Together for Change Blog

Together for Change Blog

Introduction to the R&D in Asset Based Community Development meeting held on 7th September 2021

Introduction to the R&D in Asset Based Community Development meeting held on 7th September 2021

By Sue Denman. The meeting followed the ‘Does it Count' research and development event held in April 2021 (Does it Count event report) As many of you are aware Wales Government policies emphasise the importance communities of place in wellbeing. They stress the importance of the public sector working closely with communities and the third sector in a coproductive relationship to identify local needs and solutions. This is based on the knowledge that where we live, and the relationships that we have are the most important factors in our wellbeing, and determine the kind of life we have and the part we play in society. We now know that if the public sector invests in communities by cultivating the conditions in which people flourish they gain too by reducing the dependence on services and making cost savings. So it’s a win win situation all round. Community groups have demonstrated during the pandemic just how effective they are at a time of crisis in protecting and supporting their...

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Communities and the Green Agenda – Nature, health and wellbeing

Communities and the Green Agenda – Nature, health and wellbeing

Jessie Buchanan The need for a ‘green agenda’, an agenda in which the health and wellbeing both of the natural environment and of people is valued, has never been more pressing. During the restrictions to control the covid pandemic, the nation’s mental wellbeing suffered, and people turned to nature, and continue to do so. At the same time, the natural world is also in crisis. The climate is warming and biological diversity is declining faster that at any time in our history. As society strives to transition to more sustainable ways of working, understanding the intrinsic link between biodiversity and human wellbeing is key. In the 1962 publication ‘Silent Spring’, environmental scientist Rachel Carson wrote of our relationship with the natural environment in these terms: ‘Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn...

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Volunteering in a village to support older people in day to day living

Volunteering in a village to support older people in day to day living

Sue Denman, Together for Change Programme Lead and Partner People volunteer because they want to make a difference, to do  good, and  for  feelings of satisfaction. We know rather less about how and why they get into it in the first place: how did the opportunity arise and how did they choose which project  to commit their time to? My own ‘journey’ in volunteering started with a knock on the door. Soon after I retired, or more correctly, semi –retired, to  Solva in West Wales, Community Councillor Mollie Roach  called on me  and asked if I could help her undertake  a survey of social support  in the village. Solva is a small seaside village with some 800 residents – 24% of whom are in the older, 65 plus age category. Many of those were  living alone,  with multiple health conditions  and far away from their families. Most were isolated and had increasing difficulty getting out of the house and  undertaking  day to day tasks such as shopping, picking up a prescription from  the local...

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Art, Health and Wellbeing|Celfyddyd, Iechyd a Llesiant

Art, Health and Wellbeing|Celfyddyd, Iechyd a Llesiant

Jessie Buchanan, Together for Change Programme Officer The following text is a transcript of the presentation given by Jessie Buchanan at the  Together for Change Forum – ‘Spotlight on Community Arts’ on 20 May 2021. The focus of the second of the Forum Events – Spotlight on the Arts was in essence quite simple. It is time to recognise that the experience of creativity – in others, and in ourselves can make a profound contribution to the health and wellbeing of individuals and of communities. It is the belief that creativity is at the heart of what makes us human and what makes our ability to translate experience into something meaningful. Thousands of studies underpin this proposition. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing report, Creative Health, is the most comprehensive publication to date. It documents over 1000 published studies that outline the role of arts and creativity in supporting health across the course of a person’s life. Here, in Wales, the...

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Festival of Ideas Presentations / Cyflwyniadau Gŵyl Syniadau

Festival of Ideas Presentations / Cyflwyniadau Gŵyl Syniadau

Our thanks to the St Davids Festival of Ideas team for the opportunity to speak on Friday.  Watch Mollie Roach and Sue Denman’s presentation again.  Diolchwn i dîm @st_ideas/@StDAvidsIdeas am y cyfle i siarad ddydd Gwener. Edrychwch ar gyflwyniad Mollie Roach a Sue Denman eto. https://bit.ly/2QhWntj

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Festival of Ideas Presentations / Cyflwyniadau Gŵyl Syniadau

Together for Change Programme / Gyda’n Gilydd drs Newid

Sue Denman Trustee, Solva Care and Together for Change Programme Lead The following text is a blog post by Sue Denman for the St Davids Festival of Ideas website on 28 December 2020. This is a very personal perspective on why a small local charity, Solva Care, decided to obtain grant funding to lead a county wide initiative. Solva Care is working with Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS) and PLANED on a strategic project to build real partnership working with the public sector to support and sustain grassroots community groups. When I was in my 40s and busy with a demanding job and personal commitments a much older friend said to me that most people don’t really get interested or involved in politics until they have retired. The implication was that on retirement you have more time to look closely at policies and the decisions on which they are based and, importantly, consider how they affect one’s life. There is some truth in that observation, and I have had good...

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Together for Changes’ response to the Welsh Government consultation on the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act

Together for Changes’ response to the Welsh Government consultation on the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act

Barriers to the Successful Implementation of the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015; Written Evidence from the Pembrokeshire Together for Change Programme 1. The Pembrokeshire Together for Change Programme is the Third Sector (Solva Care, PAVS and PLANED) led initiative funded by the National Lottery Community Fund’s COVID-19 Legacy Fund to retain and sustain the positive changes resulting from the pandemic. The Programme started in March 2020 and seeks – through partnership working – to aid recovery and build community resilience in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Act). We have included in this response, some of the actions that we have successfully undertaken to progress the delivery of the Act. 2. We are in broad agreement with the conclusions of the Future Generations Commissioner in her review of progress in the implementation of the Act as set out in the Future Generations Report 2020 in that, whilst...

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Harnessing the positive effect of COVID-19 for sustained community action

Harnessing the positive effect of COVID-19 for sustained community action

Sue Denman Trustee, Solva Care and Together for Change Programme Lead The following text is an amended transcript of the presentation given by Sue Denman at the Rural Health and Care Wales Conference on 11 November 2020. In my presentation I am going to briefly cover the notion of wellbeing and the challenges facing rural communities in keeping well. Then I will consider the effect of COVID-19 on communities and community organisations, and the impact on joint working. Finally, I will give an overview of the Together for Change Programme, bearing in mind that we are at an early stage of defining our workplan. In all this I will draw on the example of Solva, which is the community I volunteer in – and know best – and Pembrokeshire, which is the location of this new and exciting Programme. Wellbeing I am talking to an audience comprised mainly of health and care professionals who, I know, are only too aware of the complexity surrounding the concept of wellness and wellbeing. It is...

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Other blogs of interest

The following are links to blog posts that the Together for Change team found inspiring or interesting:

Contributions to the Together for Change Blog are welcome – please get in touch.