What you need to know
Vol Factor Celebration Evening Showcases Nine of the Best Youth Led Projects in RCT – Nine Youth Led Projects were celebrated in a Ceremony at Llwynypia Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday evening, as Volunteers Week 2018 continues apace for Interlink RCT. Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taff’s Cabinet Member for the Voluntary Sector, was on hand to congratulate and present certificates participants to the young volunteers, and having done so he encouraged them to continue their fantastic contributions to community life throughout the County Borough.
RCT People First developed a number of opportunities for young volunteers to support their clients with learning disabilities to enjoy an Adventure Day in Cardiff; Aberdare Valley Football League developed a suite of new volunteering roles for young people to engage in delivering their successful Football Academy in the Cynon Valley, and Avant Theatre Cymru mentored a group of young people known as Theatre Tri to engage young people in putting on a production known as “Punk Rock” in the Rhondda.
Ferndale Youth Project carried out a community consultation to identify ‘grotspots’ and physically improved the local area, while Llwynypia Boys and Girls Club used their grant to promote and encourage young people to get involved in their new Youth Forum. Fernhill Youth Project used volunteers to get younger kids involved in a Creative Project while Llanharan Youth Drop In used young volunteers to help develop a community garden. Active Valleys were funded to run two sports projects, one Football in the Community Scheme, known as the ‘RCT Footy Fest’, and a disability sports project targeting students and non-students with physical and learning disabilities.
All nine projects encouraged young people to volunteer on their schemes, engaging a total of 83 new volunteers between the ages of 14-25 in Rhondda Cynon Taff over the past twelve months.
Interlink’s Youth Volunteering Advisor Thomas Crockett said: “It was clear from the Panel’s feedback that the calibre of applications was again very high this year and they were blown away by the enthusiasm shown by some of the projects during the interview process.”
The Vol Factor grant scheme, funded by the Welsh Government’s Gwirvol Programme via WCVA, supports projects to involve 14-25 in volunteering projects in Rhondda Cynon Taff, and is administered locally by Interlink RCT.
At the end of the Ceremony Youth Grant Panle Member Scott Russell announced that the Scheme will run again in 2018/19 and any interested parties are encouraged to contact Thomas Crockett, Interlink Volunteering Development Officer by telephone on 01443 846200, by email to email@example.com, or write to Interlink Volunteer Centre, 6 Melin Corrwg, Cardiff Road, Upper Boat, Pontypridd CF37 5BE.
Lucky Thirteen Local Charities Join the Dots at the Museum during Volunteers Week – Interlink RCT’s raft of Events celebrating Volunteers Week 2018 culminated on Friday night as the Cynon Valley Museum hosted “Joining the Dots,” giving 13 charities, 5 funders and a local School the opportunity to network and showcase their achievements in their local communities.
Thomas Crockett, Interlink’s Volunteering Officer welcomed the guests and encouraged them to take pride in their immense contribution to society as a whole, before the Cynon Valley Museum described their journey to full ownership of a now vibrant local facility and community hub. A video produced by Geraint Jones of Ystrad Activity Club then featured inspiring interviews with staff and volunteers from Rowan Tree Cancer Care, Welcome Friends, the Llantrisant Feel Good Factory and the Lee Gardens Paddling Pool Committee from Penrhiwceiber, who have supported five volunteer lifeguards into employment in the last year.
The Samaritans, Aberdare Park Committee, Valleys Steps, Merthyr and the Valleys Mind, Accessible Wales and Aber Arts Wales also described their valuable contributions to the voluntary sector in RCT, before Mr David Church from Mountain Ash Comprehensive School reported on their First Give project which engages students at the school with local charities. Charities present were also delighted of the opportunity to meet funding organisations the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Big Lottery Fund, Penycymoedd, Tesco and Asda, whilst enjoying the excellent catering of the Museum’s in house caterer Marty’s Caff; in fact the organisations were still networking furiously as the event drew to a close!
Interlink RCT would like to thank the Cynon Valley Museum and the Lee Gardens Paddling Pool Committee for their support in putting on the event. We intend to publish the video shown on the evening in the near future and for more information about the event please contact Interlink Volunteering Officer Thomas Crockett on 01443 846200 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Youth Worker scoops Gold! – Tom Addiscott has been awarded Nation Radios Pride of Wales Gold award for community and fundraising work and his the commitment to safeguarding local services for young people whilst under threat of redundancy. Tom had been working under Glyncoch Community Regeneration on the community voice project where funding was ending, thanks to interlink they had a small extension on the community voice project on the basis of looking to secure similar services. The community voice project acted as a major support mechanism for young people and community members across Glyncoch and Ynysybwl. Young people were about to lose this community based support. This was alongside the loss of funding for two youth projects at Glyncoch and Ynysybwl, due to the closure of the communities first programme. Facing redundancy Tom continued to run youth provision and support for community members while working young people to secure funding to run both Ynysybwl and Glyncoch Youth provisions for the next 3 years (from Children in Need and the Waterloo foundation).
Co-designing services with young people and community members Ynysybwl Regeneration Partnership was able secure £250,000 from the people and places fund to run a 3 year youth enterprise project across the both communities, this will provide a much needed support services for young people across both communities.
Editor’s Note: Ynysybwl Regeneration Partnership aims to raise the quality of life for all, create opportunities for young people and create opportunities in health and sport as well as to help develop the local economy, particularly countryside access and tourism.