A Gwent charity which provides services to women, men, children, and young people that have experienced sexual exploitation and violence has been selected to appear in a striking new art installation at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

Cyfannol Women's Aid is one of four local initiatives represented in a unique piece of art unveiled by Love Island 2021 winner Liam Reardon and commissioned by The National Lottery.

The anamorphic artwork, created from 636 lottery balls, spells out the words ‘CREATE’ in English and ‘CREU’ in Welsh when viewed from a specific angle has been created to inspire change and to encourage the public to think about how they might use some of the £30million raised for good causes each week by National Lottery players.

It is one of four pieces of artwork that The National Lottery plans to unveil this week across the UK as part of its 27th birthday celebrations and represents the 636,000 projects funded since 1994.

Once all four pieces have been unveiled, they will form the message ‘BUILD DREAMS, CREATE CHANGE’ to bring to life the results that can be achieved through National Lottery funding.

Cyfannol Women's Aid is one of four National Lottery funded projects that are represented in the installation in Cardiff. The independent local charity based in Pontypool, Newport, Ebbw Vale and Abergavenny, provides services and support throughout Gwent to people experiencing any form of violence against women, men, children and young people, domestic abuse, or sexual violence.

Thanks to a grant of £496,000 from The National Lottery, Cyfannol Women's Aid has expanded  its provision, providing services to those that have experienced sexual exploitation and/or sexual violence under its Horizon project. 

Director of Horizons Sexual Violence Support Services, Sally Howells said: “We offer specialist counselling to adults, young people and children over the age of nine. 

“We also offer art therapy, peer support groups, coffee mornings, equine therapy and we try to be flexible. 

“We do group work online so we send out packs of art stuff to people and do online workshops, and we do catch ups in the evening for people who work. 

“Our staff can see the difference they’re making to the people we support through these groups and truly feel how much all those involved get from the sessions.” 

Ealing Times: Cyfannol Women's Aid is one of four local initiatives represented in a unique piece of art unveiled by Love Island 2021 winner Liam Reardon and commissioned by The National LotteryCyfannol Women's Aid is one of four local initiatives represented in a unique piece of art unveiled by Love Island 2021 winner Liam Reardon and commissioned by The National Lottery

Development and Fundraising Manager Helen Kell added: “Cyfannol Women’s Aid is lifelong – people who have experienced sexual violence will need support at different times in their lives. That group facility is a non-threatening environment that people can dip in and out of. 

“The people who use our services and their strength and our staff in supporting them – it’s really important and powerful that they’ve been recognised by The National Lottery with the installation.” 

The installations have been created by leading arts collective Greyworld and inspired by National Lottery funded projects. Each installation has been made from more than 636 National Lottery balls, which represent the 636,000 and more organisations that benefit from the funding across the sports, art, heritage, and community sectors. 

Included in the artwork are four unique objects that represent the following four beneficiaries from Wales that have been supported by National Lottery funding, including Cyfannol Women’s Aid Limited which is being represented in the installation by a giant heart.

Other organisations featuring in the unique piece of art are Street Football Wales (SFW) which is a charity which uses the power of football to reach the homeless and most socially excluded members of society, boosting their health and engaging them in services to turn their lives around. SFW is being represented in the installation by a football. 

Galerie Simpsons Artists in Swansea is an innovative artists-run gallery which supports creatives in every stage of their career and gives interns a first step onto the industry ladder, who are represented by a paint brush.

Finally, Pride Cymru is a LGBT+ charity which aims to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity within Wales. Pride Cymru is represented in the installation by the LGBT+ flag.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chair of the National Lottery Forum, said: “For 27 years National Lottery funding has been transforming communities, turning dreams into reality and making life better for millions of people.

"As we emerge from what has been a desperately challenging time, we want to inject hope and encourage communities to imagine what they could achieve with a helping hand from The National Lottery.

"With £30million raised for good causes each week, we have grants available from £3,000 to £5million. By coming together as communities, and as a nation, we can build, dream and create to change our future for the better and for generations to come.”

The Cardiff installation will be available to view from 17th – 23rd November, with other installations being revealed in Antrim Castle Gardens in Antrim, Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, and Trafalgar Square in London. 

To find out more about National Lottery funding go to https://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/funding