UK360 - Episode 44 - Matt Johnson

Posted by CommunityChannelTV

22 April 2013, 03:41

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.

Wales: Matt Johnson hosts the third in our series of Big Lottery Fund specials of UK360 – the programme that gives a voice to local communities across the UK.

While most of us know Wales for its warm welcome, breathtaking landscape, and beautiful coastline, it faces many challenges. With high levels of economic inactivity, an ageing population, youth unemployment and the continued impact of public spending cuts, the Big Lottery Fund is a much-needed lifeline for many of its communities.

Here we'll be focusing on some of the projects that have given Welsh communities renewed hope with the support of The Big Lottery Fund.


Many older people with social care needs are socially excluded and miss community life. Wales has an ageing population and in 2008, 18 per cent of the population was over 65. By 2033, this is expected to rise to almost 26 per cent. With the help of Ffrindia, a befriending scheme for Gwynedd residents in north-west Wales, people over 50 who are at risk of being socially excluded can finally get the support they so desperately deserve. Thanks to BIG's AdvantAGE programme, which awarded Ffrindia' over £900,000, the scheme is set to thrive over the next four years. For more information, visit:

Chris Dowling was on a self-destructive, alcohol-fuelled path towards either prison or death. But Group Gwalia's Street Football Wales project – created to promote social inclusion and encourage individuals to take an active role in their own lives – was there to help him turn things around. A £172,000 award from BIG's People and Places programme has helped Group Gwalia's Street Football Wales project launch leagues in Newport, Swansea, and Colwyn Bay, along with the new "Score a Goal for Change" campaign. The project will also be entering a male and female team into the Homeless World Cup in Poznan this August. It is a great way to encourage people to achieve their goals and self-develop! Find out more about the project and get involved by visting:

Wastesavers in Newport is not only responsible for recycling collections in the city through their Peak project, but they also run training programmes to help disengaged young people gain practical skills and qualifications for the workplace. Although the Peak project is currently running on a small scale, a successful bid for a Big Lottery Fund of £160,000 means things are set to improve. As well as a revamp of the current programmes they offer, young people will also have the opportunity to learn about sexual health and smoking awareness over the next three years from May. If you are interested and would like further information, visit:

The Bron Afon Aspire project is building a diverse volunteering workforce that has developed to support local people in their community. The volunteers benefit from getting opportunities through support, training and work experience, with some going on to full-time work and setting up their own businesses. In turn, tenants in Bron Afon retirement housing are less lonely and spend more time with new friends. BIG's contribution of £168,000 has helped employ more staff, run more community activities and build an employability hub to help get people into work. The volunteers themselves have seen improvements in their daily lives and their confidence increase, while the people they have supported have benefited from a better social life. More information:

Remember, If you have a film that highlights an inspiring project in your community, email us at and it might make it to a future programme.


More from UK360: