Changing Places : Changing Lives
Groundwork North Wales supports people facing multiple challenges, living in isolation, with significant health issues, limited employment prospects and who are vulnerable to the economic and environmental uncertainty of today’s society. We do this by creating better places, improving people’s prospects and by promoting greener choices through our diverse range of projects and services.
Our achievements for the financial year 2019-20 were busy and exciting as we ventured into new areas of activity and expanded some of our existing ones. In the Spring we took on the lease for the café and conference facilities at Alyn Waters Country Park in Wrexham and created Caffi Cyfle (Café of Opportunity). This has enabled us to continue to provide volunteering opportunities for vulnerable adults local to the area as well as to support local food producers and businesses. The Summer saw the plans for our first high street shop come to fruition with the grand opening in the Autumn. The expansion of Refurbs from Flint into Wrexham has meant we can support even more people with refurbished furniture and white goods at affordable prices.
We continue to grow our training offer and this year saw the development of our Pathways range of courses for those furthest from the job market. These courses provided individuals with a suite of entry-level qualifications for sectors such as retail, hospitality, health and social care, childcare and construction. Many participants have gone on to employment, into education or are volunteering; all reported improved self-esteem and confidence as a result of their achievements.
Through a vast range of grant-funded projects, we worked with individuals and communities across North Wales to improve local green space, reduce waste and to protect the natural environment. In the year where the government declared a nature emergency, the need to engage people with the natural environment and support them to think about their environmental impacts was stronger than ever.
The year drew to a close amidst a global pandemic. Covid-19 has turned everybody’s lives upside down, but the greatest impact has been for those where social inequalities already existed. As a result, the inequalities in society are set to increase. The impact on the economy, in particular, will plunge families into greater depths of poverty leading to a decline in their health and wellbeing. This makes our mission to transform the lives of those in greatest need even more pressing as well as more challenging. As we look to the future, we need to ensure that as an organisation we build on our strengths and strive to deliver our mission with even greater purpose.