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THANKS A BILLION: HOW MORE THAN £1BN OF NATIONAL LOTTERY FUNDING HAS HELPED SUPPORT PEOPLE AND PROJECTS THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC

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  4. THANKS A BILLION: HOW MORE THAN £1BN OF NATIONAL LOTTERY FUNDING HAS HELPED SUPPORT PEOPLE AND PROJECTS THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC

NATIONAL Lottery funding to support the UK-wide response to the coronavirus pandemic has exceeded £1 billion according to new figures released today.

As the first anniversary of lockdown approaches, the funding package has boosted the arts, heritage, sport and community/charity sector and helped protect the future of thousands of organisations across Wales during the last year. 

The £1.2 billion awarded has gone towards thousands of Welsh initiatives and programmes designed to tackle loneliness and isolation, provide support for the elderly and vulnerable young people, and those promoting physical and mental health in the community.

One such project to have benefited from the £30 million raised by National Lottery players every week is the Torfaen-based Really Amazing Charity (TRAC2), who deliver home starter packs of recyclable furniture and white goods for families in need and vulnerable adults.

Balls on field

 

The charity received a grant of £498,428 from The National Lottery Community Fund and is using the landmark funding to expand its outreach and provision to groups such as the homeless and young care leavers. TRAC2 are undertaking vital work to combat homelessness and champion mental health and Sue Malson, CEO, says it would not be possible without National Lottery players.

Sue, 56, said: “We don’t turn people away – we welcome them in, give them that hand and give them that ear to listen to. We advise them, we get their permission to contact them, and the people they need to speak to. We reassure that person that they’re not alone, they can survive and we’re there for them.”

In Cardiff, the Taking Flight Theatre received a National Lottery grant of £146,837 from the Arts Council of Wales to continue its work making theatre accessible for people from diverse backgrounds. Their grant is part of a funding stream which aims to encourage new ideas to emerge throughout the pandemic.

Taking Flight Theatre have provided deaf and disabled people with a creative avenue during lockdown and Beth House, Co-founder and Development Director, says National Lottery players are helping them to champion diversity.

Beth, 44, whose project is the only youth theatre for deaf and disabled people in Wales and operates nationwide, said: “I don’t think people realise when they buy a National Lottery ticket about the impact they’re having. I don’t think people connect with that and think there’s a theatre company in Wales who nurture deaf and disabled young people. National Lottery funding has been revolutionary and transformational for us – so thank you!”

One sports club supported by the National Lottery during the pandemic is the North Wales Crusaders Wheelchair Rugby League & Disability Sports Club. Their National Lottery grant from Sport Wales enabled them to find new wheelchair storage space after their Deeside base was transformed into a hospital.

North Wales Crusaders’ revenue streams dried up overnight when lockdown struck but thanks to National Lottery support, their additional storage costs were met and they could afford crucial PPE so they could carry on playing.

The club provides a vital sporting outlet for disabled people across North Wales and Stephen Jones, Head Coach and Trustee, believes National Lottery players were crucial to the transition.

Stephen, 54, who lives in Wrexham, said: “We’re not the only club who have suffered through Covid, but because of The National Lottery, at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel with funding for us. Without the initial funding we got, we would have seriously struggled to be able to afford to store our equipment.”

Ros Kerslake, Chair of The National Lottery Forum said: “Thanks to The National Lottery’s players, we have been able to offer comprehensive packages of support to thousands of projects throughout the UK over the last year. 

"This funding has helped alleviate some of the significant and unprecedented challenges faced by the community, arts, heritage and sports sectors as a result of the pandemic. None of this would have been possible without the important work of amazing and dedicated people throughout the UK who keep these projects going.”  

To find out more about how The National Lottery supports good causes throughout the UK, visit 

www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk

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