Barry’s communities first celebrates years of success with a final community party.


People from all over the Vale joined Barry’s Communities First team for one last celebration to mark their success over the years.

Communities First is a Vale of Glamorgan led, Welsh Government funded anti-poverty programme.


Their last event will be held on Good Friday, April 1, as Welsh Government decided to stop funding in February last year.


The team will be renamed and known as Communities for work.


Community members who benefited from projects and programmes, and partner organisations, met at Mount Rooms in Barry, to say thank you to the team.


Ashish Poddar, founder of FreshTies, a social enterprise and not-for profit organisation, who has been working alongside Communities First for a years, opened the event on Thursday March 22.


Mr Poddar said: “Sometimes, we all need somebody to understand, somebody to hold a hand and somebody to clap a hand. The stories shared today; show that it is only human to be a friend and to want a friend.”

Team members discussed their work on projects, which covered a range of topics to help improve people’s lives, which included Healthy living, which covered weight loss and healthy eating and workshops and courses on employment, IT and training support.


The team also ran several support sessions such as two weekly job clubs, four digital drop-in sessions, Advice Surgeries at Citizens Advice Bureau, and School Transition Support groups.


Colin Davies – Cluster Manager, said: “Today we are here to celebrate our achievements. We have worked with thousands of people over the years. Our most recent news is Barry Kicks, a football project aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour, saw 200 young people attend, and Adele Twomey, our Community Wellbeing Coach, helped them with grants, and they have now raised £4,000 and will run for two more years.”


The evening included short video clips of people who had changed their lives thanks to the help of the Communities First team, including recently qualified, fitness instructor Mark Rees from Barry.


Mark reached out to Communities First, and with their support he completed a Health and Wellbeing course at Cardiff and Vale College, lost six stone and ran two Cardiff half marathons.

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