6:01pm Thursday 15th August 2013
COMMUNITIES in Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly county have made short films showing how they have shared £3.3 million of lottery cash.
The two authorities were selected by the Big Lottery Fund as part of its fair share scheme along with three other council areas.
Each of the five local authorities have received £666,000 and the money has benefitted a total of 27,000 people.
A panel of local residents was set up in each area and they have helped decide how the money should be spent.
In Blaenau Gwent, an apprentices training and skills project was funded to support trainees through an intensive paid training and work experience programme.
This helped young, unemployed people become community development workers who were then able to get involved on 100 community initiatives, increasing volunteering and work opportunities across the county.
In Caerphilly, the cash supported the creation and development of the Disability Can Do organisation which helps disabled people and their carers.
Big Lottery Fund’s Wales Director John Rose said: “The Fair Share Trust was not just about giving Lottery grants to certain areas. It was about empowering communities to take ownership and drive positive change in their own neighbourhoods, enabling the area to make improvements and leverage further investment.
“We have found that areas have also been able to build their capacity, support local organisations to become more sustainable, improve the liveability of the area and enhance their social capital.”
In addition to its successful information service, Disability Can Do campaigns for the rights of disabled people across the borough and in Wales as a whole.
It lobbies Caerphilly council and the Welsh Government for improved services and a greater commitment to listening to the needs of people affected by disabilities.
A recent example relates to the cutting of mobile library services across Caerphilly county. The organisation lobbied and gained information on how this would affect disabled people.
With Blaenau Gwent blighted by one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the UK, the scheme there was aimed at giving some hope and prospects to youngsters.
For more information, visit: http://fairsharetrust.org/
To see their films visit http://fstimpact.org.uk/theme/blaenau-gwent-media-impact-evaluation-117 and http://fstimpact.org.uk/theme/caerphilly-media-impact-evaluation-100
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