My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

National Lottery funding gives north Wales communities a boost

Vision Enhancement Services – Community Information Service at work in a supermarket (before COVID-19).

Communities in north Wales are making a substantial difference to people’s lives through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, thanks to National Lottery players. National Lottery money is putting people in the lead to help their communities look to the future positively. 

With its grant of £86,688, Vision Enhancement Service will use a mobile information service to ensure that people with sight loss from across north Wales can find accessible information and a knowledge of adaptive aids and assistive technology. They will also offer advice and support in local communities about services which promote the reduction of isolation and disadvantage, therefore improving health and wellbeing.

The charity’s Community Information Service visits locations such as supermarkets, libraries and GP surgeries to provide information about a wide range of services for people with sight loss. 

Janette Williams of the project said: “Thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund we will be able to provide this service across North Wales five days a week, reaching more vision-impaired people, their families and friends, and making even more connections with other organisations.” 

Mrs Casey, who has macular degeneration, said: “I often visit the Community Information Service stand when it is in my area, either at the hospital or the library. They always have useful information on eye services and community groups that would be beneficial to me. I am also able to get advice on disability aids and equipment such as handheld magnifiers and talking watches. I can’t use the internet so it is always helpful that Vision Support will order the equipment on my behalf and have it delivered to my house.”

In Denbighshire, The Benefit Advice Shop will use its grant of £9,736 to safely deliver its services to people across the county, and in some areas in Flintshire and Wrexham, in a socially distanced way. The organisation provides advice, advocacy and representation on all aspects of the Welfare Benefit System and Social Security Law, up to and including representation at Social Security Appeal Tribunals.

Claire Farrall, the Welfare Rights Officer at The Benefit Advice Shop, said, “We assist clients with a range of services. For example, if clients have lost their employment due to the COVID-19 crisis, we assist with online Universal Credit Claims and give advice on other benefits such as Council Tax Reduction. Such requests for help will continue and will grow as the crisis continues.”

Also in Denbighshire, NEWVOL will use its £10,000 funding to support leaders of local not-for-profit organisations whilst they are adapting service models due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Lottery grant will fund a mentor, marketing and support costs. 

Andrew Brown, North Wales Funding Manager for The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We owe a big thank you to National Lottery players for making it possible to fund projects that are making a positive, life-changing difference to so many. These groups in north Wales are great examples of how charities are working hard to support and offer hope to their communities through these challenging times and into the future.

National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK.