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Funding Fair is key to unlocking vital Lottery support

An innovative community organisation has said the secret of its successful Lottery grant application was the connections made at our annual Funding Fair.

Every year our funding fairs unite community groups and funding providers to help find that all important finance to bring their dreams to life.

Not-for-profit community interest company A2BCIC in Port Talbot has done just that and, after attending our last Funding Fair, successfully secured a £10,000 National Lottery Community Fund grant.

A2B Active Sport CIC will now use its funding to develop a safe, social, creative, virtual space for the people of Port Talbot to meet, communicate and share performance, art and music.

A spokesperson for A2B Active Sport CIC said:  “The idea for the project came to us during the height of the Covid-19 crisis when we were looking to create a community resource to nullify some of the pandemic’s most pernicious and long-lasting effects.

“We would like to thank The National Lottery for their most generous support, to Lottery players everywhere, without whom this project would not be possible and lastly but not least, our MP Stephen Kinnock, for having the foresight to create and organise his Funding Fairs, without the introduction of which none of this would be possible.

Our ambition is to foster the rich seam of ability that exists in Port Talbot and encourage artistic expression by creating a community of interest, for like-minded people to float ideas and generate a collective voice that is original, indigenous, participatory, self-determined and responsive to community needs. In it, creativity, artistic expression and learning are promoted; through it, contributors become engaged and empowered; by it, the issues of isolation and mental wellbeing brought on by the Covid pandemic, are recognised and dealt with through befriending, inclusion, companionship and sharing.

“Ultimately, as lockdown restrictions are lifted, social distancing eased and life returns to semblances of normality, in an effort to further encourage community harmony, unity and cohesion we hope that, in consultation and collaboration with local groups and civic leaders, the community will use the platform to organise events and exhibitions at various venues around the town, to further promote artistic talent and help generate much needed income for local businesses.”

Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon, congratulated A2B Active Sport CIC on it’s successful application for Lottery funding and said: “I am delighted to see such an innovative and community focused organisation receiving this vital funding to develop a really exciting online platform for the sharing of performance, music and art.

“Port Talbot has a long and proud history of producing incredibly creative and ground-breaking talented groups and individuals.

“It’s wonderful to hear that A2B Active Sport CIC were able to secure the funding they needed with the help of our annual funding fair.

“The funding fair is fantastic opportunity to bring together community groups and organisations just like this with the funding providers who can help turn their dreams into a reality.

“My hope is that, despite the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted all our lives this year, we can still find a way to help as many community groups as possible as we look towards the New Year and a future where we can come together again and realise the potential of this amazing area we are so lucky to represent.”

The National Lottery Community Fund has also awarded £9,995 to PTAWA Enterprises Ltd in Port Talbot to buy an additional catering van to address the increased demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has also awarded £6,960 to the Welsh Centre for Action on Dependency and Addiction Ltd to provide Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards to unemployed people, giving them the opportunity to gain new skills to help obtain employment in the construction industry.

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