CHARITIES and community groups across Wales have received £15 million in funding since the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown began* – all thanks to National Lottery players.
Today (August 6), the National Lottery Community Fund announced its most recent awards, many of these grants are helping people to support each other through the COVID-19 crisis; others working to tackle homelessness and improve emotional health and wellbeing.
The money, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, has reached 588 community organisations across Wales and the funding programmes remain open and are prioritising COVID-19 related activity.
John Rose, Director of The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales said:
“It’s inspiring to see people demonstrating the strengths of their communities and the importance of staying connected in these challenging times. Volunteers and charity workers 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.”
In Swansea, the Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centre will use £100,000 to continue providing individually tailored and expert advice and services free of charge to anyone affected by cancer and the disruptions to treatment and support caused by COVID-19.
Tara White, Centre Head at Maggie’s Swansea, said: “Thank you so much from all the team here. This significant donation has made a huge difference to the centre and our visitors. It has allowed us to continue our programme of support for people with cancer and their families across South West Wales during this difficult time.”
Aberystwyth University has received £498,392 funding over three years to provide Armed Forces veterans and their families with increased access to free legal information, advice and specialist signposting to legal and non-legal advice services. This will be achieved through a new, bilingual mobile and web-based application platform, alongside a range of drop-in centres.
Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Club and Community Activities will use £295,543 over three years to expand its current schedule of activities. These include work with children at risk of exclusion, a project delivered in partnership with Cardiff Council Homeless Service which aims to improve fitness and mental health, and programmes aimed at tackling dementia, depression, anxiety and isolation.
Gemma Price, from Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Club, said: “We are so happy that we have been successful in securing three years of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. The difference this will make to our community and us is insane! Thank you so much.”
Also in Cardiff, Huggard has received a £48,204 grant to continue providing specialist counselling support for people experiencing homelessness in the capital city, to help address the additional challenges presented by COVID-19.
In North Wales, Tros Gynnal Plant will use its £87,000 National Lottery grant to expand the existing ‘Team Around the Tenancy’ service. This service supports care experienced young people throughout North Wales with their tenancies and will be provided remotely. A service to combat isolation and loneliness will be introduced as a direct response to COVID-19 challenges.
A young person from Gwynedd who accesses Tros Gynnal Plant’s service, said: “Thank you for checking in. I can’t tell you how many displays of wondrous humanity and compassion I’ve seen these past few months – among many bad deeds the good lie silent. People like you really make a difference to people’s lives. For that, I thank you so much and commend your passion and care.”
Genetic Alliance UK will use a £162,821 grant to expand the SWAN (syndromes without a name) UK project to Wales. They will work with families of children with undiagnosed genetic conditions to grow their support networks. Initially, this will be through an online community, but then developing further local networks to improve the knowledge, resilience and emotional health and wellbeing of families.
Jayne Spink, Chief Executive of Genetic Alliance UK, said: “Families with undiagnosed children experience strong feelings of isolation and exclusion, thinking that they are the only ones in this situation. Becoming part of the SWAN UK community makes all the difference. This funding will underpin our information and support services throughout Wales for the next three years. It will enable us to provide more opportunities for children to play and socialise and help us to ensure that parents get the information and support they need.”
Grandparents Plus will use a £98,926 grant to provide tailored support to kinship carers across Wales to help address the additional challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. They will offer accessible information and advice online and by phone, they will work with existing peer support groups to enable them to move online and will also help develop digital skills so people can access wider support.
Chief Executive of Grandparents Plus, Lucy Peake, said: “Kinship carers have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re delighted to receive this grant to enable us to extend advice and support to kinship carers in Wales. A huge thank you to everyone who plays The National Lottery for raising this money for good causes like ours.”
The Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel (SSAP) and North Wales African Society (NWAS) will use their £64,625 National Lottery Community Fund grant to fund the Jamii Project, a project which aims to foster community spirit and community interdependence between and within African communities in Cardiff and Bangor, to help them cope with and mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
The National Lottery Community Fund’s funding programmes remain open and are prioritising COVID-19 related activity. For further information see www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/wales.