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COMMUNITY CHEST MAKES MAXIMUM IMPACT

27 Jun 2006

What impact would £5.6 million have in Wales? The Sports Council for Wales has spent the last seven years finding out by scattering it across the length and breadth of Wales.

Since 1999 the Sports Council’s National Lottery funded Community Chest scheme has strewn its prize pot to just under 10,000 projects Wales wide, providing opportunities for people living in every area of Wales to get out there and active.

Communities across the principality have reaped the rewards of the Sports Council’s commitment to creating new and improved sport and physical activity opportunities.

Traditionally supporting sports clubs and sporting organisations, the remit has since expanded in response to the Welsh Assembly Government’s Sport and Physical Activity Strategy ‘Climbing Higher.’ So while the scheme is still supporting traditional sports and activities, it is also adopting alternative approaches to getting more people more active, more often. Priority has shifted to delivering opportunities for everybody to engage in physical activity, whether that be during work time, spare time, social time or retirement.

Voluntary clubs and organisations, workplaces, parks departments, slimming clubs and mental health groups have all moved to the fore. So while funding the local football club might get the younger members of the community moving, backing a walking group will encourage more adults to get active.

Although seeking innovative and imaginative projects, the simplest ideas often deliver the biggest impact, so as long as it’s an active proposal you could be entitled to up to £750. Lunchtime fitness classes, the installation of bike racks or showers in workplaces, training to become a walk leader, walking or cycling projects in both rural and urban areas are all eligible for funding.

And although Community Chest has made it mark, the Sports Council wants to make it an indelible one.

Community Chest panels based in each of the 22 local authorities hold the purse strings and members are given presiding powers to decide upon worthwhile projects. Funds totalling almost £1.6 million have been earmarked for 2006/2007, so if you have a bright idea that will get more people, more active, more often, come forward and stake your claim.

For more information and to find out whether your project is eligible for funding, please contact your local authority sports development team.

What’s available in your area?

Area

2006/07 budget

Amount still unclaimed

North

Conwy

£62,751

£62,005

Anglesey

£55,941

£52,362

Gwynedd

£84,376

£81,073

Denbighshire

£65,626

£59,025

Flintshire

£80,811

£80,811

Wrexham

£84,376

£84,376

South East

Blaenau Gwent

£65,626

£58,385

Bridgend

£62,825

£61,355

Caerphilly

£86,966

£80,257

Cardiff

£97,080

£92,699

Merthyr Tydfil

£56,250

£54,766

Monmouthshire

£56,250

£56,250

Newport

£78,641

£76,391

Powys

£66,435

£66,435

RCT

£81,809

£73,375

Torfaen

£55,865

£52,865

Vale of Glamorgan

£80,154

£78,654

South West

Ceredigion

£45,417

£42,324

Carmarthenshire

£78,244

£74,833

NPT

£90,197

£84,289

Pembrokeshire

£54,372

£54,372

Swansea

£98,882

£94,461

EXAMPLES OF HOW THE MONEY IS BEING SPENT

SOUTH EAST

Rhondda Cynon Taff

In a scheme designed to encourage more people in the Communities First area of Cwmaman to become more active, the Cwmaman Health Group received a £620 grant to deliver a variety of physical activity opportunities for residents.

Funding enabled the Health Group to kick start activity in the area by offering a month-long programme of activities entirely free of charge. Sessions continued once the month ended but became self-funded.

By testing out activities such as belly dancing, tai chi and yoga, it is hoped that more people will access these opportunities and start to change their lifestyle habits in a positive way.

Vale of Glamorgan

Llamau – the South Wales charity working with socially excluded and homeless people – is changing the way it does business in the Vale of Glamorgan. A Community Chest grant from the Sports Council for Wales has allowed the charity to purchase bicycles for both staff and service users; adding an active element to its already holistic support service. Staff and the young people who use the service are now able to cycle to support sessions, which it is hoped will benefit their health, raise self esteem and build confidence.

Torfaen

Young mums and other young people in Torfaen are being helped to tackle body issues in a Community Chest funded fitness project. Cwmbran Centre for Young People is the venue for physical activity sessions and talks on health for a wide range of users throughout the county. The project is catering for three mother and toddler groups a school for special needs and youngsters between the age of 11 and 25.

SOUTH WEST

Ceredigion

Older residents of Ceredigion will soon be walking their way back to a healthier lifestyle. The county’s branch of Age Concern has launched its bid for a superfit senior generation with a led walk scheme that will also allow them to enjoy the beautiful countryside of Lampeter. The weekly walks for people over 55 will be led by trained volunteers

Carmarthenshire

The senior ladies club applied for funding to establish an under 14s girls team as they had no provision for juniors to cater for the demand.

A Community Chest grant of £750 was used to buy the equipment needed to establish the team and to send members on coach education courses to ensure development and sustainability.

After the success of the scheme, the club applied for a second grant to establish an under 12s girls side to complement the under 14s with an aim to enter both in the new U12s and U14s league.

NORTH

Conwy

The Llanfairfechan Community Centre was successful in its application for additional funding needed to set up a four week Tai Chi taster course which is offered free of charge.

This was followed by an eight-week course to be subsidised by the participants and offered to older members of the community, the immobile and also people referred to the classes by the local health centre.

After the eight-week course, Llanfairfechan Community Centre planned to sustain the courses at minimal cost to participants.

Wrexham

Kellogg’s has long been involved in trying to make its employees aware of nutrition, well-being and physical activity, running a range of programmes through its occupational health, nutrition, community affairs and communications teams.

But the company took its commitment to another level following the results of the free health screening. Having identified employees at its Wrexham plant ‘at risk’ from coronary heart disease and high levels of inactivity Kellogg’s is now focussing its efforts on physical activity over the next 12 months.

With the opportunity to attend a six week course in mountain walking at Nantyr Outdoor Education Centre – part funded by Community Chest - employees and their families are reaping the rewards of Kellogg’s commitment to creating a healthier workforce. A charity walk to Snowdon is scheduled, but the long term aim is to establish a family based walking group run by those who achieved their mountaineering qualifications.