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KAPOW! Lottery Funding makes an impact in Wales

26 May 2011

A project to provide bat detectors for nature enthusiasts in Wales is among those sharing over £473,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Awards For All (Wales)A total of 132 community-based projects across Wales share in the £473,728 awarded under the latest round of the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All small grants programme (see a full list of awards here).

The Valleys Bat Group in Cardiff will use some of its £4,370 to buy bat detectors and torches for its members while encouraging cyclists to explore biodiversity along the National Cycling Network.

Alison Jones, treasurer of Valleys Bat Group, said: “This joint project between the Valleys Bat Group, Cardiff Bat Group and Sustrans, is developing a new method of surveying bats along cycle routes to discover how important these linear features are for foraging and commuting bats at night.

“The award has enabled the group to purchase bat detectors with recording capabilities, GPS and night lights that can be fixed to the bicycles to record bats as we cycle along.  Recording analysis software will help us to determine which species of bat are using the cycle ways.”

In the neighbouring Vale of Glamorgan, Barry Surf Life Saving Club receives £4,628 to buy a range of rescue equipment including radios, torpedo buoys and binoculars. Staying in south Wales, the Monmouth and District Branch of the National Childbirth Trust will spend £4,800 to promote their work which involves supporting parents who need additional help after having a child.

Another project supporting parents, the Breastfeeding Network in Ceredigion, will use £5,000 to establish a new group to support mothers who breastfeed in Aberaeron. Also in north Wales, River and Sea Sense Ltd receives £4,951 to run a project that will raise awareness about water safety among young people.

Joanna McLennan, from the Breastfeeding Network, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have received a grant from The Big Lottery Fund which will enable us to train local mothers to support local families. Peer support has been proven to help the continuation of breastfeeding therefore we feel it is of paramount importance, which will in the long term, benefit many people from our community.”

In west Wales, Dyslecsia Cymru will use £4,250 to run two events to raise awareness about dyslexia on the organisation’s tenth anniversary.  Heart of the Dragon in Carmarthenshire receives £4,985 to encourage the local community to help make a mosaic floor surrounding a recently installed Dragon Story Sculpture in the ruins of Newcastle Emlyns Castle while from the same area, Morfa Family Centre, receives £3,406 to run a six-month pilot project for a dad’s group to help increase parenting skills.

Heart of the Dragon’s artistic director Pamela Gaunt said: “The aim is for as many people as possible, of all abilities and ages to feel a sense of co-creation, ownership and involvement in the making of this lovely piece of art. It will be seen by thousands of visitors over many years to come as a permanent tribute to the Golden Dragon.”

Lisa Nicholas, from the Morfa Family Centre, said: We’re extremely fortunate to have been awarded the Awards for All grant. It means we can extend our service to dads, granddads, uncles and male carers as they are a very important part of the family. The dads’ worker will be able to provide dads with support, opportunities to learn new skills, gain new parenting tools and even help them with debts, benefits advice and budgeting. They will also able to support each other and enjoy each other’s company.”

Some £3,125 was awarded to the South Powys Branch of Parkinson’s UK to provide help, support, advice and information for sufferers in the region while the Welsh Budgerigar Society will use £580 to buy a PA system for their presentations.

Projects supporting people with disabilities and ill health also receive funding including £2,692 to the Torfaen Visually Impaired Gym and Social Group who will use the money to help attract new members by providing more activities and Maerdy Association for Self Help receives £3,200 to reduce loneliness of people suffering depression.

Gareth Williams, Awards for All Programme Manager for BIG in Wales, said: “Awards for All is having a positive impact throughout Wales. Money is helping to establish groups, societies and clubs, promoting learning, increasing volunteering opportunities and helping to build stronger communities.”

Available in English and Welsh, the application form for the programme can be downloaded, completed and emailed direct to the Big Lottery Fund as well as being available in hard copy.

Application forms are available from by phone on 0845 4 10 20 30.

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