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Time to Talk Befriending copy

28th Hydref 2020

by National Lottery Good Causes

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Cras non lacinia est, interdum placerat velit. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Maecenas vulputate nisl consectetur, auctor elit non, blandit urna. Aliquam erat volutpat. Aliquam vitae lacinia tellus. Praesent vel tortor nisi. Quisque eget tincidunt erat. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Vivamus facilisis finibus augue, a interdum arcu pretium id. Praesent nec porttitor sem, quis posuere tortor.

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Nullam a vulputate justo. Morbi dolor quam, suscipit nec tincidunt a, pulvinar non orci. Nam malesuada dui a massa dapibus, sit amet efficitur odio interdum. Nam elit eros, luctus eget urna et, pharetra venenatis magna. Etiam a interdum quam, sit amet sagittis urna. Praesent lobortis velit leo, non pulvinar ligula fermentum quis. Suspendisse sed faucibus nunc. Nam congue feugiat posuere. Fusce posuere placerat metus, vel porttitor neque rhoncus eget. Integer cursus et est nec auctor.

Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Duis ac efficitur leo. Fusce nec risus porttitor, tristique libero at, rutrum augue. Fusce volutpat ullamcorper eros, a gravida ante pretium sed. In vel pharetra eros. Fusce vehicula bibendum eros, bibendum vehicula dolor consectetur id. Etiam consectetur, sapien non bibendum euismod, nisi ligula volutpat diam, at ultricies nunc nisi sit amet nulla. Nam tincidunt est urna, vel eleifend quam fermentum a. Curabitur sit amet arcu felis. Nullam semper, mi eget hendrerit tristique, lacus quam tempor leo, non fringilla nulla nulla id tortor.

Michelle says: “In the beginning, we were having to identify people in crisis and literally put things in place so that they could have food and people checking in on them every week.

“It was tough not knowing how serious it was going to be and how it was going to impact the blind people in our community,” she says.

“We’re a small team so it was a challenge, but I think we did a good job of it.”

The charity is just one of the many charities supported by The National Lottery with players contributing around £30 million a week to good causes.

It was also faced with deciding how many staff could carry on working, and how they could best adapt their services in ways they had never had to consider before.

“Blind people are not all able to just jump on the internet and use Zoom, and it can be quite challenging,” Michelle says.

“It’s about putting all the right software in place to help them and assist with technology, so that was the biggest challenge.

A number of those depending on the charity were also in dire straits and feeling lonely and isolated, she says.

The charity has five staff, but have been receiving National Lottery funding for the last three years which has helped them increase the amount of training, building capacity and strengthening themselves as an organisation.

Michelle, a married mum of two, says: “Without the National Lottery funding we would struggle hugely. When you’re a small team of staff with limited resources you need a certain amount of funding to run an organisation that’s supporting over a thousand people. Our members are really grateful for that.

“It was great to hear the news this bench was being made. When there’s a lot of bad news it’s good to have something to focus on for my team and for them to feel appreciated. We’re so excited.”

Having grown up in the area all her life, she says it was great to be able to give back to the local community and make a lasting difference, particularly in response to the pandemic when people needed them more than ever.

Michelle says: “It means the world to us to be recognised for the work that we’ve been doing – but the people we work to support are always at the heart of everything we do.”