Celebrating Volunteers in Wales with £3.2 million in National Lottery grants
We are celebrating volunteer week (1 – 6 June 2019) with the announcement that this month The National Lottery Community Fund awarded £3,200,162 in grants to 59 communities in Wales. Grants are made possible thanks to The National Lottery players.
Many of the grants support projects which work with volunteers and some are entirely run by volunteers who dedicate themselves to achieving an ambition for their community. The volunteer trustees of Abertillery Workmen’s Welfare Institute in Blaenau Gwent for example have successfully bid for £20,540 to renovate the Institute making it fit for purpose as a community facility, providing a flexible space for increased learning, engagement and support.
Julie Holt speaking on behalf of the trustees welcomed the grant saying: “This grant will have a huge impact on our ability to reach our goal and reopen our Institute for the community. We aim to bring this old building back to life and make it available for use by people of all ages and abilities. It will be a centre where people in our valley can come together, to play, learn and socialise. We are all working hard to achieve this and people in our area are very supportive. We are a group of seven trustees, and we are all dedicated to this cause, as we remember when the Institute was central to our community. We are confident that we can achieve this, and your grant will go a long way to helping us by enabling us to appoint a project manager.”
Llandovery Youth and Community Centre in Carmarthenshire successfully applied for nearly half a million pounds (£499,795) which they will spend over five year expanding their existing services, by developing a health and wellbeing hub, providing new services to isolated and lonely people, families that are struggling and those living with mental and physical health conditions. The hub will offer a walk-in centre for support and help, providing access to health and wellbeing information and activities, life skills courses and access to other health and social care providers.
Andrew Barker, Chair, Llandovery Youth and Community Centre said: "This fantastic grant will enable us to expand our existing services and meet the needs of many more people in the community including the isolated and lonely, families and those living with mental and physical health conditions. We are grateful to the Lottery for recognising the valuable work in which we are engaged and are looking forward with enthusiasm to the future and to what this funding will enable us to do in relation to well-being including art/crafts and eco-therapy.
This project also relies on the support of volunteers, Jill Tatman from the Centre explained:
“Some help with the youth/children's work, others support with time in the office, help with cleaning and the garden and many more with fundraising events. We have a lady who grows hundreds of plants for us to sell and another lady who regularly provides dozens of pots of delicious homemade jams, marmalade and chutneys for us to sell.”
Aber Food Surplus will spend £99,761 over 18 months developing a pioneering, innovative and sustainable community hub in the centre of Aberystwyth, volunteers collect food, sort donations and prepare meals. Heather McClure, Project Coordinator at Aber Surplus Food said:
“We are excited to be opening a new community space in Aberystwyth, it will focus on food sharing and engagement with our local food system. The community hub will be where proactive community conversations can be hosted, community groups and entrepreneurs supported, and community development explored in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way.”
Volunteers at Carriageworks CIC in North Wales will spend £91,410 over two years delivering arts workshops to 120 people experiencing isolation in Denbigh, Groes, Llandyrnog, Rhewl and Henllan. It will build confidence and connect people and communities. It will also identify challenges in communities to find possible solutions by working with existing agencies to bring about change. Lynne Wilson Director of Carriageworks CIC said:
“We are a small team of volunteers and are all thrilled, and very grateful, for this award. It will allow us to build on work already achieved through the pilot project we ran with a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to connect, or reconnect, local village communities with Denbigh town.”
These are just a few of the projects which volunteers will be involved in delivering across Wales – for the full list of this month’s grants follow this link to download it.
- Date published