Maerdy – Making a difference
10 March 2011
The Environment day held on 25/2/11 in Maerdy organised jointly between Communities First and BTCV’s Family Employment Initiative has been a success despite the awful weather and the general reduction in resources.
The event was scheduled at the end of the Rhondda Fach ‘Winter Skillz’ training programme and several of the volunteers were able to use skills they had developed during the training to improve some of the local green spaces in Maerdy.
A significant part of the day was used to plant a selection of native UK broadleaf trees in the Brohedydd area; this is intended to create a nicely wooded area adjacent to the local park and outdoor exercise area.
The trees planted are mostly Ash with a sprinkling of Hazel and other species to re-create a wooded area with a similar species profile to the original wooded valleys before the industrial revolution.
The saplings have been protected from local wildlife damage by tree guards supplied by Tubex Ltd. Alex Tyler, Employment Engagement Officer for BTCV said "We would like to thank Paul Dean and Alison Jones from Tubex for their time and enthusiastic support for the programme."
Shown here, and above, are some of the volunteers who attended and have now created a new wooded area for the local community to enjoy for many years.
Photographs by Paul Powell
For further information on projects in the area please contact our FEI officers Tabi on 07870 678681 or Alex on 07768 177280.
NOTES TO EDITOR
About the Family Employment Initiative
The Family Employment Initiative is a European funded programme that matches local families to community environmental projects giving them the chance to gain vital confidence and motivational skills in preparation for employment. Targeted at the hardest to reach individuals, the scheme acts as a precursor to formal training initiatives allowing 3,500 people to take the first steps to finding a job.
The purpose of this project is to engage with participants in the Heads of the Valleys and Bridgend area, provide volunteer job opportunities, confidence building, motivation and when ready, formal training, qualifications and sustained employment. There are also considerable health benefits as volunteers are encouraged to take exercise, get fit and enjoy fresh air.
The project is a precursor to training and employment, using a specialist engagement programme designed to create supported pathways for individuals and families in targeted areas using many different techniques. These techniques will involve social inclusion interventions, such as volunteering, community and group activity. Given the increasing profile of environmental concerns and climate change, environmental activity will be one technique used to increase engagement and economic activity.
BTCV Cymru, the international volunteering organisation that supports conservation initiatives, is delivering this project which was formally launched in July 2009 and will run until March 2012.
BTCV is the UK’s leading practical conservation charity. BTCV aims to create a better environment where people from all cultures feel valued, included and involved.
BTCV works with 300,000 volunteers supporting them to take hands-on action to improve their urban and rural environments. The BTCV Community Network supports local groups. BTCV offers regular conservation tasks, UK and International Conservation Holidays, the BTCV Green Gym®, training opportunities and an on-line shop making products and services accessible to all.