This month we are welcoming two new Board members, Emma Shepherd who was born and raised in the Cynon Valley currently living in Pontypridd she currently leads on communications, events and engagement for Wales’ largest asset-based community development programme, and Liam Hull, a Rhondda boy who works for Sport Wales. We are very excited for them to bring their expertise to the board.
This is all part of our commitment to ensuring that membership is refreshed over the life of the Fund – regularly bringing in new Directors with new skills and perspectives. No Board member can serve more than two 3-year terms.
To read more about our new Board members see here: Directors & Staff – Pen Y Cymoedd Community Fund (penycymoeddcic.cymru)
At same time we are losing Mair Gwynant and Glenn Bowen who have been with the fund since the start. We will greatly miss their expertise and commitment to the fund and very grateful for the contribution they have made.
We asked Glenn and Mair about their time at the fund and what they would like to see in the future, here is what they said:
“Covid has obviously been the biggest challenge, but it was great that we were able to continue the work of the fund without any major disruption. The team were brilliant, switching to on-line delivery overnight. I think I am most proud of the way we quickly responded to the Covid crisis and the floods by quickly getting resources out into the community through local community resources and putting funds in place to help businesses survive. We have funded so many great projects and businesses, it would be wrong to single one out. I would challenge the Fund to be bold, entrepreneurial and innovative, that is what we need to help us re build our communities post COVID.
I would like us to further develop our loan option so that the fund can revolve and allow us to have access to investment even when the fund has finished. It would also be good for the fund to look at other investment opportunities that would make a return for the area of benefit, beyond the lifetime of the fund. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Board, I feel very proud and privileged to have been a founder director of PYC CIC.”- Glenn Bowen
“PYC is a funder with a difference. I am proud of the way we have adapted in an agile way to address the issues faced within our funding area. This was demonstrated in how quickly we were able to react and provide tailored solutions to support groups and business through serious flooding faced in 2020 and through the Covid pandemic. It was also demonstrated when we were able to step in and save the Afan Lodge, a key business for the Afan Valley, retaining local jobs and a key economic asset for the area. The fund has matured and grown up over the last 5 years. It is now firmly established and recognised as a key funder in the area, enabling it to continue making real impact to its communities over coming years. Its governance, systems, procedures and processes are also firmly established providing an appropriate foundation for future growth and development. It is an exciting time for the fund as it moves into the next 5-year period.
It has been a privilege to be a part of the PYC Board during its initial 5 years, helping to build a solid foundation on which future board members can build on. All members are passionate about the change the fund can bring to the local communities and the lively debate and challenge provided is testimony, not only to that passion, but to the accountability and scrutiny role carried out to ensure appropriate use of funding at all times. The introduction of new funding routes other than grant funding provides a real opportunity to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fund even after the wind farm stops funding us. Being able to provide repayable loans and other innovative funding models will enable PYC to directly invest in local businesses and recycle the funding to support other projects in the area enabling the fund to work even harder to support our communities.
As a key funder in the area, PYC also has an opportunity as an economic and social driver to bring people together to work collaboratively to ensure joined up thinking in relation to long term solutions and development for the area
It has also been great to see the difference the fund can make to individuals and organisations”- Mair Gwynant.