A visit to Seren Ffestiniog, successful applicants of our Community Grant Fund

Seren Ffestiniog service users have been enjoying the benefits of recent funding from the Conwy Valley and North West Wales Coast Community Rail Partnership and Transport for Wales.

Seren Ffestiniog successfully applied for two grants from the Conwy Valley and North West Wales Coast Community Rail Partnership Fund and Transport for Wales. The Community Grant Funding, launched in September of 2022, was designed to support the resilience and sustainability of community organisations. Up to £1,000 was available for community groups within a five-mile radius of stations along the routes from Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno Junction to Holyhead. Applications were considered for a wide range of activities that could demonstrate their impact on the community and how the funding will sustain them in the future and keep services going.

Our Community Rail Officer, Claire Williams, recently visited Seren Ffestiniog, based in the former slate quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, to see and hear about the difference the funding has made to them as a social enterprise organisation and to their service users.

Seren Ffestiniog provides care and support services, including supported living schemes, for adults with learning disabilities. The first of their application saw Seren Ffestiniog awarded with £991.96 to purchase musical instruments to support their new music and drama therapy sessions. The sessions intend to raise self-confidence and self-esteem among their individuals, but also to learn dexterity and rhythm skills as they hear sound patterns that focus on strengthening senses.

Their second successful application was to the Greener Communities Fund. This Fund was made possible thanks to additional funding from Transport for Wales for community groups whose emphasis was on ‘Green Projects’. Groups could apply for up to £500 to deliver projects with a greener initiative such as habitat creation, bug houses and allotments.

Seren Ffestiniog received £500 from the Fund towards the cost of gardening equipment to be used to continue with improvements and expansion of services to Stiniog Gardens, the cemetery at Llan Ffestiniog, and the gardens at the hotel. The organisation wanted to develop a service for people who are unable to look after their family’s graves, whether due to physical incapacity or distance. It is hoped that this will benefit their service users by building confidence and developing their skills. Although there is still much work to be done to Stiniog Gardens project, service users have purchased and trialled their gardening equipment and have made great progress on the gardens at the hotel.