Why your story matters

As chief writer and content creator (official title Head of Communication and Marketing), a large part of my job is to tell stories. The stories of groups we fund who are working hard to plug gaps and strengthen their local communities and the stories of the people whose lives are changed as a result of our support.

In our daily catch ups, as we are discussing the latest grant panel or a new piece of research or a meeting with a donor, the team will often hear me say ‘I think there might be a blog in that’ and this was my exact thought on a project visit with the Principality Building Society to Reality Theatre in Newport.

Reality Theatre received a multiyear grant from the Principality Building Society Future Generations Fund, which Community Foundation Wales manages with the aim of having a positive impact on society and the lives of young people in Wales.

Since opening in 2022, the Future Generations Fund has already surpassed distributing £1 million in grants and recently had its third round of applications, from which Newport’s Reality Theatre was one of 18 successful applicants.

Reality Theatre used their grant of £25,000 towards their Creative Pathways project which provides activities for young people with additional learning needs. It offers them a weekly space where they can forge friendships, develop social skills, expand their knowledge, and grow their confidence.

Speaking to Juls from Reality Theatre, her passion for providing a creative pathway for young people with additional learning needs was evident as she talked about the numerous productions, events, and shows that have not only imparted industry-specific skills but also fostered a sense of community among the participants.

But the real impact of their work hit home when a few of the young people from the project shared their experiences with us.

John told us the sessions were ‘good fun’, especially the singing and dancing sessions and how ‘it’s nice to have somewhere to go that feels meaningful.’

Farzana spoke of how shy she was when she first started attending but now, she feels confident and is helping newer members to believe in themselves and find their confidence when performing.

Cole, an attendee and now volunteer for the group simply said, ‘I love it, I feel at home.’

To hear these young people share their experiences and talk about how their confidence has grown was truly heart-warming and inspiring.

These real-life examples of how our grants are supporting those that need it most are not just feel-good stories to share but compelling cases for why groups like these need more support. When we are speaking to partners and donors, these are the stories that will inspire them to get involved and give.

I hope that, as you read stories like these, you can feel the energy and enthusiasm that emanate from these projects and the people they are supporting. I hope it encourages groups we support to share their story to help us to improve understanding of the challenges they face and show how they are making a tangible difference in their local community.

If you have a story you want to share, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

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