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Community Voice, Community Choice Voting Event 2

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Participatory Budgeting has come to Blaenau Gwent, and we need YOU to decide where £250k of public budgets should be spent!

About this event

Participatory Budgeting is a decision making tool, where community groups are able to apply for an amount of public budgets, and the wider community decide where the money should be awarded.

Anerurin Health Board and Blaenau Gwent Council have made £250,000 available for community groups and organisations that help the community recover from COVID-19, and support the wellbeing of the community.

As we have had a whopping 89 applications, we will be holding 4 events:

  • Sunday 19th September, 11 - 1 pm
  • Sunday 19th September, 3 - 5 pm
  • Sunday 26th September, 11 - 1 pm
  • Sunday 26th September, 3 - 5 pm

A list of the projects that will be shown in this event can be found below, please review the list and ensure that you intend to attend the correct events. We need YOU to come along and vote for where this funding should be spent - so get involved and influence how our public budgets are spent in our online events!

Each registrant will be sent a Zoom link the day before the event - there will be only one voter per device.

Voters should be at least 16 years old

On the day, you are required to stay for the whole 2 hour event, and vote for each project.

Blaina Town Band - Post COVID Community Wellbeing Regeneration

£4,250

Blaina Town Band is a Brass Band consisting of Senior, Intermediate and Beginners sections, (a total of 36 members at present), all of various ages from 8 - 80. With an emphasis on youth as we are very keen to start an academy. Our aim is to perform music for the education, enjoyment and above all the mental wellbeing of our members and the general public as we emerge from the emotional trauma and physical restrictions of the past 18 months or so.

We require a new A3/A4 printer as ours is broken. This is essential for all players in the band to have copies of their music for home rehearsing. Without this facility players tend not to improve as quickly. We need all levels of tutor books for our younger members and adult learners and our newly proposed academy. Our Youth and Senior band library is desperate for more modern music. We also require a number of small percussion instruments and mutes to start our academy.

When new music is played it creates a greater interest in playing, musical education is key as we strive to improve our abilities and you sense a feeling of achievement, enjoyment and satisfaction throughout the band. This then reflects in our public performances in the community, always well attended. Our performances are always well received and there is always a great community spirit which is evident by the appreciation, enjoyment and smiles on people's faces. Such a tonic in troubled times!

Blaina Community Centre - All things green and beautiful

£2,980

The project will provide participants with skills to perform competently & independently in landscaping & growing fruit, veg & flowers. We can only highlight the value of the social aspect of our sessions, which serves to feed & encourage the social & wellbeing benefits for our participants & with this in mind we're hopeful that we will be able to continue with our participants by offering them volunteering roles to keep grounds in order & for them to continue with social & wellbeing aspects.

Our project is aimed at providing opportunities to people of all ages & physical & mental abilities to help & encourage an active, social life as well as to help their families with their own horticultural products & to acquire the necessary knowledge & skills in landscaping & horticultural. As a result, all attending will receive the knowledge & skills from a professional to help them build green gardens & a range of horticultural techniques from seed sowing to planting classification.

Tredegar Miners heritage group - Miners Memorial

10,000

There have four mining disasters in Tredegar. Where 59 miners, men and boys were killed. Four of these were 12 or under. When looking around Tredegar there is nothing showing this history. So we were actively looking as our group tp set up a memorable for these who lost their lives. This is when we came along the old NCB work shop gates. We are looking to get these gates refurbished, and displayed in a part of our town. We will also have a plaque so everyone can see and show an important part of our history.

Short term goals:

• Save the gates. An important part of our history

Long term:

• A focal point for Tredegar where they are placed

• Keeping our towns history alive

• Educating the youth

BGFM Radio – Box Allot

£10,000

We are a community radio that provides volunteering opportunities, entertainment via radio broadcasting and support the community to make it a better place.

The funding will be used for a community garden The community can grow fruit and veg in order to increase community engagement, help people make healthier choices and to reduce the loneliness, isolation and improve mental wellbeing that has been effected due to the pandemic Raised bed will allow increased accessibility to those with disabilities or physical health problems, including tiles for wheelchair access on grass Inviting people for free veg to improve healthy eating within the community. Space for socialising, relaxing and having fun!

Increase community engagement and improve mental wellbeing Promote healthy eating in a friendly and relaxed environment to all ages. Create an environment where people can make new friends and to gain new skills and learn new hobbies to reduce isolation and increase mental wellbeing after the negative effects COVID-19 has had on people's lives. Provide a space to gardening that some may not have access to. Contribute towards all of 'Blaenau Gwent We Want' well-being Plan objectives.

Active Blaenau Gwent

£9,260

Our project is aimed at raising activity levels ,reduce obesity and make people aware of local services/walks in the area improving Wellbeing. The programme is aimed at working with young people and families in school and community settings, utilising a rewards scheme of local services and business when they reach recorded step goals. We will be targeting less active personnel aiming to change their mindset through support and motivation of rewards and peer mentoring in small groups.

• £6,560 + VAT will be spent on the design of a new Website

• £2,699.70 to purchase 30 Fitbit inspire (2) watches

We are aiming at running the project throughout the whole of Blaenau Gwent. We aim to support young people and families make healthy lifestyle choices, this will be on top of other programmes we deliver.

Abertillery Excelsiors

£10,000

The funding will be used to provide a safe environment for approximately 100 children who without this local provision would be unable to access sport and physical activity sessions which improves their physical and mental health. Following an asset transfer from the local authority the club are solely responsible for the safety and welfare of the players, coaches, and members. Providing a safe environment is proving more and more difficult without a fence which is what the funding will support.

There has been an increase in anti-social behaviour with used drug needles and smashed bottles being left around the playing area which has caused sessions to be cancelled. This funding will help towards a fence being erected which will ensure the playing and surrounding area remains safe, not just for club members but for all of the community. The club allow community members to use the facilities but at times they are unsafe causing disruption to club members and those in the community.

Abertillery Town Band – Abertillery Brass Academy and Community Outreach

£7,633

Abertillery Town Band is in the second section of the Southeast Wales Brass Band Association and has qualified for the National UK finals to be held in September 2021. The Band's vision is firmly established as a community band - to be a resource for the community, not only to entertain, but to provide a safe, social environment for the people of the town.

Through a partnership with Blaenau Gwent Methodist Church, Abertillery Band will establish a Brass Academy for young people offering instruments, tuition, and regular ensemble performance. The local community will be invited to Saturday sessions, to hear the youngsters play and to receive any support needed with refreshments and company - a much needed service when so many in our community are socially isolated. This is an exciting inter-generational initiative, combining music and outreach. The funding, if allocated, will be used to purchase beginner instruments for the Academy.

Blaenau Gwent Film Academy

£9,600

Cymru Creations is a well-established Organisation who specialize in community beneficial projects designed to enhance and improve the well-being of young people. Running for 4 years, the film Academy provides free classes in film production. Since Covid we have seen a record a number of new starters and currently have a waiting list of over 30 students waiting to join. The fund will help the Film Academy to engage more students than ever before, we will employ extra tutors to run additional classes. We currently have 190 members and around 30-40 waiting to start. The project is unique to Wales, the only organisation of its type that that does not charge.

We work towards helping children realize their potential through classes covering scriptwriting, acting and filmmaking. Whilst focusing on films, each child will be improving their confidence, core literacy, numeracy, IT and teamwork skills, as well as encouraging each child to create new friendships. We provide qualifications moderated by Trinity Collage London. Since Covid the mental health of young people has been affected, by running additional classes we can help relieve this problem.

Zion Miners Chapel Llanhilleth - Dementia Friendly and Living Alone Group

£1,200

Our aim is to serve the Community, in the Community for the Community, Providing a place where Community Groups can meet to help combat social isolation and build community spirit.

To provide finance for the reopening of our group and for the provision of food and entertainment for 12 months. Our group provides a balanced cooked meal and social interaction to those who live alone and also those suffering from the effects of Dementia .

Over the past 18 months of Covid we have managed to keep in contact with the members of our Group by visiting them (adhering to Social Guidelines), through sending cards, letters, and gifts. We now hope to restart our group, again within social guidelines and provide a place where people who need others can meet. This group is where Dementia sufferers and their carers can meet in safety with others in a similar situation; to help combat social isolation, loneliness, and low self-esteem.

YourNorth Veteran Support CIC - Your Mental Wellbeing Toolkit

£9,900

YourNorth Veteran Support are a mental wellbeing training and coaching community interest company. Our mission is to improve mental wellbeing, combat loneliness and isolation and build resilience within the Armed Forces community.

This 1 day interactive workshop will cover topics such as stress, resilience, being present, self-care, reframing negative language and gratitude. Our mission is to build a resilient Armed Forces community, where people can meet others within their local area and widen their support network. Due to the pandemic, there's been a decline in people's mental health and this workshop will equip them with the knowledge and confidence to take ownership of their mental wellbeing and thrive in society.

This project will directly benefit 110 members of the Armed Forces community and the knowledge gained and shared during the course will indirectly benefit many others. Having an understanding of how to improve mental wellbeing is vital for improving relationships affected by COVID and will generate confidence in their ability to make healthier lifestyle choices. Gaining the skillset to reframe negative thoughts will also encourage participants to forge new pathways to prosperity.

BugsBFit

£1,000

We meet every Tuesday. Mums and Babies in Buggies, socialising and exercising as a group. We organise mum and babies days out, swap clothes. Bringing new mums together through wellbeing after birth. This funding would be used for buying equipment to use whilst exercising: Batling Ropes, Mats, Weights,. Bands, A gazebo.. this is a new group without any equipment at all.

During Covid mums with new babies had to stay at home, no visitors, no socialising with other mums to help them get through the first months of being a new mum. This group was created to bring the mums of Blaina and surrounding communities together for the first time when restrictions lifted hat groups could meet up outside. This is a playgroup for mums to exercise bodies and minds safely and effectively with the guidance of an experienced instructor.

Gelli Crug Park, Abertillery

£10,000

To make improvements to Gelli Crug Park, Abertillery. Gelli Crug Park is a well-used and popular park in the local area and has great potential. The local residents have been liaising with the council on potential improvements for the park and believe funding will help greatly towards this, going towards new benches, picnic benches on the field, new equipment (with funding cross matched by BGCBC) so that the park is inclusive for all ages and also gardening/wildflower areas to improve the overall appearance.

• Short Term: I believe the suggested changes will really help to improve the park, making it an inclusive space for children and adults of all ages. I also believe small changes will improve anti-social behaviour at the park.

• Longer Term: Keeping children of all ages active and learning through play, whilst interacting and building relationships with others in the local community. Which is extremely important, especially following the COVID restrictions.

Volunteering Matters – Blaenau Gwent Befrienders

£9,863

Everyone in Wales should have the opportunity to thrive. We bring people together to overcome some of society’s most complex issues through the power of volunteering. We partner with communities to overcome adversity, tackling social isolation and loneliness, improving health, developing skills and opportunity, and making sure young people can lead change. We turn local knowledge and energy into action and progress, building stronger communities and a better future for all.

We propose a Volunteer Telephone Befriending service for older people in Blaenau Gwent. Many of those shielded during the lockdowns are now experiencing mental health issues as well as reduced mobility. We have evidence of a need for befriending continuing beyond the pandemic. Many who were socially isolated during the lockdowns are now wary of venturing out and meeting others. Our volunteer provision will establish a stepping-stone towards returning to social integration in the community.

Benefits will be improved physical and mental health for individuals and empowerment to make healthier lifestyle choices. The short-term result will be individual readiness for social interaction. The longer-term outcomes for Blaenau Gwent communities will be emergence from the Covid pandemic with the restoration of recreational groups and the growth of a supportive social network. Developing a pool of healthy friendships within each community will result in fewer referrals to support services.

Tidy butt

£10,000

We support people within the BG community with they’re mental health and wellbeing. We will use the funds to support the community continuing our talking group sessions, wellness walks and cold-water therapy session. We will also use the funds to bring about meaningful change and offer any sports club, group, team, or organisation in Blaenau Gwent the opportunity to experience our MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS PRESENTATION which includes a solid overview of what mental health is, some signs to look out for and what could positively impact it.

We are building a tribe, a safe space where people can have open and honest conversation regarding their mental health and wellbeing. We continue to impact people and grow month on month and are extremely passionate about our mission. Our mental health presentation will short term highlight to people some potential impacts that may be causing some mental health issues while longer term being a part of a community and with a better understanding have the confidence to take on life’s challenges.

Chillax Charity – Chillax Upcycling Project

£1,402

Chillax Charity (no. 1180536) provides a safe environment for disadvantaged secondary age children who attend Abertillery Learning Community through a breakfast and after school provision.

The funding will be used to set up an upcycling project so that Chillax users find a sustainable source of income to support the development of wider projects to benefit our more disadvantaged learners whilst developing confidence and entrepreneurial skills. The funding will be used to purchase tools and resources to use to upcycle items that have been donated by the community. This will range from clothing to furniture and decorative items.

The Charity hopes to link this project with its community and business engagement strategy by establishing a market stall and a presence in Abertillery Town Centre that has suffered the adverse impact of the Covid pandemic. In the short term Chillax users will learn how to establish the project and gain new skills in upcycling items whilst encouraging a reduce, reuse, recycle mindset.

Families First – Sow Pretty

£6,712

Families First offer early intervention and preventative support to families within Blaenau Gwent depending on need. The funding will be used to set up a community gardening group for Families, young people and young carers. There will be two parts to the project, a workshop where we will grow plants, fruit, veg, make bird boxes, bug hotels etc. The other will be restoring community gardens and gardens in residential homes etc. The project will help build confidence, learn new skills, tackle isolation, emotional well-being, and anxiety, which has been exasperated since COVID, and improve our natural environments.

Our vision is to develop a community garden group that will give individuals an opportunity to connect with each other in the outdoors, be physically active, take notice of their natural environments, learn new skills and give to its community members. Our short term goal is to set up a gardening workshop and grow fruit and veg to be used for cooking sessions and donate to food banks and long term we plan on our group undertaking gardening tasks within community gardens and residential homes.

FC Tredegar – Future Well-Being of FC Tredegar

£2,500

We provide health & well-being activities through the mechanism of football for those who are aged 4 years old and above, boys & girls.

The funding will be used to ensure the future players of FC Tredegar have an opportunity to be active, healthy and a positive well-being.

1) An introduction to football for all new players and to highlight the benefits of the activity in terms of physical activity and social interaction.

2) Offer sessions for young people to encourage positive gatherings around football rather than anti-social behaviour.

3) Offer sessions that will engage with those who are socially excluded.

Short term outcomes/results we are looking for is an increase in participation levels that we have within the youngest sessions we provide for the 4-year-old to 7 year olds, introducing participations to a lifelong participation in physical activity and showcasing the benefits of sports in personal development and social interaction. Long term outcomes/results we are looking for are a decrease in anti-social behaviour and participants taking part in physical activity longer in life.

Oriel Trinity Gallery CIC - Life After Covid: Expressing Your Emotions Through Colour

£2,860

Oriel Trinity Gallery CIC is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers scheduled to open in October 2021. It will provide a safe workshop space for a variety of creative workshops and will host exhibitions by John Selway and Roger Cecil as well as emerging artist living in Wales. Work produced in our own workshops as well as that created in other community projects/groups within the borough will form a regular stream of exhibitions.

The free workshops will give attenders the opportunity to express their feelings experienced during Covid-19, isolation, bereavement, and insecurity as well as optimism about the future. Led by a professional artist, using top-quality materials, and having the opportunity to have their work framed and exhibited in an art gallery, will help those suffering from loss of self-esteem to gain confidence. The workshops will give the opportunity to socialise in a safe, supportive environment

• Short term goals: a greater feeling of self-worth for those who have never engaged in arts activities before the confidence to engage with further workshops both outreach and in the gallery

• Medium term goals: the opportunity to suggest future exhibitions and workshops a willingness to volunteer in a variety of roles - marketing/social media/customer service/sales

• Long term The opportunity to have discovered a new hobby, gained experience which will help with employment opportunities

FFIN DANCE - Clean & Green

£7,070

We are a charity community group that run The Beaufort Theatre in Ebbw Vale as a community hub. This venue was a community asset transferred to FFIN DANCE in 2017.

We will use the funding to make the grass verges and car park that surrounds our venue a cleaner and safer area for the community. During lock down, the car parks have been targeted by vandals and fly-tipping as the venue has been forced to close its doors. We would like to create a community green space for the residents and anyone visiting the venue for activities and events. The Beaufort Theatre, our service users and the surrounding community would benefit from this project in many ways.

Here is some feedback from our survey "do you think that there is a need for the venue to be enhanced by a green space?":

“I think a green space would be so lovely and is a really great idea"

“It would be nice during the summer for families to be able to wait in a nice area outside"

“It would be lovely to have an outdoor seating area for the cafe customers to enjoy a coffee in the sunshine"

The area suffered from ASB because it's overgrown, we aim to create a clean space where people are safe

Nantyglo & blaina horticultural society - Peas and leeks toilet

£6,000

We would like to build some compostable toilets for the allotments in West Side. We have a lot of female plot holders now and also children on the plots, there is no public toilets In the area for people to use and very often people have to go home to use the toilet. As some of the people are older and walk to the allotments it is very often an inconvenience and often difficult to walk home just to use the toilet. With the compostable toilets these will be eco-friendly and a big help to members.

n the short term it will be a benefit to the current members it would allow them more freedom to be at the allotments longer. I am hoping to keep encouraging female members to join the allotments and also to include more children in them too it has proved to be a big help during the current circumstances with covid allowing people to have time out door's and grow their own food which has helped with their mental health too. It is a great outlet for people and also gives a good form of exercise.

Meet Up Blaenau Gwent Covid Recovery

£5,030

This is for 15 people to join the Meet Up site for this group is £150. Plus Meet Up set up Charges of £50 currently. Weekly venue hire is £20 so for a year we need £1040. One a month an outing costing £ for a minibus hire and driver is £265 (for such as Weston S Mare) is £3180 This totals at £200 +£1040 +£3180 Total £4240.

Meet Up - Weekly Covid Recovery group Blaenau Gwent is for the people of Blaenau Gwent and will meet in Aberbeeg Community Centre. Its purpose is to come into being to support anyone following the Covid 19 pandemic and its on-going effect Those feeling down, alone, isolated and want to meet up with similar others will find support for better mental health and wellbeing. Community participation, respecting the natural environment, making new friends and healthy life choices will all be supported.

Rotary Club of Abertillery and Blaina - Pop up Market Stall

£789

Rotary has a stall at Abertillery Market each Thursday to collect food donations for a local Foodbank. Covid has impacted on people's ability to buy food, so Rotary is helping to minimise this problem, no one should go without food. So far, we have borrowed a gazebo and table for the stall. The stall has been very successful so we would like our own stall equipment. This equipment would also be used at events that enhance the wellbeing of the community e.g. our Car Rally, summer and winter fetes.

The project increases individual and community participation, by providing a donation point for the local foodbank, this supports COVID recovery, food for distribution to those in need and pathways to prosperity for those people. The market stall provides a safe and friendly point in the community for food donations to be made. The stall will also be used at annual fetes which provide a safe and friendly opportunity for the community to have fun and hence improve wellbeing across the community.

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Organizer MutualGain

Organizer of Community Voice, Community Choice Voting Event 2

We train people to build social capital or we build it for them!  

What does that mean? well it means we care about connecting conversations that take place in communities with conversations that take place in organisations.  

Why? Because we love people; we love democracy, and we love the differences of opinion that people have. We think our society needs more authentic collective community conversations so that we can learn together and learn how to disagree together.

How? we use strengths based approaches to engagement which means we build on what is strong and not what is wrong.  We think everyone has something valuable to share and we particularly value the voices that are often unheard - they have a lot worth listening to! 

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