BBC Children in Need has announced that it has awarded new grants totalling £395,242 to five local projects working with disadvantaged children and young people in Swansea.

The new funding awards – made possible following BBC Children in Need’s 2020 Appeal in November – will support the delivery of vital services to young people in the area and means that the charity now has more than £1.6million invested locally.

One project which has been awarded funding is Surfability UK CIC. It will use a three-year grant of £100,000 to provide surfing-based activities for disabled children and young people in Swansea. The experience aims to improve abilities, support health and emotional wellbeing and increase confidence through sporting endeavours. Surfing lessons are also designed to suit individual needs to ensure inclusion and greater involvement for children and young people in the wider community.

Benjamin Clifford, Director at Surfability UK CIC said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support received from everyone at BBC Children in Need. This funding will pay for specialist coaches to run our surfing lessons, and is therefore essential to make surfing more accessible for disabled children and young people in our local community. By offering individual and group sessions we can aim to improve abilities through catering to individual needs, ensuring everyone feels included, safe and to ultimately bring joy and a sense of achievement through sporting activities.”

Swansea Women’s Aid Limited has also benefitted in this latest round, receiving a three-year grant of £86,370 to fund emotional and practical support work for children and young people affected by domestic abuse. The sessions are designed to provide learnings so they will be better able to remove themselves from harm, gain confidence to talk about their experiences and achieve a stronger understanding of healthy relationships.

Lynne Sanders, Chief Executive at Swansea Women’s Aid said: “Our project promotes healthy relationships and raises awareness of domestic abuse, supporting and educating children and young people to keep themselves safe. Thanks to the funding from BBC Children in Need we can continue our vital work providing specialist domestic abuse services. From everyone here at Swansea Women’s Aid, thank you, we are beyond grateful.”

Elsewhere Mixtup will use funding of £89,454 to aid clubs and activities for young people with mixed abilities including those with additional physical, learning, emotional and sensory/processing needs. Accessible recreational and leisure time activities and support will increase confidence and boost self-esteem and improve their overall life conditions.

Other projects benefitting from funding in this round include Chinese In Wales Association with a three-year grant of £89,418 and Swansea Autism Movement CiC with a three-year grant of £30,000, all of which will go on to benefit disadvantaged young people across Swansea.

Speaking of the new grants, Melinda Connelly, BBC Children in Need National Head of Wales said: “Over the past year, many local charities and projects across the UK have had to adapt and find new ways of supporting children and young people in need of help. We are more grateful than ever for the generosity shown by our supporters, who made these funding awards possible in such a challenging climate. Thank you all.”

Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive of BBC Children in Need, said: “After a year of immense challenge and uncertainty, we’re proud to be awarding funding to local projects which will provide a lifeline and help children and young people facing disadvantage navigate through the lasting impact of the pandemic. At a time when children and young people need us most, thanks must go to our remarkable supporters without whom none of these awards would be possible. Thank you.”

Over the past year, BBC Children in Need have delivered two Appeals to help make a difference to children and young people facing disadvantage whose lives have been made even harder as a result of the pandemic. Following The Big Night In Appeal in April 2020, BBC Children in Need launched a number of dedicated COVID-19 response programmes to support organisations across the UK providing essential help to children and young people during the current crisis.  To date, the charity have awarded over £25 million in funding to specifically help projects provide essential support to children and young people facing disadvantage during the pandemic.

Across Swansea, BBC Children in Need is currently funding 21 projects to a value of £1.6million.