South Wales wins big
The Big Lottery Fund will make a grant of £425,000 towards the £1.2m needed by the South Wales community to acquire and renovate its planned home in Nant Lais, Bridgend.
The former sheltered housing building - just off Heol-y-Nant in the west of Bridgend - is currently derelict and has been an eyesore for some years. The renovation will rescue the building and transform the surrounding woodland area into a landscaped garden.
When fully occupied Nant Lais will house 22 companions, alongside a live-in manager.
The community has also been offered long term loans from Charity Bank and WCVA (Welsh Council for Voluntary Action) and hopes to be awarded another sizeable grant before autumn 2014.
Justin Horton, project manager, said: "It looks very likely that the community home will open in summer 2015. This is thanks to the fact that our social enterprises continue to trade well, with income around £30k each month.
"We have also received an ERDF grant for a second van and driver and are actively looking for more shop sites, with the next one due to open this summer. We have recruited Martin Williams, previously the superstore manager, as our new business manager and he is already making a big impact."
The community also recently held a second 'Sleep Out' in Porthcawl. Over 80 people slept out and well over £4,000 was generated through sponsorship and donations.