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Lottery funding will help mental health charity support even more people online

Picture – Phil Jones (ABF Trustee) and Gareth Bilton receiving the cheque from the National Lottery Community Fund Wales

A local mental health charity is developing a new online service to give people opportunities to connect with others and boost their wellbeing, thanks to funding from National Lottery Community Fund Wales.

Wrexham-based mental health and wellbeing charity Advance Brighter Futures (ABF) has been supporting people in the local community for over 25 years. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, ABF had to adapt quickly to meet people’s needs and offer more services and support online.

Staff used their initiative and made use of online platforms like Zoom and Facebook Live to offer interactive services, all of which have been well received.

And now thanks to National Lottery players, ABF will be able to improve their online wellbeing support even further.


ABF is now expanding its online support through creating HALO (Help And Listening Online).

Gareth Bilton, who is working on HALO explains: “We are very grateful for the support from the National Lottery Community Fund Wales, and this funding will help us improve how we can offer online support to people in Wrexham. HALO is available for anyone in the Wrexham area over the age of 18 who would like to improve their wellbeing and connect with others in the local community through the internet.”


Gareth added: “Listening and responding are some of the key principles at the heart of what we do at ABF, and with this in mind the HALO project will be developed from the on-going feedback we get from the people we work with.

“We want you to know that your voice matters to us. As lockdown measures ease, we need your help to shape the support ABF provides, which you can do by taking our short survey and giving us your opinions.

“Completing the survey only takes around 5 minutes and it’s really important in helping us understand what’s important to people, so that we’re able to offer them the best service we can. If you take part, you also get the chance to win a £20 Marks & Spencer’s voucher as an added bonus.”


ABF has been offering support since the start of the pandemic by creating and delivering wellbeing activities online, with one of the highlights coming weekly every Wednesday afternoon.

Lorrisa Roberts, Chief Officer at ABF, said: “When our weekly meet up activities had to be paused due to lockdown, we had to find other ways to support people. We started a weekly online wellbeing activity called Wellbeing Wednesday, which starts at 1pm every Wednesday through the ABF Facebook page.

“These free interactive and fun online sessions every Wednesday have included quizzes, art and craft groups, activities on Zoom, plus wellbeing videos created by the ABF team.”

The success of Wellbeing Wednesday inspired ABF to create HALO, with online support now a vital way people can access help within the charity.

Lorrisa explained: “Online support has given us the opportunity to reach people we who may not have engaged with our services before and it’s our intention to give them even more support going forwards.”

You can complete the ABF online survey to send your feedback and enter a prize draw to win a £20 M & S voucher via the link below:


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