Twenty organizations and community groups in South West Wales have received grants to help them improve their local communities.
The funding, totaling £15,004.23, comes from the 2022 Community Changemakers Fund, an initiative of South West Wales Connected (SWWCo), a community rail partnership set up to support communities along the line of railway throughout Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea. . SWWCo is hosted by 4theRegion, a community benefit company based in High Street Station, Swansea, which also supports the Community Changemakers initiative.
The Community Changemakers fund, now in its second year, directly supports local groups and organizations who want to drive positive local change in communities along the South West Wales rail network.
Each group or organization was able to apply for a grant of between £300 and £1,000. The main criterion was to demonstrate how the funding will improve community well-being and/or sense of belonging.
This year’s grant recipients are listed below
Neath Port Talbot
- The Friends of Neath Abbey Iron Company received £950 for ladders to continue the upkeep of the forges.
- Port Talbot Sea Cadets have been awarded £500 to carry out more community projects.
- The Neath Port Talbot Children’s Rights Unit has received £600 to support the activities of the girls’ rights group.
- The Carmarthenshire Welfare Project has been awarded £970 to continue development of its housing estate scheme. Backed by the Wallich Carmarthenshire Floating Helpline, they recognize the need for ‘spaces for opportunity’ and will use attribution as a vital part of recovery.
- Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway Company Limited have been awarded £1,000 for the cost of a replacement portable toilet block to be placed at their site at Cynheidre.
- New Leaf has received £500 to contribute to its Creative Empowerment Coaching service, which enables individuals to pursue a career in the creative industry.
- Paul Sartori Hospice at Home has received £952 to help with the costs of forming a community choir.
- The Rosemarket Local History Society has received £665 to design and create a website which will become the central point of communication and a resource for the community.
- Grwp Resilience has received £400 to support and expand community gardens in Pembrokeshire to meet demand for community housing estates and growing space.
- Friends of Jubilee Park & Nature Trail have received £609 to replace old and dysfunctional tools for park maintenance.
- Pembrokeshire People First (project name ‘Môr’) received £500 to purchase art tablets to lend to people who do not have access to this type of equipment.
- Queens Hall Narberth has been awarded £790 to organize a series of ‘Community Clean-up & Big Soup’ events in Narberth in conjunction with other non-profit organizations in the area.
- Hubberston and Hakin Community Center have received £1,000 to install a storage battery to store solar electricity generated by their 33 solar PV panels.
- Clarbeston Road AFC have been awarded £1,000 to refurbish a Portakabin which was donated to the club in 2020.
- Residents of Long View have received £300 to clean and improve the concourse and green space adjoining the platform at Pembroke Dock station.
- Cae Tan CSA has been awarded £612.92 to extend the impact of his Grow from Home project.
- Volcano Theater Company received £962.30 to purchase art supplies and refreshments so the group of men could meet weekly at Volcano.
- The 6th Llangyfelach Scout Group has received £705.79 to update play and sports equipment, such as indoor and outdoor footballs, cricket and baseball sets, an obstacle course set, a parachute and beanbags.
- Loughor RFC Junior Section have received £1,000 to support the purchase of trees and hedges to improve and develop a green site within their sports complex.
- The Friends of Dunvant Park have been awarded £487.22 to improve the park by adding play equipment, benches and resources for activities in the park.
Ashley Morgan, Head of Community Rail South West Wales, said:
“We are delighted to set up this new round of funding following the very successful first round in 2021, which saw a wide range of exciting projects funded across the region. We are passionate about supporting local people who aim to improve their communities in innovative ways, making small interventions that help create a place of choice and promote well-being in the community. This year’s grant recipients embody that vision and spirit, and we look forward to seeing how their work progresses.
Dawn Lyle, President of 4theRegion, said:
“We know that local people living in communities know best what is needed – not top-down interventions. The Community Changemakers Fund is designed to empower local people who want to make change from scratch. We were overwhelmed by the creativity and community spirit of this year’s submissions, and we’re thrilled to be able to help them move their initiatives forward. 4theRegion is committed to creating positive change across the region and this project will certainly help achieve that. We look forward to announcing the Changemakers 2023 Fund later this year.
Participant quotes –
Hubberston and Hakin Community Center.
“The community center administrators are delighted to have received a grant from Changemakers to help support its future sustainability. The grant will allow the Center to fully utilize the solar energy generated by our 33 solar PV panels by installing a storage unit This will ensure that instead of exporting our excess solar energy to the national grid, we can store it for use at the Center for our many evening activities.The delivery of the battery itself is scheduled in the coming weeks and we are extremely grateful to Changemakers for their support.
– Peter Llewellyn, Administrator, Hubberston and Hakin Community Center
Carmarthenshire Wellness Project
“Awarding our Wellness Group is a truly valuable activity, giving people a place to chat, fight loneliness, learn new skills and benefit our surroundings. With the help of the Changemakers Fund, we have been able to purchase vital equipment to grow food, keep everyone safe and dry, and make the project the success it is today.The funding award really took our project to another level, developing a community Thank you, Changemakers, you have truly made a difference in helping people who have faced challenges related to homelessness, mental health, trauma or more.
– Stephanie Latham, Senior Support Officer at The Wallich
Neath Port Talbot
Friends of the Neath Abbey Iron Company
“This grant will make a huge difference. The long ladders we purchased with the grant will allow us to get rid of vegetation, such as ivy and buddleia that damage the monuments. We have many visitors to the site such as schoolchildren studying the monuments, tourists and members of the local community. The grant will allow us to make benches for people to sit and view the impressive monuments. By fostering a connection with history and the environment from an early age, perceived barriers that heritage is reserved for middle-class older people can be removed, thereby increasing interaction with history and actively engaging the future generations.
– Peter Richards, Friends of Neath Abbey Iron Company