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Contact details

Ty Bro Dyfi

Y Plas,
Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8ER, UK.
phone: 01654 703965
e-mail: info@ecodyfi.org.uk

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Help conserve our environment and improve our quality of life

17/11/2006ecodyfi press release

Local organisations in the Dyfi Valley are celebrating this week, following their success in attracting nearly £200,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The grant will be spent during the next four years, through a programme called Mentro Allan.

This means "Venturing Out" and is all about encouraging local people to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

The programme of events and activities is expected to include treasure hunts on foot or bike, family orienteering, buggy walks, various activities in the woods and gardening.

Some activities will be vigorous but others will be designed for people not used to exercise.

The programme aims to increase activity levels by increasing the recreational use of the natural environment.

The Dyfi Valley has been chosen as one of 15 areas in Wales because it is a very rural area where some people are disadvantaged, for example by having few travel options.

The steering group that has won the grant is led by community regeneration group ecodyfi.

It includes Community Action Machynlleth And District and Communities First.

Health Visitors, NCH Sure Start, Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin, US Mach and Play Montgomeryshire are also involved, as are the Inequalities in Health project, Powys County Council and the Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations.

The Sports Council for Wales leads the national partnership that is supporting the development and Machynlleth & District Local Community Forum organised the meetings to design the programme.

They are all convinced that doing things outdoors is a great way to improve our mental as well as physical health and that prevention of ill-health is far better (and more fun) than cure.

They point to the success of the Walkaround Bro Ddyfi initiative, that has brought people together for regular gentle walks and created friendships along the way.

Certain sections of the population face specific barriers to participation above and beyond those that are experienced by most people.

The Dyfi Valley steering group has decided to pay most attention to parents of young children, 11 – 18 year olds and people with mental health problems.

They are keen to point out, however, that most of us would benefit from more exercise and that everybody will be welcome at the activities.

The steering group is recruiting staff already.

"We'd like to get the two paid members of staff started in the New Year", said ecodyfi Manager Andy Rowland, "so that they can offer activities from early Spring." "There will be opportunities for people to learn new skills and meet people by helping to run activities as well," he added.

Further information:

  • Andy Rowland, ecodyfi Manager 01654 703965
  • Mentro Allan
  • Big Lottery Fund Press Office (Wales): 02920 678 207

Notes to Editors

  • Big Lottery Fund is the joint operating name of the New Opportunities Fund and the National Lottery Charities Board (which made grants under the name of the Community Fund).
  • The Big Lottery Fund, launched on 1st June 2004, is distributing half of all National Lottery good cause funding across the UK.
  • The Big Lottery Fund is building on the experience and best practice of the merged bodies to simplify funding in those areas where they overlap and to ensure Lottery funding provides the best possible value for money. To date, the two merged Funds have committed more than £6 billion to initiatives with national, regional and local partners from the public, voluntary, charity and private sectors, with a particular focus on disadvantage.
  • A national partnership was formed in March 2005 to lead the development and direction of the Mentro Allan programme. The partnership organisations have a Wales-wide remit and collectively have experience and expertise in the development of informal and formal sport and physical activity, community development, public health, countryside management, research and evaluation.
  • The members are:
    • Sports Council for Wales – Lead organisation
    • Countryside Council for Wales
    • National Public Health Service
    • -Wales Council for Voluntary Action
    • -Welsh Local Government Association