Arts4Wellbeing Innovation CIC in Ceredigion is celebrating a £9,900 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund to re-launch its volunteer-led community hubs.
Welcoming the grant, Sarah Wentworth, Cofounder at Arts4Wellbeing Innovation CIC, said:
“We would like to express our huge thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund for your support. Arts4Wellbeing initiated seven social creative drop-in hubs in rural areas and trained up community volunteers so that the groups were run by the community for the community. Prior to the first lockdown six were running independently and self-sustaining and the seventh was about to go independent. The groups had an ethos of reaching out to support lonely, bereaved, or isolated people, and people with limited mobility or life limiting conditions.
“Through accessing the groups, people had an opportunity to enjoy conversation, learn new things, share their skills, ideas and experience, make new friends and contribute towards their community. With the pandemic, the groups sadly couldn’t meet in person although people continued to support each other through phone calls and social media. Through this funding, we are going to be working with the volunteers to help the groups grow strong and self-supporting once again.”
Christine, a volunteer at Gorsgoch Compassionate Community Group, said:
“I have volunteered with Arts4Wellbeing for about six years, for the five last years I have been helping to coordinate a weekly, rural hub. Sharing different crafts and talking to others is the highlight for many, especially those who live with health problems, bereaved and by themselves or find it difficult to get out. People usually go home brighter than when they arrive, having tried something new and talked about problems, worries and joys.
Another volunteer, Maggie at Aberporth Compassionate Communities Group, said:
“When I moved to Wales 5 years ago it took me a year to settle, I volunteered at Aberporth Arts4Wellbeing group and since then have made numerous friends and like to think I am helping people by chatting and crafting together. Our group at Aberporth are totally delighted to have National Lottery funding after all the challenges of COVID-19. We feel all our members will really benefit from the funding. Thank you so much. These groups are really good to combat loneliness and learning new crafts. Long may they continue!”
Robert Roffe, Head of the Mid and West Wales region at The National Lottery Community Fund, added:
“Eight out of ten of our grants are for £10,000 or less – going to grassroots groups and charities like Arts4Wellbeing. We’re looking forward to seeing what they can achieve as their seven drop in hubs recover and get back into action.”