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Early Christmas delight for sight charity UCAN Productions after being awarded £165,000 of National Lottery funding

UCAN Productions is celebrating after successfully being awarded over £165,000 of National Lottery funding to set up a peer-to-peer support network for visually impaired people that will provide a range of activities delivered through performance and creative arts workshops.

A minimum of 50 adults and young people will benefit from the series of peer-led workshops delivered by staff and visually impaired volunteers, and an extensive peer support network will be developed to increase the physical and vocal confidence of beneficiaries. Specific workshops and activities will include themes such as creating and running podcasts, drama network meetings, a book and film club, and promoting self-advocacy.

Hannah Matthews has been a member of UCAN since she was 10 years old and will be working on the new project as a peer-to-peer support officer. Hannah explained, “UCAN Productions has supported me since I was 10 years old by providing me with all kinds of opportunities and an ever-increasing number of friends who, like me, all have a visual impairment.

Having been part of developing the UCAN Network project, which is for blind and partially sighted young people over the age of 18 in Wales, I can’t wait to help others try new things, learn new skills and most importantly make new friends.”

This grant will allow the organisation to build on a previous National Lottery funded project awarded during lockdown to support visually impaired people to keep in contact with friends, reduce isolation, and deliver confidence building workshops.

John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said “UCAN Production’s work is a clear example of our belief that communities thrive when people are in the lead. More than £30 million a week is raised for good causes across the UK thanks to National Lottery players. We’re delighted to fund UCAN’s amazing work and we know from previous projects that they make a vital difference to young people with visually impairments”

UCAN Productions is one of 60 organisations across Wales to receive a total of £3.7 million in the past month. The full list of funded projects is attached.

To find information on applying to The National Lottery Community Fund for funding to help your community thrive, visit tnlcommunityfund.org.uk or call 0300 123 0735.

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