Last year, Maia Banks closed her toy shop business, Honeycomb, due to the strain of the pandemic. Now, she’s putting her stock to good use by helping the local community, all thanks to The Health Lottery.

Exactly one year after shutting up her shop, Maia, a mother of two from Cardiff, single-handedly works to bring together families to create a safety net for those without a support system. Maia established the Honeycomb Project, which has become a vital support system for families in Grangetown, an economically deprived area. 

With funding of £17,808 from The Health Lottery, Maia can now run an extra stay-and-play session each week and implement a proper toy borrowing system. Additionally, she’s invested in art and sensory play supplies and acquired a laptop for administrative tasks. She’s also planning to invest in promotional materials to spread awareness in the community.

Having moved from the USA to Wales in 2012, Maia understands the importance of building meaningful relationships, especially in the absence of close family. She’s witnessed how local support groups can make a significant impact on parents’ lives, providing not just practical assistance but also emotional support and lasting friendships.

Maia, who has experience in daycare centres and early years, saw the need to support families in her community, especially in an area where finances are tight and English may not be the first language for many. She believes in creating a sustainable and inclusive environment where toys are shared among children, reducing waste and fostering social connections among parents and caregivers.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Maia expresses her gratitude to The Health Lottery for making the Honeycomb Project possible. The funding has not only supported numerous individuals but has provided Maia with financial stability, allowing her to focus on running the project effectively without worrying about overhead costs and insurance.

For more information, visit: thehoneycombproject.org

You can find out more about The Health Lottery here: healthlottery.co.uk

Author WCS

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