, and signposted various provider agencies. Now I live in a safe place with my kids and am getting benefit from Universal Credit. We are happy and feel settled! Thanks to NWAMI and its committed team, and a big thank you to The National Lottery Community Fund for funding this project.”

Holt Community Gardeners in Wrexham will use its £2,555 to improve the disabled access for its polytunnel, allowing individuals with disabilities to take part in gardening activities to help improve their mental wellbeing.

Peter Bostock, a committee member, said: “We had great intentions for the year, only for some of our well-laid plans to be cancelled because of COVID-19. Nevertheless, we were able to continue with some work due to the nature of gardening being an outdoor activity. Our new polytunnel has been a great success and we look forward to an exciting 2021.”

John Rose, Director of The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales said: “Volunteers and charity workers in communities across Wales have played an incredible role in keeping people safe, supported and connected throughout the pandemic and continue to do so as we look to the future. Thanks to National Lottery players, the Fund has been able to make a significant contribution to helping communities in Wales meet the challenges of COVID-19, with over 660 awards amounting to nearly £19 million made since April 2020.”

Read about all 80 grants worth £3,613,247 awarded in October here.

The National Lottery Community Fund’s funding programmes remain open and are supporting communities affected by COVID-19. They are also supporting organisations to adapt or diversify to respond to new and future challenges. For further information see www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/wales.

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