Sector Headlines

   
       

Enterprising Wales - looking for enterprise success stories

The Welsh Assembly has begun the hunt for Welsh enterprise success stories with the launch of the Enterprising Britain 2009 competition. The Assembly is looking for hotspots of innovation - oocations which are tackling the economic downturn head on by creating jobs, boosting local businesses and nurturing budding entrepreneurial talent - to step up and show why they deserve to be named Wales' most enterprise place. Last Year, Menter Mon on Anglesey was named the most enterprising place in Wales.

Enterprising Britain is free to enter and is open to all places in Wales that can demonstrate the impact enterprise has had on their community in the past 2 years.  The Welsh winner will receive a prize of £5,000 and be automatically entered into the UK final.

To register interest, contact Adam Evans at the Welsh Assembly Government on 01745 586 244 or email your contact details to enterprisingbritain@makeyourmark.org.uk. The deadline for entries is 30 April 2009 and the winner will be announced in October.

The competition is run by Make Your Mark, on behalf of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), working in close partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government.

 

Consultation on Financial Inclusion Strategy for Wales

The Financial Inclusion Strategy for Wales sets out the Welsh Assembly Government's vision, policy and plan to promote financial inclusion over the next 3 years. The Strategy identifies the work which needs to be undertaken by the Welsh Assembly Government and all relevant stakeholders working in collaboration, to address the problems associated with financial exclusion.

The Strategy sets out how the Welsh Assembly Government's financial inclusion work will support those citizens who are the  most disadvantaged and marginalised members of society. 

The closing date for responses is 4 May 2009

Follow link for document download, email address, online form and postal address.

http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/socialjustice/fistrategy/?lang=en

 

Communities 2.0 - bridging the digital divide

A consortium led by the Wales Co-operative Centre has been awarded the contract to deliver Communities 2.0, a new initiative to tackle the digital divide, Deputy Minister for Regeneration, Leighton Andrews, announced on 19 March 2009.

The Wales Co-operative Centre will work in partnership with the University of Glamorgan, Carmarthenshire County Council, Novas Scarman and the Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services to deliver the 6 year project from 1 April 2009.

The programme, which will build on the Communities@One initiative, will provide community groups, social enterprises and individuals with support to use technologies and to help people in the most disadvantaged areas of Wales engage with new technology.

19 March 2009

 

Toogoodtowaste gets £25k boost from HoV Programme

Toogoodtowaste, who recycle furniture and other goods in Rhondda Cynon Taf, has received a £25k cash grant from the Heads of the Valleys Programme. The cash will buy a new van so that more local people can benefit. It will be used to transport collections from donors into the new warehouse and quality control centre in Ynyshir.  Items are then delivered to the company's 2 shops in Ferndale and Aberaman, as well as being placed on display in Ynyshir, where they are re-sold at low cost.

Toogoodtowaste has been operating across RCT since 1995.  It collects pre-owned household goods for re-use in the local community. It now employs 10 people and relies on 40 volunteers to run its 3 retail outlets and on-line operations.

In 2007, the company was recognised for re-directing goods from the waste stream into an income generating service to maximise community benefit and won the Welsh Community Recycler of the Year Award.

17 March 09

 

WCVA's £13 million scheme for North Wales

A new scheme that will make £13 million of European funds available to reduce economic inactivity in North Wales was announced on 10 March 09.

Managed by WCVA, the Intermediate Labour Market (ILM) will invest in organisations that provide a period of training and work experience to people facing barriers to employment.

The scheme will offer contracts up to a maximum of £150,000 through a tendering process and expect the first invitations to tender to be issued in September 09.

WCVA will invite organisations on its approved supplier list to tender for appropriate contracts.  To join the approved supplier list, organisations need to complete and submit a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) by Tuesday 2 June.

For a PQQ or general information leaflet on the ILM, contact the WCVA Helpdesk on 0800 2888 329 or email ilm@wcva.org.uk.

WCVA will be holding free PQQ briefing events across North Wales.

 

Heads of the Valleys Programme Funding for Blue Lakes in Ebbw Vale

Plans to transform 3 former steelworks feeder ponds into a key fishing and educational facility are now underway following funding from the Heads of the Valleys Programme.

Two of the Waun y Pound Ponds near Ebbw Vale will become managed fishing sites and the third wildlife-rich lake will be transformed into an environmental education facility with a cafe and visitor centre. Initial work is now underway at the site, known as the Blue Lakes, to lay new paths, erect fencing and improve security in preparation for the development.

The groundwork has been made possible with a grant of £150,000 to Ebbw Vale and District Development Trust (EVAD) from the Heads of the Valleys Programme.

The lakes and surrounding land were gifted by Corus to the Trust, which is now exploring funding options for the future phased development which will take several years to complete.

12 March 09

 

South West Wales Business Finance Scheme

What is it?

The project aims to assist new and existing businesses by offering capital grants of up to 40% of the eligible project costs, subject to a mimimum of £1,000 and a maximum of a £5,000 grant.

Who qualifies?

SMEs (with less than 250 employees)

EITHER a turnover not exceeding 50 million euros OR a balance sheet not exceeding 43 million euros Based in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, City & County of Swansea, Neath Port Talbot.

Eligible sectors?

Compliance with eligible sectors for Convergence funding. 

Primarily businesses in or servicing the manufacturing sector. 

What qualifies?

  • purchase of new or second hand equipment
  • IT and Telecom hardware linked directly to the delivery of the project
  • premises improvement
  • one-off marketing costs
  • website development and e-commerce development and purchases of specialist software

Who will operate the scheme?

A partnership of the 5 local authorities above. The West Wales Chamber of Commerce will manage the project.  Supported by the Welsh Assembly Government through the European Regional Development Fund under Convergence.

When will it end?

The project will run until 2013.

Contact

For an Expression of Interest Form, contact Andrea Traylor on 01269 590 271 or email ajtraylor@carmarthenshire.gov.uk.

 

GwirVol Launch

Monday 6 April 09, 2.00pm - 4.00pm, All Nations Centre, Cardiff

All are welcome to attend the launch of GwirVol, a unique Welsh partnership actively engaging with organisations and young people to increase youth volunteering opportunities. 

The event will be introduced by Dr Brian Gibbons, Minister for Social Justice and Local Government and there will be celebrity endorsements from, amongst others, Dame Tanni Grey Thompson.

Find out how Gwir Vol can support your organisation to achieve your goals by developing volunteering opportunities for the young people of Wales.

For further information contact Roy Davies, GwirVol launch co-ordinator, Tel 05603 151 461 or email gwirvol@elanvalleylodge.co.uk.

12 March 2009

 

New £29 million Engagement Gateway Scheme - open for business

The new scheme that will make £29 million of European funds available to Welsh organisations is now open for business.

Managed by WCVA, The Engagement Gateway will tackle economic inactivity in Wales by investing in organisations that support disadvantaged groups towards employment.

The Gateway is a procurement scheme that will offer contracts up to a maximum of £150,000 through a tendering process.

WCVA has now set up an approved supplier list that organisations wishing to get involved are required to join.  To join the approved suppliers list, organisations will need to complete and submit a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) before the first invitations to tender are issued in August 2009.

For a PQQ or general information leaflet, contact WCVA Helpdesk on 0800 2888 329 or email gateway@wcva.org.uk.

9 March 2009

 

Reaching for the Heights - with £49 million funding

A £49 million initiative to help around 30,000 young people in Wales improve their career opportunities was announced by Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones and Education Minister Jane Hutt on Thursday 5 March.

The Reach the Heights project has been awarded £27 million of European Social Fund (ESF) resources plus match funding from the Welsh Assembly Government and associated sponsors.  It aims to target 11-19 year olds across West Wales and the Valleys to help them buld a brighter future and prevent them from becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

The funding will support 2 individual projects: First Footholds and Routes to the Summit.  First Footholds focuses on those most at risk of leaving school and becoming economically inactive whilst Routes to the Summit aims to raise the skills and aspirations ofyoung people, giving them the best possible chance of future career development and expanding opportunities to gain work related skills.

A range of innovative practices will be used, such as training, workshops, taster sessions, mentoring, advice, suport and work related experiences.  The programmes will play a key role in sharing, learning and good practice across the local authorities and wider stakeholders in Wales.

First Footholds will engage with the most disadvantaged young people to help them tackle the barriers that prevent them from remaining in school and moving on into further learning. This includes those caught up in the criminal justice system and people with special needs or disabilities.

Routes to the Summit will target support specific to local areas to improve confidence, decision making and basic skills so that young people can make better progress in school and move into higher education and employment more readily.

Both projects will be delivered collaboratively with a range of joint sponsors which includes the Arts Council, Children in Wales, Funky Dragon, Save the Children, Community Music Wales, Techniquest, SNAP Cymru and Urdd Gobaith Cymru.

5 March

 

Wales Volunteer of the Year Award - approaching nominations deadline

The deadline for receipt of nominations for The Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards, supported by Peninsula Business Services, will be on Friday 3 April.  The Awards have been running since 2004 and it has grown to include 5 categories and 15 winners this year.

The WCVA scheme recognises the contributions of individuals, young people (under 25 years) and now also 'green' volunteers and trustees.

Details are available from the WCVA Helpdesk on 0800 2888 or at help@wcva.org.uk or download forms from www.wcva.org.uk/voty.

 

New Law to Tackle Child Poverty in Wales

Announced by Dr Brian Gibbons - Monday 2 March

A new Welsh law to tackle child poverty has been laid before the National Assembly.

The proposed Children & Families (Wales) Measure means that a duty will be placed on Welsh Ministers to develop a new Child Poverty Strategy for Wales, which would have to be reviewed every 3 years.

A duty will be placed on specific public bodies to identify and take action towards eradicating child poverty by 2020. Welsh Ministers will be able to place a duty on local authorities to secure free, high quality, targeted childcare in specific areas (in line with One Wales).

Cymorth will continue to provide parenting and health support services to those in need.  There will also be continued support for participation in education, training and in commmunity life and to help young people take advantage of employment opportunities.

Providing opportunities for play and ensuring children and young people's participation in decisions which affect their lives will also be included.

New Integrated Family Support Teams will be created aacross Wales to help children and families whose complex needs require intense and multi-disciplinary support from skilled professionals.

 

CLIC Project for Young People in Wales - funding for ProMo-Cymru to take forward

The CLIC project, previously managed by Careers Wales, is now being taken into its next 4-year phase by ProMo-Cymru, who will be working with young people, organisations & professionals to develop the project. 

CLIC is the National Information & Advice Service for young people in Wales 11-25, funded by the Dept for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skils (DCELLS) in the Welsh Assembly Government.

Whilst under re-development, existing information is still accessible through www.cliconline.co.uk, continuing to provide the services & support to young people & organisations previously available. 

The new CLIC website will be launched in September 2009, linking localised youth information channels throughout Wales.

What is the new CLIC?

An online all-Wales channel & bi-annual magazine offering information, news & advice for young people. Young people & supporting organisations will be able to upload articles, pictures, videos, designs & publicise events & activities.  There will be local online provision to share information, news & projects. Youth-led editorial groups will be set up to develop existing & new information for review & development by young people, for young people.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT info@cliconline.co.uk.

2 March 2009

 

Minister announces £4 million scheme to help people from BME communities into work

A £4 million initiative to help tackle the barriers faced by people from BME communities trying to find a job was announced by Social Justice and Local Government Minister, Brian Gibbons, on 26 February. 

The scheme has been funded with over £2 million Convergence ESF and matched by the Welsh Assembly Government.  It will be led by the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association (AWEMA) and will provide work and skills opportunities for over 1,000 people across West Wales and the Valleys area.  It will also help people furthest from the labour market, partcularly women, to gain new qualifications and enter further education.  There will be a package of support including outreach training, help with applying for jobs, support in accessing Jobcentre Plus services and suitable childcare provision. As part of the 3-year project, employers will be targeted to raise awareness of language and cultural issues that affect people from BME backgrounds.  It will also assist them in developing equal opportunities strategies.

The project is sponsored by organisations including the Valleys Race Equality Council (VALREC), YMCA Swansea, Supporting Others through Volunteer Action (SOVA) and Minority Ethnic Women's Network (MEWN) in Swansea.

27 February 2009

 

'Spring Clean' grants scheme for places of worship in Wales

Cadw (the Welsh Assembly Governments historic environment division) has announced that for the second year it will be operating its small grants scheme which will help towards maintenance costs of places of workshop in Wales which are listed. A maximum grant of £500 per building is available for a range of minor repairs. Applications will be accepted from 1 March 2009 for a period of 6 months, or when the budget is exhausted. Grants must be claimed by 31 December 2009.

All listed places of worship in Wales are eligible - as well as any buildings physically attached to the place of worship - such as schoolrooms or vestries - but not for other associated buildings such as church halls.

25 February

 

New scheme to provide training & pre-VENT NEET in Heads of the Valleys

A new £7 million Convergence initiative to prevent thousands of disadvantaged youngsters from dropping out of school & becoming economically inactive across the Heads of the Valleys has been announced.

Pre-VENT has been given the go ahead for almost £4 million from the Convergence European Social Fund (ESF) to tackle the causes of youngsters who find it difficult to learn & are at risk of leavng school without qualifications or job skills (NEET means 'Not in Education, Employment or Training).

Targeted at 11-13 years olds, the 3-year project will provide a package of support and training for over 7,000 young people. 

Led by Blaenau Gwent, the project will collaborate with Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil and Torfaen counciles, alongside Careers Wales.

24 February

 

Pilot Projects for New Communities First Outcomes Fund given £1.5 million funding

6 proposed projects across Wales have been given Communities First funding of £1.5 million over the next 3 years as part of the new Communities First Outcomes Fund. The fund provides money to develop and deliver new activities, services and projects for Communities First communities.

The Outcomes Fund (in place 1 April 09) will support activities which deliver real improvements at local level to tackle key priorities such as economic inactivity, child poverty and job creation.

The projects follow the revised Communities First Vision Framework and fit under 4 of the 6 themes - child poverty, education skills and training, environment, jobs, business and income generation (no proposals submitted under health & wellbeing or community safety).

Project Title                                Local Authority Area   Themes addressed

Young People Project                   Neath Port Talbot      Child Poverty

Community Environmental Project  Anglesey                  Poverty

Debt & Benefits Training &           Carmarthenshire        Income Generation/Child Poverty

Advice Project                

Employment Pathways                 Newport                   Jobs & Business

School Focused Communities        RCT                         Education, Training & Skills

Family Employment & Social         Bridgend                  Jobs, Business, Income Generation

Enterprise

Each project will receive £250,000 over 3 years. The projects will be used as Demonstration Pilots to encourage other organisations or Communities First partnerships to run similar schemes.

23 February 2009

 

Deputy Minister announces £19.9 million drive to bridge digital divide

Deputy Minister for Regeneration Leighton Andrews has announced a new initiative to tackle digital exclusion in Wales.

Over the next 6 years the Welsh Assembly Government will spend nearly £20 million, including ERDF monies, on a new digital inclusion programme to provide community groups, social enterprises and individuals with support to use technologies.

The Welsh Assembly Government will also establish a DIGITAL INLUSION UNIT, which will take forward policy development and will co-ordinate and mainstream digital inclusion activity as well as oversee the delivery of the progrmme, named COMMUNITIES 2.0 (following on from the Communities@One programme).

20 February 2009

 

Changes to delivery of 'Deprived Area Fund'

On 19 February 09, Deputy Minister for Skills John Griffiths announced changes to delivery of the Deprived Area Fund in Wales from 2009. The fund was set up by the DWP to tackle unemployment & economic inactivity in disadvantaged areas in UK.

From April 09 there will be 2 new local partnerships being set up in Wales that will identify priorities to work together in a more joined-up way and harmonise with the work DWP and Jobcentre Plus are doing at local level. The Welsh Assembly is working closely with DWP & Jobcentre Plus to ensure the new arrangements support the skills agenda set out in SKILLS THAT WORK FOR WALES and key programmes like ReAct and Genesis Cymru 2.

Bids have been invited for the new partnerships with the aim of partnerships developing solutions to tackle unemployment tailored to local needs.

The 2 new partnership areas & details about how funding will be allocated will be announced in APRIL 09.

The Deprived Area Fund will be worth £6 million between 2009-11.

 

Community Asset Development & Transfer Seminars

'Viability not Liability'

Following on from the Welsh Assembly Government's recent launch of a new £8 million Community Asset Transfer Fund as part of the Social Enterprise Action Plan for Wales, DTA Wales are running one-day seminars, in North and South Wales, at exemplar social enterprises:-

Tuesday 17 March 09 - at Canolfan Gorseinon Centre SA4 4QN (near Swansea)

Friday 1 May 09 - at the award winning Galeri Caernarfon LL55 1SQ

The seminar is aimed at social & community enterprises & regeneration organisations, local authority & Welsh Assembly officers, housing organisations, Communities First partnerships & co-ordinators, support organisations, consultants & funding bodies.

For further details contact DTA Wales at info@dtawales.org.uk or telephone 029 2019 0260.

 

Weathering the Storm - FREE business advice events in March 09

The Dept for Enterprise & Transport in the Welsh Assembly are organising a series of free business advice and support events - starting in MARCH 09 - aimed at helping Welsh businesses tackle the problems created by the credit crunch and threat of recession.  Please follow the link below for further information.

http://www.business-support-wales.gov.uk/weathering_the_storm.aspx

 

Inspire Learner Award Nomination - deadline Friday 20 February

Every nominated adult receives a Certificate of Nomination (giving providers an opportunity to arrange a local presentation and /or press story)  Those who win go on to the national ceremony in Bangor University Great Hall on 7 May 2009.  All winners' stories are featured in the NIACE Dysgu Cymru Press and PR campaign during Adult Learners' Week.

Contact NIACE DYSGU CYMRU stephen.martin@niacedc.org.uk or visit website for application form www.learnersweek.org.uk

 

Ebbw Vale Institute Open Evening - all welcome!

EVI is holding an open evening on Thursday 26 February at 5.30 pm. There will be refreshments and a Q&I session 6.30-7.30 pm. If you would like to attend and be among the first people to see the exciting changes that have taken place at Ebbw Vale's new cultural activity centre, please contact Sam James on 07977 810 397 or Julian Gardner on 07970 707 209.  

The re-development of Ebbw Vale Institute has been a collaboration between ProMo-Cymru, Blaenau Gwent CBC, Heads of the Valleys and the Welsh Assembly Government.

The official launch will be in March - watch this space for further news or visit www.promo-cymru.org

 

New Plan to Boost Social Enterprises in Wales

A new plan to strengthen the social enterprise sector in Wales was launched on Monday 9 February. The Social Enterprise Action Plan sets out how the Welsh Assembly Government will work with partners to promote social enterprises in Wales to create a thriving sector that will support community and economic regeneration and create local jobs.

Social Enterprise Coalition Cymru, a new social enterprise champion, willl run a major awareness raising campaign, recruit pathfinder enterprises to help other organisations develop, encourage young social entrepreneurs and host key conferences on social enterprise. They will work closely with the Wales Co-op Centre, who have secured European Convergence Funding and Welsh Assembly Government match funding of £7.1 million in total for The Social Enterprise Support Project.

The Community Asset Transfer Fund is included in the action plan.The pot of £8 million will help third sector organisations & social enterprises renovate public buildings to offer services to the community.  

For further information, see Welsh Assembly press release - 9 February 2009

http://wales.gov.uk/news/latest/2936290/?lang=en

 

Charities Aid Foundation - Financial Crisis Helpline

CAF has opened a confidential helpline for charities and social and community enterprises.  Organisations can request a one-off confidential discussion with experienced managers who will listen to concerns and suggest steps for survival. Phone 0800 980 2000 or visit www.cafonline.org.

 

'Art Attack' in Merthyr's Hong Kong Alley

Merthyr residents are being invited to have their say in an art project designed to transform a heavily vandalised area of the town known as Hong Kong Alley. This year Communities First has received funding from the Heads of the Valleys Sustainable Regeneration Fund and called on the skills of local budding artists to come up with designs under the theme 'Our Merthyr'.  The 9 preliminary designs are now on display across the town and locals are invited to share their views and opinions so the final designs can be honed in readiness for the final display in March 09.  Once complete, the project will create a physical regeneration of the historic gateway formerly known as the 'China Quarter' of Merthyr Tydfil. Initial sketches are on display across Merthyr and on the Council website.  

For further information or to give your views please contact Jacky Spacey at Communities First on 01685 353 945 or jacky.spacey@vamt.org.uk.

Visit http://www.merthyr.gov.uk/Home/Regeneration/Communities+First.htm to see the art work.

 

New Plan to Tackle Debt & Financial Exclusion

A new plan to help people across Wales deal with the economic downturn through co-ordinated action on debt and financial exclusion went out to a 12 week public consultation on Monday 2 February. The Financial Inclusion Strategy for Wales 'Taking Everyone into Account' was launched for public consultation by the Minister for Social Justice & Local Government, Dr Brian Gibbons at Whitchurch High School, Cardiff.

The draft strategy sets out how the Welsh Assembly Government will work with other organisations to promote financial inclusion and tackle over-indebtedness, addressing 5 key areas: access to mainstream financial services; affordable credit and savings; access to money and debt advice and helping people to improve their financial skills and to maximise their income. 

It outlines support for post offices and credit unions to develop new sustainable services, including affordable and accessible financial products.  It highlights how the Financial Inclusion Champions team for Wales (appointed October 08) is working to increase awareness and take up of suitable bank accounts and third sector lenders rather than loan sharks, introduce financial education in schools and more widely; increase awareness of sources of free, impartial debt advice and ensure that people claim the benefits and support they are entitled to.

 

Multi Million Pound Regeneration Scheme for Swansea

A multi million pound initiative to tackle a range of social and economic issues affecting some of the most deprived communities in Swansea was announced on Wednesday 28 January, by Leighton Andrews, Deputy Minister for Regeneration. Swansea city centre is to be designated a STRATEGIC REGENERATION AREA (SRA) and will benefit from a new targeted and co-ordinated approach by the Assembly to address social and economic regeneration. A substantial budget anticipated to run into tens of millions of pounds will be specifically allocated for the project. 

The investment, announced by Leighton Andrews, Deputy Minister for Regeneration, will complement the Swansea City Centre framework (the £1 billion blueprint to redevelop and regenerate the city centre. SRAs are being established in areas of greatest need in Wales, following the 'SRA' created in the Heads of the Valleys.

 

Sustainable Homes Consultation - deadline for responses - 1 May 09

A Consultation on Wales' new National Housing Strategy was launched on 29 January 09.  The Strategy sets out the Government's long term vision for housing in Wales.  You can comment on the strategy until 1 May 2009.  See Welsh Assembly site - consultations.

 

Minister Launches First Credit Union Current Account - 29 January 09

The first credit union current account in Wales was launched by Minister for Social Justice, Dr Brian Gibbons, on Thursday 29 January at Llandudno and District Credit Union. The Welsh Assembly Government has provided £100,000 of funding to assist the credit union in setting up the current account which will allow account holders to withdraw money from ATMs, access Visa debit facilities and make standing order and direct debit payments.  In addition, account holders can have their benefits or salary paid directly into their account.

 

'SBARC' Lit for Young Entrepreneurs in Rural North East Wales

Two new programmes have been launched - after securing finance from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, business support group Menter a Busnes are offering young people living in rural areas of Denbighshire and Flintshire cash support to turn their innovative ideas into reality.  Sbarc 16-30 Bursaries of up to £1000 in Flintshire and £300 in Denbighshire are available to help cover the costs of start up - including market research and feasibility studies, purchasing equipment, training and rental of new premises.  Bursaries will be paid in arears. 

For more information contact Llyr Huw Gruffyd on llyr.gruffydd@menterabusnes.co.uk.

 

The Engagement Gateway Scheme - a basic guide

The Gateway aims to reduce economic inactivity in Wales by investing in organisations that work with people outside mainstream employment and furthest from the labour market. It is a scheme under the Convergence programme, the successor to Objective 1. The Gateway will invest in organisations that target such people and provide activities to build skills, confidence and knowledge and which link progress to a 'next step' such as referrals to other projects, volunteering, training, employment, etc. It is NOT a grant fund. The scheme will offer contracts for up to 2 years. 

No organisation will be excluded from gaining contracts based on their geographic location but activities must be delivered to participants in the Convergence areas of Wales. The scheme is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and European Structural Funds (European Social Fund) and managed by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.  For further information go to www.wcva.org.uk

 

£68 million Boost to Skills Economy

A £68 million funding package for apprenticeships and ProAct to support businesses, employees and learners was announced on 26 January by Deputy Minister for Skills, John Griffiths.  The ProAct shceme willr eceive £48 million of Welsh Assembly funding, including £30 million from the Convergence ESF, to cover the year 2009/10 and the current pilot phase.  ProAct assits employers and employees to deal with a fall-off in orders and provides an alterative to redundancy by way of short time working and retraining during the daysnot being worked. 

The programme wil also include support to apprentices to complete their training, whose employers are struggling to see them through to the end of the course.  To support apprenticeships a further £20 milion will be made available, subject to support from European Structural Funds, for the creation of a package of measures to help sustain and encourage new apprenticeship recruitment.

 

Pilot Project to Speed up Benefit Claims

Jocelyn Davies, Deputy Minister for Housing, visited Merthyr Job Centre to see a pilot project which provides a single point of contact for applications for benefits. 

Until recently, customers had to contact 3 separate organisations with their details and their local authority for housing benefit.  Now customers will have an interview at the JobCentre Plus and all relevant information will be collected.

22 January 09

 

£25 million to Regenerate Welsh Communities

Communities across Wales in need of regeneration have received more than £25 million in housing renewal aid.  The money will go to 36 renewal areas in 19 local authority across the country.  Renewal areas enable councils to focus activity and investment on areas that combine a need for assistance with the potential for regeneration.  each council has itw own actin plan to improve housing and facilities in their renewal areas with the aim of kick starting wide ranging investment and reversing the process of decline.

 

Heads of the Valleys Spring Clean - 27 April - 3 May 09

Keep Wales Tidy has joined forces with the Heads of the Valleys Programme to call upon Valleys residents & businesses to join in an effort to clean up the Heads of the Valleys neighbourhoods. The Spring Clean aims to get as many people involved as possible.  You can organise you own event or join one taking place in your locality.  Keep Wales Tidy has produced FREE CLEAN UP KITS.  Sponsored by the Heads of the Valleys programme, they are available to anyobdy who wants to organise an event as part of the week - on a 'first come first served' basis, from March. The kits contain posters, tabards, bags and gloves, promotional items, local authority contacts & a booklet full of useful information.

CONTACT Heads of the Valleys Spring Clean, Keep Wales Tidy, 33-35 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9HB Tel 029 2072 6962 or email hov@keepwalestidy.org website www.keepwalestidy.org.

 

Appointment of Members - Social Enterprise Ministerial Advisory Group

£91 per day + travel expenses. Minimum 3 days per year.

Helping with the development of social enterprise across Wales, the Social Enterprise Ministerial Advisory Group will provide advice directly to the Deputy Minister for Regeneration on social enterprise in Wales.

By becoming a Member, you will help lead the growth of a more sustainable social enterprise sector in Wales.  A persuasive commiunicator with experience of running a social enterprise, you will present ideas about future priorities and issues which may affect social enterprise policy, share information and experiences, and attend or speak at conferences.  You will also advise on the implementation of the 2009 Social Enterprise Action Plan and provide general advice and support at the highest levels.

It is our policy to promote and integrate equality of opportunity into all aspects of our business, including appointments to public bodies.  We welcome and encourage appolications from groups currently under-represented including women, minority ethnic communities and disabled people.  The principles of fair and open competition will apply and the appointments will be made on merit.

For an application pack and further details, please contact the Public Appointments Unit, Welsh Assembly Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NQ. Telephone 029 2082 3068/3736, fax 029 2082 6869 or email: publicappointments@wales.gsi.gov.uk

CLOSING DATE 6 February 2009

INTERVIEW DATE w/c 20 April 2009

 

Time Banking Wales - a new Charity

Time Banking Wales is a newly constituted charity that has evolved from the Wales Institute for Community Currencies. It is based at Aneurin Bevan House, 40 Castle Street, Tredegar NP22 3DQ.  To find out more about community currencies and time banking, please telephone 01495 712 923 to speak to Geoff Thomas or Ceri Green or email geoff@timebankingwales.org.uk or ceri@timebankingwales.org.uk.  You can also visit the website at www.timebankingwales.org.uk and find out about time banking projects around Wales. In the next few weeks we will be able to update you about upcoming events......

 

Merthyr Tydfil Development Fund - now open for applications

Aimed at voluntary organisations and community groups in the Merthyr Tydfil County Borough, grants will be between £5,000 and £25,000.  Grants can be for revenue or capital or a mixture of both.  Deadline for applications is Wednesday 11 February 2009.  Grants will be awarded to successful applicants in April 2009 (grants must be spent before end of April 2010). For further details, please contact Zoe Thomas at Merthyr County Borough Council on 01685 725 046 or email zoe.thomas2@merthyr.gov.uk.

 

Ebbw Vale Institute - ready for bookings! - open March 09

EVI, following extensive RE-development by Promo Cymru, is due to open its doors in March!!  Funding received includes £270,000 from the Heads of the Valleys SRF and a Communities Investment Fund loan. Promo Cymru will be working to develop the Institute as a cultural and community hub for Blaenau Gwent and beyond. There is a Main Hall for events, a cafe, multi-media and sound recording rooms, rehearsal spaces and studio as well as creative business spaces and other rooms for rent and hire. 

A number of community 'come and see' events have been organised, the next one being scheduled for the beginning of February. 

If you are interested in receiving information about EVI contact Julian on 07970 707 209 or 029 2046 2222 or email sam@create-at-evi.org

Ebbw Vale Institute website - www.create-at-evi.org

Promo Cymru website - www.promo-cymru.org.

 

Cwmaman Institute - Shepherds Arms re-development

Cwmaman's oldest building is getting a face lift in the New Year!  Cwmaman Institute, near Aberdare in the Cynon Valley, has received £186,000 from the Heads of the Valleys Social Regeneration Fund (SRF) for the first phase of redevelopment of the Shepherd's Arms. Further funding is being sought to complete the development in 2009. There will be a library and learning zone, youth activity space and a home for the traditional pub. For further information contact ian@cwmamaninstitute.co.uk or telephone 01685 876 003 / 887 100. Visit website www.cwmamaninstitute.co.uk.

 

Communities First Awards

WAG has awarded approx. £500K each to the following Communities First Partnerships in Powys from April 2009 to March 2012:-

Ystradgynlais town (one of the 100 most deprived wards in Wales).

Dyfi Valley (Bro Ddyfi) - a group of communities covering Llanbrynmair, Glantwymyn, Cadfarch & Machynlleth wards.

Oldford (in Welshpool).

 

VOLUNTARY & COMMUNITY SECTOR CONFERENCE - MERTHYR TYDFIL

4th March at the Orbit Centre in Merthyr Tydfil.  Registration at 9am, prompt start at 9.30am, 1pm lunch and networking. For further details contact Mandy Moore 01495 315 626

 

RURAL ENTERPRISE - CREDIT CRUNCH SURVEY

The Plunkett Foundation is calling for further evidence from rural sosial enterprises on the impact of the credit crunch on their activities.  In November, Plunkett launched a snapshot survey and responses received indicated that around half of rural social enterprises had experienced a drop in demand for their services and are keen to continue recording ongoing impact.  Please follow the link below to fill in the on-line survey
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Zkfj9RU8wLVl28u8lrICVA_3d_3d

JOB VACANCY - FAIR TRADE WALES - NATIONAL CO-ORDINATOR

For more details or to apply, visit http://fairtradewales.com/vacancies/921 (English)

http://fairtradewales.com/swydd/822 (Cymraeg)

ERDF & ESF CONVERGENCE & REGIONAL COMPETITIVENESS PROGRAMMES 2007-13

APPROVED PROJECTS/BENEFICIARIES AS AT 29 DECEMBER 2008:-

ERDF Convergence Programme

Project Title Beneficiary / Sponsor Total ERDF Grant
Knowledge Exploitation Capacity Development Dept for the Economy & Transport £9.9 m
Knowledge Transfer & Collaborative Industrial Research Dept for the Economy & Transport £12.5 m
Finance Wales - JEREMIE Fund * Finance Wales £11 m
Finance Wales - JEREMIE Fund * Finance Wales £37.9 m
Social Enterprise Support Wales Co-operative Centre

£3.5 m (Figure subject to

change as project progresses )

New Business Start-up Support * Dept for the Economy & Transport £13.3 m
Furnace Farm - Centre of Excellence for Welsh Food Furnace Farm Ltd £1.0 m
Spatial European Team (SETs) Dept for the Economy & Transport £4.2
Third Sector European Team (3-SET) Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) £0.7 m
Ebbw Vale Innovation Centre UK Steel Enterprise £1.6 m
Swansea Quadrant Bus Station Swansea City Council £5.3 m
South West Wales Flexible Business * Carmarthenshire County Council £8.9 m
Nant Gwytheyrn Nant Gwytheyrn Trust £1.2 m
Bwcabus Carmarthenshire County Council £0.4 m
Anglesey Coastal Environment Anglesey County Council £2.8 m
Business Growth * Dept for the Economy & Transport £11.6 m
South East Wales Flexible Business * Rhondda Cynon Taff £10.3 m
e-business Dept for the Economy & Transport £4.9 m
e-crime Dept for the Economy & Transport £0.9 m
Heads of the Valleys Tourism Dept for the Economy & Transport £9.0 m
Customer Engagement Dept for the Economy & Transport £13.0 m
Growth in Environmental Marine Science Bridge Marine Science Group £1.0 m
Enterprise Networks Dept for the Economy & Transport £12.0 m
Flood and Coastal Defence - Pan Convergence Dept for Environment, Sustainability & Housing £5.0 m
Flood and Coastal Defence - South East Dept for Environment, Sustainability & Housing £4.0 m
Flood and Coastal Defence - Swansea Bay Dept for Environment, Sustainability & Housing £4.0 m
Flood and Coastal Defence - North East Dept for Environment, Sustainability & Housing £5.0 m
Flood and Coastal Defence - North West Dept for Environment, Sustainability & Housing £6.0 m
Flood and Coastal Defence - Central Dept for Environment, Sustainability & Housing £6.0 m
Communities Two Point Zero Social Justice & Local Government £8.9 m

 * Indicates the project has an element of procurement activity for organisations to tender for delivery contracts.

ERDF Regional Competitiveness & Employment Programme

Project Title Beneficiary / Sponsor Total ERDF Grant
Finance Wales JEREMIE Fund * Finance Wales £5.8 m
Finance Wales JEREMIE Fund * Finance Wales £5.1 m
New Business Start-up Support * Dept for the Economy & Transport £3.6 m
Spatial European Teams (SETs) Dept for the Economy & Transport £0.25 m
Third Sector European Team (3-SET) Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) £0.08 M
Business Growth * Dept for the Economy & Transport £1.0 m

* Indicates the project has an element of procurement activity for organisations to tender for delivery contracts.

ESF Convergence Programme

Project Title Beneficiary / Sponsor Total ESF Grant
All Age Skillbuild for the Unemployed, Inactive * Dept for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills £33.2 m
Modern Apprenticeships - World Class Skills * Dept for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills £40.1 m
Modern Skills Diploma *

Dept for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills

£2.0 m
Agile Nation * Chwarae Teg £7.2 m
Want2Work Job Centre Plus £18.0 m
Spatial European Teams (SETs) Dept for the Economy & Transport £3.4 m
Third Sector European Team (3-SET) Wales Council for Voluntary Action £0.47 m
Genesis 2 Dept for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills £30.8 m
ReAct Dept for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills £14.2 m
Gateway Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) £15.0 m
North West Wales LMl Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) £6.07 m
COASTAL City & County of Swansea (lead) Joint Sponsorship with NPT CBC, Carmarthenshire CBC, Pembrokeshire CBC, Bridgen CC & Ceredigion CC £28.9 m
Bridges into Work Torfaen County Borough Council (lead) Joint Sponsorship with Bridgend CBC, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil CBC, Caerphilly CBC, Blaenau Gwent CBC £15.0 m
Heads of the Valleys City Strategy Pathfinder Welsh Assembly Government - delivered through LAs - Torfaen CBC, Bridgend CBC, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil CBC, Caerphilly CBC, Blaenau Gwent CBC £18.8 m

* Indicates the project has an element of procurement activity for organisations to tender for delivery contracts.

ESF Regional Competitiveness & Employment Programme

Project Title Beneficiary / Sponsor Total ESF Grant
Spatial European Team (SETs) Dept for the Economy & Transport £0.23 m
Third Sector European Team (3-SET) Wales Council for Voluntary Action £0.08 m
Want2Work Job Centre Plus £5.7 m
Genesis 2 Dept for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills £7.0 m
ReAct Dept for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills £3.8 m

FOR FURTHER DETAILS, SEE WELSH EUROPEAN FUNDING WEBSITE - www.wefo.wales.gov.uk

 

THE COALFIELDS TALENT NURTURE FUND - FILM, TV AND MUSIC

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT), working with Citylife, launched the 'Coalfields Talent Nurture Fund' in July 2008.  The £100K fund helps individuals and groups from 16 years old (no upper age limit) living in former coalfield areas in Wales overcome barriers to developing their talent in the film, TV and music industries.  Grants of £500-£3,000 are available.  Awards of £10K+ can be made to match-funded projects. Visit link below for how to apply - or if you want to invest in the Citylife Welsh Coalfields Bond - http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/southeast/sites/arts/pages/coalfields.shtml

St DAVID'S FOUNDATION HOSPICE CARE PRESENTS..... SUPER DRAW CELEBRATION 6 MARCH 2009!!

St David's Foundation Hospice Care presents JOHN PRESCOTT as Tom Jones at the Glen-Yr-Afon House Hotel on 6 March. Tickets £30 per person for 4 course dinner, entertainment, raffle & auction. For more information contact Kris Broome on 01633 271 364 or kris.broome@stdavidsfoundation.co.uk

CONFERENCE - DEVELOPING ENTERPRISING YOUNG PEOPLE IN COALFIELDS COMMUNITIES

20 January at Heritage Park Hotel, Trehafod, nr Pontypridd, RCT - 10.00 am to 3.30 pm

Promoting good practice achieved through pilot project Enterprise Learning by Doing, a programme delivered in the community for the community through young people - to improve employability & increase self-confidence.  Open to 11-25 year olds, the scheme enables young people to gain business skills.  Supported by tutors, they run their own 'enterprise' & can achieve accreditation from their experiences. Established in Neath Port Talbot in 2006, the programme has been funded by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust & managed by the NPT Lifelong Learning Service - who are funding this conference.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT Lynette Grey, Project Co-ordinator at Neath Port Talbot CBC Lifelong Learning Service

Telephone 01639 898 581 or email l.grey1@npt.gov.uk

BBC CHILDREN IN NEED

Distributes grant to not-for-profit organisations working with disadvantaged children and young people under the age of 18 living in the UK.  The charity aims to positively change the lives of those affected by disability, behavioural or psychological problems, poverty or situations of deprivation and illness, distress, abuse or neglect.  Grants from £500 to £100,000 are available for up to 3 years at a time. 

For more information visit www.bbc.co.uk/pudsey/grants

(Organisations in Torfaen can contact Jackie Smith at Torfaen Voluntary Alliance on 01495 745 169 for more guidance )

WELSH CHURCH ACT FUND - Funding for RCT/Merthyr/Bridgend areas - up to £10,000

The Welsh Church Act Fund grant scheme is available to voluntary & community groups in RCT, Merthyr & Bridgend.  It provides funds to organisation with charitable or alms giving purposes for capital expenditure.  Who can apply?  Churches, Chapels, community organisations & charities from the above areas. The facilities they provide should be available to general members of the public. The fund is for capital expenditure.  For further informaiton contact the Regeneration Resources Team (Bridgend CB Council) on 01443 665 789.

SRF FUNDING - HEADS OF THE VALLEYS - £1,695,982 received so far

The following organisations & projects have had SRF funding approved:

RHONDDA CYNON TAFF                                                                                   Value           Approved total- SRF

Toogoodtowaste vehicle 24,000 24,000
Trecynon free library group Trecynon CCTV 20,854 20,854
Cwmparc Community Association Arts & theatre dev 24,314 24,314
Mount Pleasant TARA Security Proj CCTV 2,530 2,530
Cwmni Skateboard park 9,000 9,000
Cwmni Gateway to Rhondda 42,447 21,000
Blaenllechau Community Regeneratn Blaenllechau Regen 34,500 34,500
Cwmaman Institute Shep 186,000 186,000
Cwmaman Woodland Phase 3 55,039 55,039

MERTHYR TYDFIL                                                                                                                     Value               Approved total- SRF

Merthyr Tydfil Town & Parc CF Hong Kong Alley 6,391 6,391
Treharris Accoustics 6,580 6,580
Cefn Coed Rugby Cefn Coed Rugby Club 100,000 100,000
Merthyr Tydfil CBC Dowlais Engine House 13,200 13,200
Merthyr Tydfil CBC Soar Chaptel car park 175,000 175,000
Merthyr Tydfil CBC Traversing wall 3,000 3,000

CAERPHILLY                                                                                                                           Value                 Approved total- SRF

Right from the Start Social Inclusion Proj 58,268 31,000

CCBC Fed of Rhymney Vall Fly Fishing

Wildlife Monitoring

4,385 4,385

CAERPHILLY CBC

Pontlottyn Boys & Girls Club Refurbishment 100,000 100,000
CAERPHILLY CBC Markham Community House 30,000 30,000
CAERPHILLY CBC Fochriw Community Centre 35,000 35,000
CAERPHILLY CBC Phillipstown Community House 12,000 12,000
CAERPHILLY CBC Groesfaen Community Garden 25,000 25,000
CAERPHILLY CBC Abertysswg Allotment Pojrect 15,000 15,000
CAERPHILLY CBC Brithdir Play Area 18,500 18,500
CAERPHILLY CBC White Rose Van for Community Cafe 12,000 12,000

BLAENAU GWENT                                                                                                                  Value                  Approved total- SRF

EVAD Blue lakes 150,000 150,000
TDT Sirhowy Community Facility 62,630 62,630
Finn Dance Sidewind 4,424 4,424
Promo Cymru EVI 270,000 270,000
Six Bells Coach & Horses 96,000 96,000
Groundwork Raising awareness of angling opportunities 14,000 14,000
CLEAN Cwmtillery Lakes 62,900 62,900
Newtown Community Centre 100,000 100,000
Sirhowy TARA Community Centre 63,000 26,774

TORFAEN                                                                                                                             Value                   Approved total- SRF

TORFAEN CBC Garn Lakes 150,000 150,000
TORFAEN CBC Football pitch & play area 50,000 50,000
TORFAEN CBC Blooming Trevethin 40,000 40,000
TORFAEN CBC American Gardens 10,000 10,000
TORFAEN CBC Trevethin Health & Well Being Centre 230,000 230,000

 

TOURISM SUMMIT ANNOUNCEMENTS - Wednesday 17 December 2008

Minister for Heritage announced a number of actions aimed at helping tourism in Wales today. Marketing initiatives planned by Visit Wales include a new £2.2 million UK Campaign which positions Wales at the heart of a new holiday movement for unpackaged holidays. Visit Wales will market Wales in 2009 as a value, quality destination.

PUBLICATION OF COASTAL TOURISM STRATEGY, which will influence investment & spending programmes on the coastline and will examine a range of opportunities for coastal resorts.  See Welsh Assembly website www.wales.gov.uk.

CULTURAL TOURISM ACTION PLAN has begun its implementation which will see 22 separate actions planned to commence across Wales in the New Year.

RATES BILLS ANNOUNCEMENT - 17 December 2008

The Minister for Social Justice and Regeneration announced today a temporary measure which allows businesses up to 8 years to pay by interest-free instalments certain backdated business rate bills that have been affected by recent rating reviews.

PHASE ONE OF HOLYHEAD REGENERATION

Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, visited Holyhead on 12 December to mark the completion of Phase One of the town's £6 million regeneration programme. Ty Celtaidd, a landmark building in the town centre which is to be the focal point of the development, was opened during the visit. Financed with £3.3 million Objective One funding, the development will also include shop front renovations, clearance of derelict buildings, public art work and improved parking.

SHAPE FUTURE OF NATIONAL INFORMATION & ADVICE SERVICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE - 17 DECEMBER IN SWANSEA

You are invited to this event on 17 December at Liberty Stadium in Swansea (SA1 2FA) to discover and shape the future of CLIC, the national information & advice service for young people in Wales, funded by the Welsh Assembly.  Jane Hutt the Keynote Speaker.  Lots of workshops for young people and professionals.   10.15 am - 15.30 pm.  Visit www.clicevent.co.uk to register or ring 029 2069 4900 or email clic@quadrant.uk.com.

ENGAGEMENT GATEWAY REGIONAL EVENTS - NEW EUROPEAN PROJECT

The WCVA is holding a series of events to launch its new European project 'The Gateway' to support people across the Convergence area of Wales in making the first steps towards sustainable employment, especially the disadvantaged or hard to reach.  To learn more about how The Gateway will be inviting TENDERS to deliver activities and how you could be part of that process please come to one of the events in January 2009. Further details:  gateway@wcva.org.uk, 029 2043 1744 or visit www.wcva.org.uk.

CAN TY PENNINGTON MAKE YOUR COMMUNITY DREAM COME TRUE?

The American Makeover star is coming to Britain in 2009 for a 2nd round of 'Ty's Great British Adventure'.  He's looking to help 2 more communities realise their dream projects.  The 2 projects will be filmed for broadcaster UKTV Style.  Do you have an amazing project aimed at benefiting your community?  Do you want Ty's help?  Contact tysadventure@twofour.co.uk.

This information was received electronically from New Start Hotnews on Tuesday 9 December.

WELSH ASSEMBLY BUDGET - 2009/10

Andrew Davies, Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery announced the final 2009/10 Budget on 2 December. There will be a £350 milllion package to boost the Welsh economy through strategic capital projects across 6 themse - regeneration, positive lifestyles, climate change, sustainable transport, resilience and skills.  For further details see http://new.wales.gov.uk/news.

ZOOM - WALES' YOUNG PEOPLE'S INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL - competition deadline 5 December

Zoom Cymru are looking for films made by and for young people from all over Wales to be entered into a copmpetition, the winning films being showcased at our 3rd Wales' International Young People's Film Festival in January 2009. There are no strict rules about what the film should be like - they are looking for originality and creativity. Contact Zoom Cymru on 01443 413 622 or go to wwww.zoomcymru.com.

COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER FUND

Deputy Minister for Regeneration, Leighton Andrews, has made a commitment to look at how best to implement the findings of the Quirk Review Making Assets Work (2007). As part of this, the Welsh Assembly will establish a Community Asset Transfer Fund, which iwll be administered by the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government. The Big Lottery Fund consultation process will run until 27 February 2009. If you would like to contribute to the consultation please visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.

GREEN JOBS FOR WALES - Consultation

This consultation will look at how the Welsh Assembly can support organisations in Wales to best improve their own environmental performance and take advantage of the new growth market in green products and services, and is very keen to get a response from social enterprises. For further information, please go to http://new.wales.gov.uk/consultations/business/greenjobs (or 'Links' tab)- or ring Sustainable Business Team in the Dept for Economy & Transport on 029 2036 8004. Deadline for responses - 20 February 2009.

ENTERPRISING YOUNG BRITS AWARDS

The Daily Mail Enterprising Young Brits Awards is looking for social entrepreneurs aged under 30 who have turned great business ideas into reality.  The closing date for nominations is 27 February 2009.  For further details go to www.makeyourmark.org.uk.

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS

Sponsored by the Bank of Scotland Corporate, a member of HBOS Group, are looking for social entreprises with entrepreneurial flair, creativity and business innovation. The top prizes will include interest free loans or donations as well as mentoring from a leading social entrepreneur - as well as networking and publicity opportunities. Nominations close on 23 February 2009 and the presentations take place on 25 June 2009. For further details go to http://entrepreneurs.bankofscotland.co.uk/social/index.html

THE CARNEGIE TRUST - RURAL SPARKS

The trust is looking to celebrate rural community champions, so if your community has achieved something special who should receive recognition and could usefully share with other communities to stimulate ideas, go to www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk (find on 'Links' tab), email ruralsparks@carnegieuk.org. or phone 01383 721 445. The deadline is 29 December 2008.

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS EVENING - MIND & Crossroads  - Thursday 4 December, 7pm

will be held in aid of the Mayor's Appeal for MIND and Crossroads at Cyfarthfa Castle. An evening of canapes, mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas fayre, carols and Victorian entertainment - Victorian dress optional! Tickets (£10) available from Jayne Overbury, Mayor's Secretary, Merthyr Tydfil CBC - 01685 725 481 or jayne.overbury@merthyr.gov.uk

FAMILY FUN DAY & SPONSORED 5K SANTA RUN - Saturday 13 December at 10.30 am

At Croseyceiliog North/South Fields Cwmbran - Family Fun day, including activities and entertainment for children (and Toddlerthon), a visit from Santa on his sleigh, choir, refreshments, BBQ and stalls. In aid of St David's Foundation, which provides a hospice at home serive in Newport, Torfaen, Caerphilly & Monmouthshire for almost 30 years.  For further information pelase contact Franca Macdonald, St David's Foundatin Hospice Care, Newport - Telephone 01633 271 364 / 270 980 or email franca.macdonald@stdavidsfoundation.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE GUIDE - YOUTH WORK

For a copy of this guide, you can contact 01443 663 932 or email maria.randell@wales.gsi.gov.uk or download from www.ThanksSam.org.uk

THE BLACK MOUNTAIN CENTRE, BRYNAMAN

Brynaman Community Centre has been extended and refurbished and is now near completion.  The new state of the art facility comprises: a restaurant with catering facilities, conference room (50 seater), offices & rooms to hire, as well as accommodating Amman Valley Medical Practice and Carmarthenshire County Council Library and a computer suite.

Contact details: 01269 823 400, admin@brynaman.org.uk, www.brynaman.org.uk.

LLANHILLETH INSTITUTE - NEWLY REFURBISHED

If you would like further information about the newly extended and refurbished facilities please go to website www.llanhillethinstitute.com or email info@llanhillethinstitute.com or telephone 01495 354 674.

UNIVERSITY OF GLAMORGAN - PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES

The University is running a series of FREE public lectures - Leading Thought by Leading Minds - which include: 11 December - Gaining Value from IT, 25 March - New Thinking: Challenging Preconceptions.  For further lectures see Training in Members' Section.  For details of all public lecture series contact jdaviest@glam.ac.uk

Rhymney Valley Young at Heart Require Trustees
Rhymney Valley Young at Heart is an organisation providing support to the over 50’s in Caerphilly County Borough (currently based in Bargoed). We run a drop in centre providing advice and support, offer healthy meals, organise trips, activities, events and courses.We wish to recruit new trustees that can help in our development process which includes a move to new premises and further expansion of our services and activities.
We are looking for people who have a strategic vision, an ability to think creatively and a willingness to help move the organisation into the next stage of its development.The position is unpaid although reasonable expenses will be paid when attending meetings on behalf of the organisation.  Induction and training will be provided.For further information please contact Sian Halvey on 01443 838626

Housing Sector grows: Almost a third of Local Authorities vote YES to date
The announcement that Merthyr Tydfil CBC tenants have voted yes to transfer their homes to ‘Merthyr Valleys Homes’, a new not-for-profit organisation, has been welcomed by Community Housing Cymru, the membership body for housing associations and community mutuals in Wales.

Majority prefer to work for social enterprise

As the social enterprise movement gathers in Liverpool on Tuesday 26 February for the biggest ever annual VOICE conference, a YouGov poll carried out by the Social Enterprise Coalition reveals that growing numbers are interested in working for this emerging s1ector.

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