Funding will help voices to be heard - April 2017
A new project will help adults with learning disabilities in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot to be heard thanks to funding from the Gwalia Trust.
A grant of £13,091 to the Your Voice Advocacy charity will allow it to employ a part-time advocate to work in the region. This will offer 1 to 1 and group advocacy sessions to local adults with learning disabilities, as well as provide peer-led advocacy training.
The funding will also allow the charity’s popular ‘Thursday Night Fever’ social events to continue. Held monthly at a city centre nightspot, these provide safe and welcoming access to mainstream social activities and attract attendance from right across south west Wales.
John Morse, Chair of Gwalia Trust said:
“This application was one that aligned closely with the Trust’s values and experiences as part of the Pobl Group. Trustees were impressed with Your Voice Advocacy’s track-record as well as the wide range of partner organisations it works with to ensure people with learning disabilities can express their views and make informed choices about their own lives.”
Helen Callaghan, Manager of Your Voice Advocacy added:
"We at Your Voice Advocacy are over the moon with the funding that we are going to receive from Gwalia Trust. It not only allows us to continue with our much loved disco which would be greatly missed by a lot of service users if it had to end but also, we get to work with adults with a learning disability who are supported by Gwalia to have their views heard, receive training on a lot of subjects that affect them and improve the confidence of some to take the lead in supporting their peers.”
New fund to help meet cost of working for job seekers - January 2017
People living in Swansea and other areas of south Wales are unable to move off benefits and into work because of the costs associated with working, new research shows.
Housing provider Gwalia says work it has done to map employment skills and benefit services has revealed employment-related costs are a significant barrier to people moving from benefit reliance into sustainable employment.
Costs range from purchasing appropriate work clothing, training or tools to travelling for work. Start-up costs were also cited as a reason why people keen to start their own businesses as an alternative to claiming benefits are failing to do so.
The research backed a new application to help fund Employment Start-up Grants, which was approved by Gwalia Trust and will see £20,000 made available to assist Gwalia customers with the costs of gaining work, learning a new skill or starting a new business. It is anticipated the funding will also result in the creation of 3 new businesses.
"This application fell clearly within the Trust’s charitable aims of alleviating poverty and improving the quality of life for people in Wales”, said John Morse, Chair of Gwalia Trust. “Sometimes the funds needed to access work can be relatively low and yet gaining sustainable employment can make a huge difference to people’s lives. We anticipate grants will range from as little as £50-100 for clothing or transport to as much as £2000 to assist with business start-up costs.”
Andrew Vye, Director of Housing for Gwalia said: “Many of tenants, particularly our younger tenants, are faced with real financial pressures. This is likely to increase as welfare reforms continue to reduce the amount of financial support available from the government. We do everything we can to keep the cost of living in our homes as low as possible. However, supporting people into paid employment is also a focus for us.
“We want to make sure that as many of our tenants as possible have the opportunity to get closer to the workplace. Employment Start-up grants will help people kick start their journey into employment by helping to buy kit, access training or help with travel costs. We are also hoping the grants, alongside support from Gwalia staff and our partners, will help some of our tenants start their own business”.
Nature back on curriculum thanks to Trust funds - November 2016
Play opportunities come to Swansea Communities thanks to £42,000 Gwalia Trust grant - August 2016
The pirate play ship sailed into six communities during the summer holidays as part of a bigger project to develop ‘Playful Communities’ for local families.
Playful Communities aims to bring together all ages and abilities through play, and help lessen social isolation, exclusion and issues of anti-social behaviour.
Working across Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Powys and Carmarthenshire, a Swansea based consortium led by Dynamix, will provide staffed play sessions out on the streets, and adult play training to improve community relationships, reduce anti-social behaviour and encourage mutual respect between neighbours.
Gwalia Trust Chairman John Morse said Gwalia Housing, part of the Pobl Group, has pioneered the importance playing has on children, their families and the wider community.
He said: “The Trust is delighted to be supporting such a flagship project which is having a positive impact of the lives of local children, their families and the wider community.
“The Trust exists to support and enhance the lives of local people in the communities we work, and what is clearly evident from the Playful Communities initiative is that the community spirit shines in so many of our neighbourhoods.
“Gwalia Housing is committed to providing clean, safe and friendly communities for all of our tenants and Playful Communities is just an important initiative which supports our vision.”
Nancy Brown, a consortium member said the playscheme is always met with delight by local children, whatever the weather.
“Playworkers run four hour sessions each day, on open green spaces or in the street,” she said. “We have already signed up community members who wish to learn about development through play and to help us make their communities a little more child friendly”.
Last year three tenants undertook Agored level 1 Playwork training to facilitate further sessions without the need for support.
Penplas Breakfast Club - July 2016
Leanne Evans, Penplas Family Centre Manager approached the Gwalia Trust in 2013 as she recognised there was a need to set up a holiday breakfast club for families living in the Penplas area of Swansea.
Starting with a donation of £2,900 from the Gwalia Trust, Leanne went about setting up the breakfast club and in the first week she could see how much this helped families who find it tough financially to feed their children during the school holidays. The club has gone from strength to strength and served over 800 breakfasts in 2013.
Following such a successful first year, the Trust has donated a further £3,500 to ensure the club will run for another year.
The Gwalia Trust has joined forces with 'Fundraising Stamps', a company that buys recycled stamps from fundraising groups.
The stamps they buy from us provide a vital source of new material that can be sold on to avid collectors around the world. The money the Trust makes from the stamps goes straight towards the individuals, projects and communities it supports.
In the future, we'll keep you updated with how much the sale of stamps has made for the Trust. In the meantime, if you'd like to read more about the process, you can visit their website at www.fundraisingstamps.com.