Plas Machynlleth: New opportunities
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Out and active in the Plas
Opportunities to do things in the Plas grounds in Machynlleth are being created through the efforts of a partnership led by ecodyfi. It's all go, after Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations announced the award of a £25,000 Community Renewal Grant. New shelters, seats, garden and wildlife areas will benefit a variety of people and activity equipment has already been chosen by the young people involved.
Research shows that people all over Wales are becoming less active - and less healthy because of it. Mentro Allan Bro Ddyfi Co-ordinator Teresa Walters and Area Youth Worker Cathy Evans have been asking young people in the Dyfi Valley, "What stops you being more active outdoors?"
Together with Machynlleth Town Council and Mayor Bob Dunn, Bro Ddyfi Youth Forum, Communities First, Keep Wales Tidy, Gerddi Bro Ddyfi Community Gardens, the Centre for Alternative Technology and the community policing team, ecodyfi has spent the last few months planning, fund-raising, clearing the rhododendrons and creating new disability access paths to the new all weather pitch and community garden. New signs, created by designers Creu-ad, now welcome people to the footpath, disability access paths, all weather pitch and garden.
The partnership project has already received funding from the Countryside Council for Wales, the Communities First Equality and Diversity fund and Keep Wales Tidy (Tidy Towns). Now they have received £25,000 through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-13 which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. This will be matched by £3181 from the Communities First Trust Fund, as well as further funding from Keep Wales Tidy for the community garden, Big Lottery Fund money from Mentro Allan and a donation of £2500 from the now dissolved Teenzone committee, to be used on two new items of skate and bike park equipment.
So what are they going to do next? The Youth Forum has led the partners in choosing a new shelter for the young people and the skate/bike equipment, and artist-blacksmith Spike Blackmore will be working with groups over the summer to design and create two seating areas. Other activities will include doing outdoor graffiti art. For the garden, there will also be a new shelter for volunteers, plants, tools and beds to develop growing and wildlife areas, and a wild play area for families, as well as plenty of courses and activities over the coming years and a Co-ordinator to organise it all!
And for the future, there are even more plans.
"As well as providing new facilities locally" explains Cathy Evans, "the partners aim to produce a beautiful community space for people to get active or chill out and play or learn together, from where young people and children can begin to explore and understand wild places. It's a really exciting project because it's been designed around what the young people want to do. Mentro Allan will be monitoring whether the facilities increase their activity levels or not. Let's hope so.
"Local experience has already demonstrated that exercise benefits mental and well as physical health, and this is the mission of the Gerddi Bro Ddyfi Gardens volunteers. Sarah Dance of the Machynlleth Mental Health Team added that, "This promises to be a wonderful facility, and we are keen to support people who want to try out a bit of gentle gardening in a quiet setting".
For more information, please contact Teresa Walters, Mentro Allan Co-ordinator at ecodyfi, 01654 703965 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for editors:
Mentro Allan: email email@example.com
Mentro Allan is a collection of projects in Wales supported by the Big Lottery Fund and a national partnership. The programme targets specific groups that are generally less active than the wider population. Each of the projects will be funded for four years to increase the physical activity levels of its target group, making best use of the local natural outdoor environment close to where people live. The programme will collect evidence on the effectiveness of specific interventions designed to increase people's levels of health-benefiting physical activity.
Mentro Allan Bro Ddyfi Venture Out: email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bro Ddyfi Mentro Allan programme will engage individuals in the Dyfi Valley community to increase levels of their physical activity, using a variety of settings in the outdoor natural environment. Our main target group is the broad population who experience rural isolation and who live sedentary lives. We are particularly concerned with individuals suffering from loneliness and social exclusion as a result of poor access to services and a dispersed population pattern, though activities will be open to all residents.
Our sub-target groups are: parents of young children, especially young parents; 11-18 year olds, especially those at risk of social exclusion; people with mental health issues, especially those not in regular contact with support groups and services. We will target residents of the Machynlleth, Cadfarch, Glantwymyn and Llanbrynmair areas, but residents from other parts of the valley will be welcome to join in. Ecodyfi is the lead body and other partners include: Community Action Machynlleth And District; Coed Lleol; US Mach; Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin, Sir Trefaldwyn; Play Montgomeryshire; NPHS Inequalities in Health project; Bro Ddyfi Communities First; Powys County Council; Tir Coed; NCH Sure Start; PAVO.
ecodyfi email email@example.com
Ecodyfi is the local regeneration organisation for the Dyfi Valley.