Community Changemakers Fund Spring 2021
About the Fund
South West Wales Connected Community Rail Partnership has launched a new community grant fund to support communities along the railway line to make change happen in their local places. We are passionate about supporting local people to improve their communities in innovative ways – small interventions that help create pride of place and promote well-being in the community. Our new Community Changemakers fund will directly support groups and organisations who want to drive positive local change.
Any group of local residents, community organisation, charity, community interest company or micro-SME that is based within 10km/6miles of a train station in South West Wales were able to apply.
The assessment panel included members of the South West Wales Connected Steering Group and staff from Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services.
This round of the Community Changemakers Fund has closed. Congratulations to all of the awarded projects!
Thank you to our Project Funders
Neath Port Talbot
Sandfields Community Group were awarded £638.93 to purchase litter picking equipment, including large trolleys to help with transportation of waste and 30 printed hi viz jackets printed with the group name and volunteer, these will allow volunteers to be seen and recognised as part of the community group and also give confidence to lone volunteers. Small portable rechargeable PA systems will also be used for addressing socially distanced groups at the start of activities, and for community events they organise, such as the annual Remembrance Sunday service at the local park when these can resume. The group aims to improve the local environment and wellbeing of the local community through small projects.
Taibach Community Support were awarded £800.00 to fund volunteers for weekly litter picking and to make the entry to Taibach alongside the Ffrwdwyllt River a pleasant area for residents to enjoy, this was a forgotten and rundown, over grown area. Work has been carried out by local volunteers to clear the area and to restore the area making a pleasant environmentally friendly village for the benefit of visitors and residents.
Surf School Wales CIC were awarded £800.00 to obtain a 20ft shipping container for use as a surfing hub. Surf School have been in high demand over the last 12 months and has seen over 150 students, with the school operating primarily out of a van on Aberavon beach. The money will also go towards Fresh Creative Co painting a mural on the container.
Cwmafan Appreciation Group were awarded £1,000.00 to plant a community orchard and create a nature trail. The aim is to help all people to learn about local habitats and wildlife and celebrate the diverse wildlife in the area. Surplus fruit produced by the orchard will be used in the community.
Ysgol Hendrefelin Outdoor Group were awarded £1,000.00 to develop their outdoor space including running a gardening project. This will involve the planting, growing and cultivating of vegetables with the view that the pupils will be able to cook with the ingredients and later set up a small enterprise. This will allow pupils to gain a better understanding of growing their own food from seed and develop their knowledge of the nutritious benefits of a healthy diet / lifestyle whilst improving their general wellbeing. The pupils will be included in every stage of the project development and involved in planning and running the enterprise. The pupils will form their own committee with pupils taking on various roles within that committee.
The school are planning on planting trees where possible including fruit bearing trees and also aim to develop a sensory/herb area which will also be a memory area for those that have lost their lives during the pandemic – especially the family and friends that pupils have lost. This will be a quiet reflective area for pupils and staff and when restrictions ease – even their families.
Coeden Bywyd Horse Project CIC were awarded £800.00 to build a woodland shelter to prevent cancellations in poor weather conditions and allow the young people to enjoy more time with the horses and build their confidence.
Mynyddygarreg Hall were awarded £800.00 to clear an overgrown triangle shaped piece of land known as “Y Pishyn” and transform it into an outdoor community hub, including a garden with fruit trees and benches made from locally sourced stone and recycled plastic. The group has set up Prosiect Pishyn.
Impact242 Llanelli Centre of Mission Morfa were awarded £843.99 to set up the gazebos on a grass area within the Morfa estates and hold several events called Good News on the Green. This will involve the sharing of stories from the community, dancing or listening to music, having a picnic together, followed by parachute games for all to join in and get to know others in their community.
The gazebos will allow events to take place, whatever the weather and the funds will also go towards hold breakfast clubs in the summer holidays to make sure that the community is fed. Impact 242 are involving the community in discussions on their needs for future events.
Friends of Llanelli Train Station were awarded £1,000.00 to transform an overgrown and derelict patch of land next to Llanelli Train Station into a tranquil low maintenance garden area. It will be a place to sit in comfort whilst waiting for a train.
There will be a heritage board in the garden showing the history of the station. This is the first area the group plans to develop and phase two will be on the opposite platform. Their aim is to make Llanelli Train Station a welcoming place for visitors.
Llwynhendy Library Craft Group were awarded £380.64 to fund a Welcome Back project creating craft displays to put in shop windows around Llanelli, bringing cheer to the community. Each shop involved will be given an item to display in the shop window and where possible this will be relevant to the shop or reflect an aspect of the town’s heritage. The group will also work with The BID to run a competition for younger children and primary schools.
Ysgol Gymraeg Parc y Tywyn PTA were awarded £500.00 to transform an internal area into a role-play village resembling elements of Burry Port with shops and amenities that are in the local community. During this past year and the lockdown period, staff at the school have noticed the pupils’ oracy skills have been affected; In building this role-play village, the school will be able to develop their pupils’ literacy and communication skills, numeracy skills, as well as their personal and social skills. The school would also like to use local companies and signage to make their Burry Port village look familiar to pupils and help them to develop a sense of place.
Fishguard Invasion Centre Trust were awarded £300.00 to produce a trail inspired by Jemima Nicholas, the local cobbler who rounded up 12 French soldiers in the last invasion and held them captive in St Mary’s Church. The Trust have a collection of 24 beautifully made models of Abergwaun ladies in Welsh costume, which will be placed in local businesses in Fishguard and Goodwick to encourage visitors to explore premises that they may not otherwise visit. A leaflet will be produced to accompany the trail and visitors would tick the character off the list on the leaflet as they follow the trail. The leaflet would have a bilingual explanation of the last invasion story with a link to the tapestry.
This Jemima trail will not only be very interesting and fun for visitors, it will extend their stay in the towns and be of economic value. Even if the visitors do not complete the trail they would have explored the towns in a new way and learned something about the history of the last invasion.
Myrtle Meadows Community were awarded £800.00 to purchase two large picnic tables for people within the community to use to catch up with friends and neighbours, to have a picnic lunch at or to simply sit and enjoy the outdoors. The community was consulted on a wish list for Myrtle Meadows, with the most requested item being picnic tables to be permanently placed on green space used frequently by residents.
The picnic tables will need to have back support for elderly resident to sit at comfortably and will be maintained by residents each year. The group have contacted local business Driftwood Timber Systems to produce robust and long lasting benches. The project will be seen as a long-term investment for future generations to enjoy.
Visit Milford Haven were awarded £800 to create a volunteer army of people who champion everything that is so great about the town. The project will deliver a training programme with the following elements: The Visitor Welcome, Customer Service, Our Heritage, The Modern Day Town, the Waterway, The Energy Kingdom and our Sense of Place. These “Visit Milford Haven Ambassadors” will be focussed on two objectives. First, improve the visitor welcome, secondly, promote the town as a visitor destination.
These two objectives will have a colossal impact upon the ability of the town to switch its reliance upon the heavy industry that has dominated it for many years and to embrace the tourist spend within the local economy. The project will help locals to become walking, talking and knowledgeable experts on the history, heritage and modern-day appeal of the town.
Milford Youth Matters were awarded £1,000.00 to replicate and expand on their weekly 5km run lockdown challenge. The project and sessions will be open to young people living within Milford Haven and the surrounding area, the individuals participating in the sessions will be the main benefices of the project. Young people will be provided a welcome back including t-shirt and water bottle and will be engaged in a range of sporting activities to promote health and wellbeing, active lifestyles, reduce isolation and target individuals at risk of anti-social behaviour within the community.
The project looks to provide young people the chance to engage in positive, healthy and fun activities during the summer holidays free of charge. By providing young people with access to safe, positive and engaging opportunities, Milford Youth Matters will look to offer young people the opportunity for positive engagement.
Life Seeker CIC were awarded £992.00 to provide a programme of ‘positive living’ events and workshops accessible by anyone in the community of west Wales. Those participating in the events will feel less isolated, meet new friends, learn new skills, build confidence and take away practical tools and ideas that they can build into their own lives for a more sustainable lifestyle.
Life Seeker CIC have connections with a number of specialist practitioners who can host activities either online or offline covering topics such as physical exercise, mindfulness, nutrition, confidence building, creative arts, digital media and more. The funds will be used for facilitator fees, event coordination, marketing and venue hire. Being able to bring the community together in this way will reintroduce a vibrancy that has been missing during the pandemic.
Friends of Ravenhill Park were awarded £891.00 to refurbish and update the kitchen and small coffee room used by community volunteers. Following the 1st Pandemic lockdown the group opened up the coffee room to provide safe, socially distanced and strictly regulated space outdoors where 2 isolated community residents could meet for a chat and an hour of friendly companionship.
All consumable items such as milk, sugar, biscuits and prepacked snacks could not be stored for more than a single day session due to lack of safe, hygienic storage. This meant volunteers had to carry everything we required to the site for each daily session. The funds will be used to build and install new kitchen facilities and upgrade the coffee room.
Swansea Community Boat Trust were awarded £900 to perform maintenance and repairs to the Copper Jack. The cabin will be upgraded with with more comfortable chairs and tablet screens to display the images in the recorded and live commentaries.
The screens will display views of historic landscapes or wildlife, etc. as the boat passes along the river. Triggered by a GPS tracking device, the presentations can also be used when the “live speakers” are not available. For purely social occasions, the commentary will be turned off, but interested passengers will still be able to see the interpretation. The boat trips enable visitors to view Swansea’s rich industrial heritage from a unique perspective and provide sustainable water based transport to the City Centre, bringing together the Copper Works sites and the National Waterfront Museum as a major new visitor destination.
Gowerton School Charity Committee Safe Cycling Project were awarded £1000 to help increase cycle safety in Gowerton. The school are working towards providing both cycle maintenance and cycle proficiency opportunities based at Gowerton School. Pupils have the opportunity at school to undertake level 1 and level 2 in cycle maintenance and the school feels that providing this service to the local community can only serve to ensure that everyone is able to afford to keep their cycles’ road worthy.
Alongside this they envisage delivering a cycle safety course for both children and adults to ensure that they are confident at dealing with the ever increasing challenges of cycling on local roads.
The Room To Grow Project were awarded £500 to buy wood to make planters, buy organic compost and make placards to go around the Uplands and Brynmill area promoting the messages of the project and brightening up the streets.
Room to Grow are a community project that teaches people how to convert their front gardens into micro allotments and places for nature and the funding will help them reach more people and provide them with the resources they need to start their growing journey, including building materials for planters and raised beds, equipment for community use, organic peat-free compost and vegetable and wildflower seeds.
Swansea MAD were awarded £500 to go towards holding 3 online Creative Collaboration events, for young people (aged 16-30). The events will be youth-led (by young Creative Interns based at Swansea MAD) with an aim to provide a safe online space for young people to form a creative community for support and collaboration and work with professional artists and mentors.
The Creative Interns will be responsible for planning the events and will have ownership over the budget, with support from the Finance Director at Swansea MAD. The themes and formats of the digital events will be decided by the young Creative Interns, drawing on their lived experience as young people who are seeking community spaces and opportunities for themselves and others to make music. The events would give young people the opportunity to jam, collaborate on songs, compose and mix original tracks, while building sustainable creative connections and a community to restart community music in Swansea. All events will be free and supported by staff at Swansea MAD and they have have included access costs within their budget in order to make the digital events as inclusive and accessible as possible.