CHARITIES and organisations affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery.
Thanks to National Lottery players, millions of pounds of National Lottery funding will be distributed over the next few months in Wales alone to help projects most impacted by coronavirus and which support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. The extensive funding packages span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.
The funding packages announced to date which will help projects in Wales, includes:
- Up to £300 million from The National Lottery Community Fund over the next six months going UK-wide to groups, including those from Wales, best placed to support people and communities at this vital time.
- A £50 million Emergency Fund from The National Lottery Heritage Fund UK-wide to address immediate pressures in the heritage sector over the next four months and provide increased investment in essential digital skills;
- Together with the Welsh Government, the Arts Council of Wales have been able to put £5.1 million from National Lottery sources into a £7 million Arts Resilience Fund for Wales. The fund will provide support for arts funded individuals and organisations to help them through the Coronavirus crisis;
- Sport Wales have launched a Sport Resilience Fund, with £4.75 million from National Lottery sources to provide support across Welsh sport and ensure the nation is able to remain active and enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits that sport brings; and
- The British Film Institute (BFI) has made £4.6 million of National Lottery funding available UK-wide to alleviate immediate pressure for organisations and individuals in the screen industries hardest hit by the pandemic, ranging from emergency funding for freelancers whose contracts were suddenly cancelled through to grants for audience facing venues which have unexpectedly had to close.
The figures highlighted today form the total funding package unveiled to date – further funding announcements are expected in the future.
£30 million is raised every week on average by National Lottery players for projects big and small across the country. While it is not yet known specifically which projects will receive the funding first, many National Lottery funded projects in Wales have already been adapting to the crisis as best they can within the parameters of social distancing, including:
- The National Lottery funded The Tool Shed project managed by the Centre for Building Social Action (CBSA) in Carmarthenshire is traditionally a tool lending library which makes DIY and repair more affordable for eligible working families throughout Carmarthenshire. Since the Coronavirus Outbreak, they have set up a Facebook page which provides tips on home DIY and they are also using their van (normally used to deliver tools) to deliver food parcels in the community and plants and seeds, such as tomato and rhubarb, for people who want to start growing at home. They have also designed and developed headbands for NHS workers and care staff to wear with their facemasks to prevent the elastic from cutting into their skin. Their volunteers are being tutored online on how to develop the headbands.
- The National Lottery funded Arts from the Armchair project based at Theatr Clwyd in North Wales works with actors, musicians, costume makers and painters to provide positive and creative activities proven to be stimulating, interesting and fun for those living with dementia. In response to their elderly and vulnerable members being asked to self-isolate, the project has been making and delivering creative home packs to the homes of 20 of their most vulnerable participants with dementia. The interactive packs include jigsaws, cards, games, knitting items, a crafts section and a leaflet with the warm up exercises that they usually do in the physical classes.
- Keeping fit and active is an amazing antidote to Covid-19 stress. And making sure its members get a positive lift is Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting Fitness Centre on the Isle of Anglesey. As it followed government guidelines and closed its doors in March, the club announced members could borrow dumbbells, kettle bells and other equipment. It enables local people to keep fit and active, including 80-year-old Barbara Williams whose social isolation weights session was shared on Twitter. Check it out here
- The National Lottery funded Glenwood Church Community Centre in Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, have been focusing their efforts on providing a support for keyworkers and vulnerable members of their community during the pandemic. Their volunteers have been working in partnership with a local independent coffee shop to deliver food to the most vulnerable in the community. Their volunteers are also keeping the Cardiff Foodbank distribution centre in Llanedeyrn open and are working on a buddy up system, where people are buddied up for weekly telephone calls.
Highlighting the importance of the support to communities throughout Wales, John Rose, Chair of the Wales National Lottery Forum and Director of the National Lottery Community Fund in Wales, said:
“The distributors of National Lottery funding in Wales are acutely aware of the unprecedented impact the Coronavirus is having across the communities we support. We have been amazed how community groups of all types have pulled together to help out in their communities. As funders, we are working tirelessly to support the projects we fund and mitigate the effects as far as possible during this difficult time. We want to reassure our communities that we are still here, we’re still making awards and we’d like to thank players of The National Lottery for their ongoing support, which is enabling us to make funding available to people and communities affected by the pandemic.”
To find out more about the range of funding support announced by National Lottery distributors across the UK to date, visit the National Lottery Good Causes websitewww.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/coronavirus-pandemic-response