Additional support will be made available to improve wellbeing and mental health as we cautiously welcome the new year, thanks to more than £3.4 million National Lottery funding announced today.
Rose’s Way Foundation, based in Caerphilly, is one of 68 Welsh groups receiving awards from The National Lottery Community Fund. They will use £10,000 to deliver mental health sessions for children in schools across Wales using tools such as worry wizard books and wellbeing bears.
Catherine Coundley-Jeans and Andrew Jeans co-founded the charity to support children and families, after sadly losing their baby girl, Rose, in February last year after a short battle with A.T.R.T cancer.
Andrew Jeans said: “We are very excited to start #WellBeingRosesWay and to help support young children and their mental health wellbeing. By teaming up with the Worry Wizard, we will bring young children of primary school age in Wales on a journey from the point of worry to wellbeing. We have supported five schools already, and with the support of The National Lottery Community Fund, we can now grow this project by a further 25 schools.”
In Ceredigion, WOW Wales One World Film Festival Ltd will use its £9,520 to run online animation workshops for individuals with learning disabilities and the wider community, increasing their confidence and wellbeing during the COVID-19 restrictions.
Jan Kench, WOW Film Festival’s project partner, a volunteer with Mencap Ceredigion and co-founder of Ceredigion Animation Club, said: “Getting together as a group to be creative is always a good thing, but under the current circumstances, it’s much, much more than that. Running an animation club online helps us keep people in touch and together during the pandemic. It’s a big investment in people’s mental health, a lifeline. Thanks to National Lottery players, we can help tackle loneliness and isolation.”
Meanwhile in Gwynedd, Eryri Cydweithredol – Eryri Co-Operative Cyfwill provide a virtual befriending service to those experiencing isolation and support in basic IT with its £9,999 grant.
Gwenda Hughes, Director, said, “We were delighted to hear that our recent funding application to The National Lottery Community Fund was successful. We are now looking forward to launching E-Sgwrs/E-Chat, our virtual friendly chat service for individuals living in Gwynedd. The service will be available bilingually and will support people to connect with their local communities and be digitally included.”
Swansea City Opera will co-produce a musical production with Men’s Sheds Cymru with its £10,000, to highlight the positive mental health benefits that the group can bring, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. After interviewing members of the Sheds, they created the libretto from their stories – which reflects not only the struggles they have faced, but also the strength and humour upon which they have drawn to overcome their problems.
Robert Visintainer, Project Officer for Men’s Sheds Cymru, said: “The whole process has been fun and creative. We’re looking forward to doing more together in the coming weeks and months.”
Burry Port Plant Dewi will deliver a programme of activities and services for families with children aged up to 11 in Burry Port, Pembrey, Kidwelly and surrounding areas. With its £299,162, they will deliver outreach sessions and remote support to improve families’ physical and emotional wellbeing and parenting skills over three years, including baby groups, parent and toddler play sessions and parenting courses. They will also help children with language sessions, a homework club and life skills sessions.
Shan Cheesman, Centre Manager at Burry Port Plant Dewi – Ty Mair, said: “In these unprecedented times, the support of The National Lottery Community Fund has provided a lifeline to services for families, enabling us to continue to deliver a fit for purpose service to local communities.”
Cwtch Baby Bank will use £9,672 to distribute essential baby items such as toys, clothing and food for families who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19.
Clare Bird, Distribution Manager, said: “The baby bank is an extremely valuable resource for the health and social care professionals working with vulnerable families in South East Wales. My role, funded thanks to National Lottery players, includes coordinating donations from members of the public, preparing bundles for clients, and overseeing the work of our nine volunteers.”
Morrello’s Marvels CIC in Newport will create physio boxes for patients who have suffered strokes, heart attacks or COVID-19 with its £7,982 grant. The physio boxes will help patients recover to the best of their ability at home.
Gill Hurley said, “We were delighted to receive the award for our pilot project. Patients will have a tailored set of exercises designed for them by a physiotherapist, and each box will contain the equipment needed, including a Facebook mini portal with a camera that follows the patients’ movements so their therapist can see them exercising. It is brilliant to be able to help COVID-19 patients with their recovery and we are excited to start the new year with this positive new project.”
Ruth Bates, Interim Director of The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales said: “Charities and organisations in communities across Wales have played an incredible role in keeping people supported and connected throughout the pandemic and continue to do so as we cautiously welcome the new year. Thanks to National Lottery players, the Fund has been able to make a significant contribution to helping communities meet the challenges of COVID-19, with £32.5 million awarded to 966 community projects across Wales in 2020.”