Covid-19 response grants awarded to projects in Tredegar and Rhymney

Covid-19 response grants awarded to projects in Tredegar and Rhymney

As part of the latest funding round, the Pen Bryn Oer Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund has awarded emergency grants to three organisations addressing community need during the Covid-19 crisis. The emergency grants awarded are as follows:

• Cymru Creations, Tredegar Community Task Force – £500
• Sirhowy Community Centre – £500
• Rhymney Valley Foodbank – £1,000

Kevin Phillips from Cymru Creations said: “Since the 15th March Cymru Creations formed the group the ‘Tredegar Community Task Force’ and supports all members of the community, not just in Tredegar, but many towns in the Blaenau Gwent area as well.

“The company’s office based in The Little Theatre, Tredegar acts as the Headquarters for the operation. It was transformed into a fully functioning base of operations, complete with social distancing markers, notice boards, and personal protective equipment for all our volunteers.

“Our volunteers had grown to around thirty, and the amount of jobs completed started to rapidly increase. First 500 jobs were completed, then 1,000, then 2,000. We are providing free food to those in the community who were struggling.

“What’s amazing about this team of film makers, ex-teachers, steel industry workers, local Councillors, and those who are self-employed, is how they have all risen to the challenge in a time of uncertainty and crisis, and furthermore, they are succeeding. Every day the staff and volunteers continue to make deliveries and provide support to whoever requires our help, and the milestones continue to be surpassed. At the beginning of May they completed the 3,500 deliveries. By June we made 5,000 door to door deliveries of medicine, food, educational packs and personal shopping. Simply put, without grants like the Pen Bryn Oer Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, this level of support would not exist. We aim to continue this service for the next 6 months.”

Cymru Creations – Tredegar Community Task Force

Ellen Jones from Sirhowy Community Centre said: “Sirhowy Community Centre in Tredegar have been able to open our doors every day instead of 4 days a week before Covid-19, enabling everyone who needs extra help gets it even though 6 out of our 10 volunteers are shielding. Thank you Pen Bryn Oer Wind Farm for helping us with a grant.”

Leah Philbrick from Rhymney Valley Foodbank said: “We have been a very grateful recipient of support from the Pen Bryn Oer Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund. The Rhymney Valley Foodbank has been seen demand more than double in the last month and a half and we have fed over 1,322 people since the beginning of April. It has been with help from this grant that we have been able to stabilise our stock situation which was perilously low, to meet the increased demand and now to be in a good position to respond to the needs that will undoubtedly continue to be present in our communities for the months ahead.”

Rhymney Valley Foodbank

In addition to these emergency awards, £16,000 was awarded to ten community projects as part of the normal funding round.

Cllr Carl Cuss, the Chair of the local Advisory Group that has been established to help decide how the money will be spent, said: “I am absolutely delighted the panel unanimously agreed these funds to support these three vital projects operating in such difficult circumstances. Despite all the funds we have allocated to other community groups in this round of funding applications, I am pleased we were able to support these groups on the Tredegar and Rhymney side who are working extremely hard to support our communities during COVID19. Keep up the good work and a huge thank you on behalf of the panel for everything that you do.”

In total, more than sixty projects have now been supported through the Pen Bryn Oer Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund since its launch in 2018, sharing over £70,000 in grants.

The Fund will provide £30,000 each year for the expected 25 year lifetime of the wind farm for good causes within the Community Council areas of Rhymney and Tredegar. There are two rounds of funding each year, with an equal split of £15,000 available each time. Any funds unallocated will be available in the subsequent round.

Groups located within the eligible area can apply for grants between £250 and £2,000, although applications up to £7,500 will be considered for projects that can demonstrate a significant community benefit across both Council areas.

The next closing date for applications is 2 September 2020 (for decisions in November). The Fund is being administered by national charity GrantScape on behalf of Pen Bryn Oer Ltd which is asset managed by RES. For further details about the Fund and how you can apply click here.

Cover Photo: Rhymney Valley Foodbank Deliveries