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Cardiff homelessness project wins new grant

Fighting Homelessness, in partnership with Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Gym, uses boxing to help members of the homeless community improve their mental and physical health. People taking part have already shown improvements in a range of life skills; for example dealing with substance misuse and making applications for housing.  
Fighting Homelessness successfully applied for a grant of £4,360 from The National Lottery Community Fund. Cardiff Council Supported Accommodation Officer and programme creator, Rob Green, explained the positive impact the programme is having:  
“The difference the programme has made to some of the guys is amazing. We’ve had some brilliant outcomes – some of them have gone on to work experience, some paid work. Another of our residents has been transformed – he is doing incredibly well and is a real role model for other residents. 
“As the weeks have gone by, a real camaraderie has developed among everyone who comes along. It’s become very social and something the guys can feel part of. I describe the programme as a metaphor for their lives. When they are in the ring or gym, they are learning perseverance and not to give up, which can help them to keep going towards ending their homeless journey. 
“Naturally people’s mental wellbeing can be affected by being homeless. People can suffer with depression and anxiety so we’re seeing the positive effects this programme is having not only on people’s physical health but their mental wellbeing too. You can’t put a price on that.” 
Many previous participants in the project have gone on to live independently in their own homes. This success has meant the project is now planning to expand to support vulnerable women and young people. The group has also developed another partnership and beginning Mixed Martial Arts classes (MMA) with The Hangar MMA. This ongoing support is possible thanks to National Lottery players.   
Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: 
“All credit to Rob, who has done an amazing job setting up this programme. The impact on the group of residents taking part has been incredible and it’s wonderful to see people getting their lives back on track. 
“We’re very grateful to Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Club and The Hangar for their support in the project which is proving to be an invaluable way to engage with people, some of whom have very complex needs. This is delivering a fantastic boost to individuals’ confidence as well as their physical and mental wellbeing and is helping overcome the challenges many face in turning their lives around.” 
Ruth Bates, Head of Communications at The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales, said:  
“This project is an excellent example of how community groups and volunteers support the people who relyon them. National Lottery players raise £36 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. I hope this grant willenable Cardiff Council Hostel Services and their partners, Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Gym, tocontinue offering support tothe people and communities who really need it, continuing to change lives. 
“Last year we funded over 8,000 projects across the UK to bring communities together, over 7,500 supporting health and wellbeing. To find out more about applying for a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to support your community, visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/wales