Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund is proud to announce four Vision Fund grant awards totalling £748,579 across the Neath, Afan, Rhondda and Cynon Valleys.Vision Fund grants support activities that deliver a range of benefits for local communities – businesses, voluntary sector and community groups can all apply. Proposals need to be bold, ambitious and a bit out of the ordinary – and make a long-term positive difference. The latest projects supported range from a community-wide growing project and an inter-generational community hub, to a sports-based social enterprise and an eco-friendly campsite.
The O Dan yr Awyr – Tyfu a Dysgu /Under the Sky – Growing and Learning project in the upper Neath valley is led by Glynneath Training Centre. The £194,258 award over 4 years will promote community food growing. Rhysian Pengilley, Training Centre Manager said “We will be supporting and inspiring schools, groups and local residents to take the plunge and start growing their own food, making the most of the many green spaces we have. Our skilled staff will offer support and advice – we’ll be creating a community of growers!”
Rhondda-based Valleys Kids have taken over the now buzzing Play Yard facility in the former Burberry factory in Ynyswen. Sewing machines have been replaced by a children’s indoor play space, two state-of-the art 5 a-side pitches, a fitness studio and a café, all under one roof. Users can hire a pitch, book a party, take part in activity classes and clubs, use the fitness studio – or just drop in for coffee or lunch. A Vision Fund grant of £388,178 over the next four years will support improved facilities (including an amazing new play frame) and the employment of key staff to take the venture from strength to strength – supporting people of all ages to be active. Manager Nathan Howells said “The Play Yard is an amazing and unique venue in the upper Rhondda, offering a wide range of fun activities for all ages – along with our welcoming café. We are totally focussed on making getting fit and healthy the most fun it can be!”Willow Springs Campsite in the Afan valley is a peaceful, eco-friendly, traditional campsite with pitches for tents, campervans and caravans, alongside a luxury Shepherd’s Hut – not to mention pet Llamas, pigs, ducks and geese! With no electric hook ups, visitors cook on BBQs and firepits, and benefit from solar power, and the site’s own natural spring water. A Vision Fund grant of £66,143 will support new visitor facilities such as a solar-powered washing and drying room, shelters for rainy day cover and craft workshops, and two camping huts – each sleeping up to 8 people – and dogs can come too! Site owners Marc and Jude Souter are enthusiastic about the future – “Visitor numbers were already on the rise, but we’ll now be able to provide a wider range of camping experiences – and give our visitors the facilities they’ve asked for – especially being able to dry clothes on rainy days! We already work with businesses in the area, and we’ll promote all local facilities and producers in our new reception area. 2018 is set to be our most successful year so far.”
A £100,000 grant to Age Connects Morgannwg will support the employment of key staff and initial running costs for the new Cynon Linc project in Aberdare. Cynon Linc will transform the old St Mair’s building into a resource for the whole community, continuing to focus on the provision of facilities and support for older people. The building will be refurbished, and an extension created to provide space for community activities and events, nursery provision, GP surgery, therapy rooms for hire, and a social enterprise Bistro. Welcoming the grant, Rachel Rowlands, Chief Executive of Age Connects Morgannwg, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our bid to Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund. The current St Mair’s Centre plays a really important part in the lives of the people who use it. They find friendship there, they can eat a meal with company and they get involved in groups and activities which keep their minds and bodies active. Our Cynon Linc project will retain the valued services that current users enjoy whilst introducing new, sustainable activities that the community has said they would welcome. This new and exciting project is the result of real partnership working between the community, the third sector, the local authority and local NHS Trust and we look forward to continuing that good work for many years to come.”