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£3.1 million National Lottery funding support for communities across Wales

© Mach Maethlon - community gardening in Machynlleth (Credit: Poppy Dent)
The National Lottery Community Fund has announced the good news that 51 communities across Wales are getting a share of £3.1 million.  
Groups celebrating this month include: 
  • Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority – in partnership with Mind Pembrokeshire, they will use their grant of over £300,000 to improve mental health by providing volunteering opportunities and outdoor group activities.  
  • Mach Maethlon – a grant of nearly £100,000 will support local people to grow food, then cook and eat the food. 
  • RainbowBiz CIC will spend their £10,000 continuing to run Digging Deeside. The social gardening project will improve community wellbeing and relieve carers’ stress.  
  • BAME Mental Health Support CIC successfully applied for £9,800 to distribute excess food within their community, and to provide transport to essential services and appointments. 
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, in partnership with Mind Pembrokeshire, will use £339,891 over three years to support people who have poor mental health. They will offer support for people to take part in volunteering and access outdoor group activity in and around the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The activities will help people develop skills and build confidence. They will also be able to meet new people and improve their overall wellbeing and quality of life. 
Receiving the grant, Graham Peake, Discovery Team Leader, said: “Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Mind Pembrokeshire believe that, perhaps now more than ever, time spent outdoors can be a real benefit to the wellbeing of those taking part. Our project will benefit from the shared expertise of all those involved, including a team of motivated volunteers who will act as mentors to those taking part.Funding for this project is excellent news – we can’t wait to get started.” 
In mid Wales, Mach Maethlon, based at Machynlleth, will spend £99,952 over two and a half years. They intend to increase the amount of food grown locally and ensure that everyone has access to delicious, fresh produce. They will support local people to grow, cook and eat the locally grown foods.  
Alison Murfitt, project coordinator for Edible Mach, said, “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant. It will enable us to increase our local food resilience, support more people to grow and cook healthy food and build connections in our community with local food at its heart.” 
Meanwhile in Flintshire, RainbowBiz CIC has been awarded £10,000 to continue to run Digging Deeside, a social gardening project aimed at improving community wellbeing and relieving carers’ stress.  
Welcoming the grant, Darren Cook from RainbowBiz CIC explained what the project has done for him: 
“Since Digging Deeside I’ve become very confident to do things by myself, things that I found difficult to do beforehand, like chatting with people and making new friends. I’ve learnt gardening skills and I’ve learnt people skills. I talk for myself now instead of needing others to guide me in all that I do.  
“My new-found abilities allow me to help and support others, both in gardening and in support, and my health has improved immensely, physically and mentally.I feel that Digging Deeside enhances me, I make new friends and enjoy being with nature. It has helped me feel more alive!” 
In Swansea, BAME Mental Health Support CIC (BMHS) successfully bid for £9,800 to distribute excess food within their community, and to provide access and transport to essential services such as attending vaccination appointments. 
Alfred Oyekoya, Director of BMHS, said: “Thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund Wales, we are now better equipped to provide support to members of our community who depend on food supplies, as we recover from the pandemic in Wales. By collecting food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing it to good causes, we are contributing to the UK economy every week.” 
Nearby in Clydach, Friends of Coed Gwilym Park will use £89,000 to develop a new community club house at Coed Gwilym Park, enhancing the facilities in the park and providing a place to meet, shelter and socialise. School activities, presentation evenings and social events will take place at the club house which will be open to the public every day. 
David Rooke, Chairman of Friends of Coed Gwilym Park, said “We are delighted with our award and most grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund. We are very excited to be well on the way to achieving all of the funding required to make this project a reality.” 
John Rose, Director at The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales, said: “These groups have played an incredible role in supporting communities and people’s wellbeing over this difficult period, thanks to National Lottery players. As we cautiously look to the future, we know people will continue to make a positive difference to each other’s lives across Wales, and we are privileged to see this directly.”