Blaenllechau Youth supported by the Dulverton Trust Fund
Blaenllechau Youth Project endeavours to provide leisure and training opportunities for children and young people between the ages of 5 and 25, to develop their social, cultural, intellectual and emotional wellbeing and development. Since 1996, they have been developing partnerships in the local area to ensure provision is directed where it is most needed, and to join up with other agencies from time to time, to offer a wide range of activities to young people. Blaenllechau is set on the side of the mountain of the Upper Rhondda Fach and is a former coal mining community. The Youth Project represents the only community facility in the village apart from the public house, and is the only project in the area to cater for children from 5 years old.
The £2,500 awarded by The Dulverton Trust Fund has supported the running costs of the Project, in terms of utilities and insurance, maintenance and payroll. The funding has enabled the Project to remain open and achieve their aims. Core running and operating costs are notoriously difficult to gain funding for, but an essential part of the project. The Community Foundation has been told: “The funding received has made a huge difference to the project in that we do not have to worry so much about the operating costs and can concentrate our efforts on the wellbeing and development of the children and young people who are the most important part of the project.”
The Project operates a minimum of three evenings per week, as well as occasional weekend activities, and they offer a wide range of drop-in sessions, dance workshops, training, play-schemes, trips, and shows for the local community. The environment is designed to be safe, stimulating and sometimes challenging, enabling children and young people to develop physically, socially and creatively. Participants benefit from training as well as socially and through greater confidence and self-esteem, and the provision benefits the community through relieving anti-social and offending behaviour.
Some young people have undertaken Open College Network training (OCN) which they hope will lead to employment in the future, but which certainly enhances skills, knowledge and self-esteem now. They have also provided holiday play-schemes during school holidays which supports parents and carers with juggling employment and childcare, as well as supporting the children’s own development.
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