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Charity

Community groups in Carmarthenshire celebrate nearly £50,000 of National Lottery funding

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THE NATIONAL Lottery Community Fund has awarded a total of £47,575 of funding to local community groups in Carmarthenshire over the past month. 

The funded projects include improving the local environment and biodiversity, respite and days out for families of people battling addiction, and free boxing sessions for young people.

Llanerch Community Group were one of the recipients of the funding and will use their £8,000 grant to continue to provide a local food share service, and work with volunteers to create a community growing space for fruit and vegetables.

Sharon Burdess & Heather Peters from Llanerch Community Group said, “We are delighted to have been awarded the National Lottery Fund grant and will put it to good use in enhancing the community of Llanerch.

“Lleidi Foodshare has been set up to help families, young and old in our local community with the rising cost of living. The funds will help the community to come together have a chat, coffee and cake which will reduce loneliness and isolation within the older members within our community.

“The funds will also be used to set up a community food growing garden which will work alongside our Lliedi Foodshare. Groups of all ages will get involved in this project from the soil preparation to the final stages of picking, then this will be distributed for free through our Lleidi Foodshare.

“Community Biodiversity native plant growing sessions will help tackle decline of bees and bugs which will help improve their population. This will enhance the natural beauty of Llanerch where the community can relax and enjoy the Open Green Space.”

The John Burns Foundation received a £10,000 grant to support people interested in improving biodiversity in their local community. It will provide practical tuition in traditional crafts and improve the mental health of those participating in outdoor activity.

Zara, Group Leader at Mencap who’ve worked with The John Burns Foundation explained, “Our staff and team members with a learning disability from Mencap Me Time all benefitted from learning hedge laying, a new skill. We all increased confidence and felt sheer pride at seeing the result.

“People we support commented on being one step further to finding a job in the future.”

Stallion Community Hub CIC will use their £9,884 grant to provide 80 free boxing sessions to young people, encouraging participation. They will address the impact of poverty, and instil values, support health and wellbeing, and promote life skills.

Trallwm Area Community Hall were awarded £10,000 to provide sessions on topics including improving IT skills, mental health and healthy eating.  They will help people get to know each other and ease loneliness.

C.A.S.M. Support of Carers of Alcohol and Substance Misuse in Llanelli were also successful and will use £9,690 to provide respite and days out, enabling families with loved ones with addiction to take much-needed breaks, in a safe environment.

John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, celebrated all the organisation’s saying: “We are proud to be the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The Fund is dedicated to supporting projects like these that bring people together to support their communities, create stronger social connections and help develop new skills. National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes like these throughout the UK”   

These projects are just some of 56 projects awarded across Wales in the past month totalling £1,821,550 of funding raised by National Lottery players. To read the full list please see the attached document.   

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Charity

Co op helps out two Llandeilo community volunteer groups

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LLANDEILO Co op store manager Chris Rees and Member Pioneer Christoph Fischer successfully secured Co op funding for two Llandeilo community groups: “Friends of Llandyfeisant Church” and the “Dinefwr Orchadeers”.

Friends of Llandyfeisant Church was set up to restore the beautiful Llandyfeisant Church on the Dinefwr Park estate. The volunteers want to bring this unused building back into use for the community. “We’re currently restoring the floor according to the Listed Buildings specification, which is costly and labour intense,” explains Dafydd Thomas from the group. 

“The church is no longer consecrated but it would be wonderful for many other events.”

The group has a busy Facebook page and many supporters, locally and from further afield.

The Dinefwr Orchardeers are a community volunteer group based at Dinefwr Home Farm, looking after a 3-acre orchard of heritage apple and pear trees. They hire out fruit milling and pressing equipment to local fruit tree / orchard owners, run a cider club and recently built a juicing room. The money will be spent on aprons and juicing equipment.

“We would love you to join or observe our weekly orchard management sessions” says Philip James. “You can learn, amongst other activities, to prune, harvest and juice.”

“At the Co op we’re proud to support local initiatives and projects,” says store manager Chris Rees. “We have three local causes every year who get 2% of money spent by members in the store on co op products, but we also can help with ad hoc projects.”

“We encourage local groups to come forward if they wish to apply for either type of funds,” says Member Pioneer Christoph Fischer. “My role in the co op is to liaise with community groups and lend them our support.”

To join or meet the Orchadeers, please call Philip on 01558 685746.

To become a member or volunteer with Friends of Llandyfeisant Church, visit their Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/280218132732204 or email info@friendsofllandyfeisantchurch.org

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Gwili Café raises money for Ukrainian causes

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Bohdana and Christoph

THE GWILI CAFÉ held its second night with Authentic Ukrainian food cooked by Ukrainians for café guests. Sunflowers Wales, a group of Ukrainian born UK citizens raise funds for medical supplies and support Ukrainian refugees in Wales. 

They provided the cooks and the food while local businesses The Little Welsh Dresser, Heavenly Exquisite Desserts, The Gwili Café and several private sponsors donated cash and raffle prizes. 

On this occasion they raised an astonishing £1000, £250 more than when the event first took place in June.

“I never thought I’d see a fundraiser for this kind of thought in my life time,” reflected Bryan Jones from the Gwili Café. “Were lucky to live in a caring town like Llandeilo where people still come forward to support the cause.”

“We talk about the next leader of the conservative party and the heat wave, but the war is still going on,” laments Bohdana Bahlay of Sunflower Wales. “I’m so grateful for this money that will buy tourniquets and bandages and will save lives in the Ukraine. Thank you all so much.”

“Thanks to the kind-hearted and hard-working staff at the Gwili Café,” says organiser Christoph Fischer, “and to Bryan Jones for offering us the space before we knew we could fill the space and to Bohdana and all she and her group are doing. 

Humbling to see everyone joining in to keep the flame of humanity alive. We mustn’t numb to the ongoing war and we’ll be back with another meal in early September.

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Charity

Appeal launched as six kittens abandoned in box near Mynyddcerrig

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RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information after six kittens were left abandoned in a box on the side of a rural road in Carmarthenshire.

The six male ginger kittens – who are now aged around nine weeks – were found in the Mynyddcerrig area on the evening of 10 July.

RSPCA animal rescue officer Rohan Barker said: “These poor kittens appear to have been just dumped like rubbish on the side of the road.

“The person who found them said the kittens were running around on the road, but they managed to scoop them up and take them home safely. Luckily these kittens were not injured and were found before anything serious happened to them.”

Anyone with information can contact the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

The six kittens were transferred to RSPCA Llys Nini Branch’s animal centre in Penllergaer, Swansea, and have been keeping staff busy with their antics!

They have been named Peanut, Bumble, Carrot, Jaffa, Nemo and Rusty and are likely to be made available for rehoming in the next few weeks, following vaccinations and after being neutered.

The abandoned kittens are sadly typical of some of the jobs dealt with by the RSPCA’s frontline officers, particularly during the summer months.

Reports of beatings, shootings, abandonments and poisonings rise over the summer months – prompting the charity to launch their Cancel out Cruelty campaign. The RSPCA receives around 90,000 calls to its cruelty line every month and investigates 6,000 reports of deliberate animal cruelty. But in the summer (during July and August) calls rise to 134,000 a month.

Yesterday (July 20) is traditionally the RSPCA’s busiest day with 5,971 reports made to the RSPCA’s cruelty hotline based near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, with 842 incidents created to be investigated by frontline rescuers.

The RSPCA urges owners to have their cats neutered from four months old to avoid unwanted litters ending up in rescue centres. Cats can become pregnant from as early as four months old which means that an unexpected litter of kittens can often come as a shock to owners who see their pet as just a kitten herself.

For more information about cat neutering visit the RSPCA’s website.

The RSPCA’s frontline teams are working hard to rescue animals in need this summer but they can’t do it alone – they need your help to Cancel Out Cruelty. To help support the RSPCA, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/stopcruelty

If you cannot donate, there are other ways you can help Cancel Out Cruelty, from volunteering with the RSPCA, holding a bake sale or fundraiser, or taking part in the #50MilesForAnimals challenge.

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