MS for Brecon and Radnorshire James Evans has visited Brecon and District Mind to see first-hand the impact of work they do, some of which has been funded by The National Lottery.

Brecon and District Mind is a charity with sites at Brecon, Talgarth, Crickhowell, and Hay-on-Wye. They support people in their local community that are living with and affected by poor mental health and distress, offering a range of services for people with different needs. 

On his visit, Mr Evans went to Brecon and District Mind’s community allotment scheme and met with Marie Davies, CEO of Brecon and District Mind, Seren Berry, Brecon and District Mind Green Minds Coordinator, volunteers, and allotment members. There he took part in allotment activities and found how the site and community were helping people to improve their mental health.    

Through National Lottery funding, Brecon and District Mind has been awarded more than £175,000 over the last five years to deliver a range of mental health services for people, including a grant of £99,998 over two years to help women experiencing post-natal depression.  

Marie Davies, CEO of Brecon and District Mind, said: "The allotment group were keen to welcome James to the allotment during Local Minds Week, part of a network of local Minds across England and Wales.

"There was a shared passion for plants and gardening and how being outside together in nature helps improve well-being. Allotment volunteer showed how the lottery’s support helped make the allotment accessible."

Mr Evans, who is also Shadow Minister for Mental Heath, Wellbeing and Mid Wales, said: “It was great to visit the allotment and meet everyone involved.  There are huge benefits for our mental health when we are outdoors and connecting with nature. 

"Seeing the amazing array of flowers, the bees and insects buzzing about was great fun. Gardening, growing fruit and vegetables is hugely satisfying and the best bit was getting to sample home-grown tomatoes… delicious!” 

John Rose, Wales Director of The National Lottery Community Fund, added: “National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK, and it’s because of the players we at The National Lottery Community Fund are able to fund fantastic groups working in Wales such as Newport Yemeni Community Association."