VOLUNTEERS WHO have given hundreds of hours of their own time to help keep two of Wales’ prettiest beauty spots spick and span have been handed awards for their achievements.
The schemes help people who have experience of substance misuse and poor mental health gain new skills and focus, and move on in their recoveries.
Dig, plant and renew
Together with Flintshire County Council’s countryside rangers and National Trust volunteers they have helped clear woodland and scrub, mend fences, pick litter, manage meadows, and dig, plant and renew gardens at the two sites over the last 12 months.
Volunteer Rob Clark (58), from Wrexham, said he had found working with the group at Erddig really rewarding.
“I like working outside,” Rob said. “When you get there, you think it’s so big that you won’t be able to make a difference – but it’s surprising what you can achieve!
“I like that I’m giving something back to the community and meeting people – and you’re always meeting new people.”
Wrexham-based peer mentor George James said the volunteers had made a real difference at both Erddig and Wepre.
“Both locations have offered great support to our volunteers, and have given them opportunities to mix with others, build their confidence and self-esteem, and gain new employability skills,” he said.
“I know both really value the help and support of our volunteers, and that our volunteers have been able to make great strides while giving something back to the area they live in.”
Marking Recovery Month
Cyfle Cymru offers peer mentoring and employment support as part of the Welsh Government’s EU-funded Out of Work Service, and is led by CAIS across the North Wales, Powys, Dyfed, Western Bay and Gwent regions. The programme has already helped more than 2,300 people in Wales and delivered in excess of 25,000 hours of support in the community.
Affinity, a partnership between ARCH Cymru and CAIS, provides effective treatment and interventions for people with substance misuse issues in the criminal justice system.
The graduation was one of a host of events designed to help mark Recovery Month – which is celebrated by people in recovery each September.
Health and Wellbeing
It also included a presentation for participants in ARCH Cymru’s health and wellbeing programme, the premiere of a new film from BAFTA-winning community production company Eternal Media, and awards to those completing courses offered by Intuitive Recovery.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said it was wonderful to present awards at the event, held at the Wepre Park Visitors Centre, for the second time in as many years.
“I fully support efforts to get people who need it into treatment, and I enjoy hearing about the successes they have achieved,” Mr Jones added.
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.