VOLUNTEERS FROM Cyfle Cymru dug deep to help the Welsh Mountain Zoo prepare their playgrounds for the half-term rush.
Participants from the recovery and employability programme shovelled barrowlands of bark to ensure a soft landing for children at the Colwyn Bay attraction’s play areas ahead of the school holidays.
Roxy from Llandudno volunteered at the zoo for the first time this month, and is already looking forward to returning on a fortnightly basis.
She said: “It’s a good experience because it gets me out of the house – plus, I love doing anything related to animals!”
Roxy, 29, takes pride in working hard, and enjoys the idea of having a positive impact on the animals at the zoo.
She hopes that by demonstrating her commitment through volunteering, she can show prospective future employers what she can do.
Cyfle Cymru is an EU-funded project that supports people with experience of mental health and substance misuse issues in gaining confidence, qualifications and employment opportunities.
Through the programme, volunteers like Roxy gain valuable real-life work experience and self-confidence, and give back to the community.
Participants in the programme have already benefitted from more than 50,000 hours of effective mentoring – and committed more than 10,000 hours of their own time to volunteering across the length and breadth of Wales.
Conwy peer mentor Dave Pritchard said: “I spent around 20 years of my life struggling with substance misuse and complex mental health issues and I knew something had to change.
“Now I’m helping people in similar situations to me. Events like this are a fantastic way for our participants to give back to the community!”
Cyfle Cymru is delivered by members of the DACW Consortium.
Cyfle Cymru is part of the Welsh Government’s Out of Work Service, supported by the European Social Fund.