The Welsh Government Children and Communities Grant (CCG) seeks to address the needs of the most vulnerable children, young people and adults in our society through a range of early intervention, prevention and support mechanisms. The programmes within this grant aim to mitigate or remove disadvantage to vulnerable people to enable them to have the same life chances as others and contribute to a more equal Wales.
The CCG brings together the following six programmes:
- Childcare and Play (formerly Out of School Childcare)
- Families First
- Flying Start
- St David’s Day Fund
- Promoting Positive Engagement for Young People at risk of offending (PPE)
- Out of Court Parenting Support Grant
The Children and Communities Grant supports local authorities to consider how to deliver the services they provide more strategically. Flexibility within this grant can support and promote joint planning and commissioning to make more effective use of the funding in pursuit of the constituent programmes’ aims and objectives. There is an expectation that this extra freedom will allow a more strategic approach to delivering for the most vulnerable in society.
Family Centres provide support for families in their local communities – the right help at the right time. Through the Covid-19 period, we have found innovative solutions by working in partnership with others. We worked with Conwy Castle to open up for individual families of children with additional needs to have an experience they wouldn’t normally be able to access, and with closed schools during lockdown to use their playgrounds for families without access to outdoor space. We are working with food banks and the Wellbeing Team to distribute slow cookers, ingredients and recipes to families. We are developing a clothes swap project with local charities and community groups, which has both financial and environmental benefits. We are also delivering webinars and bitesize video clips with expert partners. For more information about our services, visit FamilyLife.
Prior to Christmas, Families First, in conjunction with Blaenau Gwent 0-25 Disability Team, held three taster sessions for a new arts and crafts group, running at Rassau Resource Centre in Ebbw Vale for young adults with a disability, aged 16-25 years.
The group is facilitated by Chris Walters who is a local artist based in Blaenau Gwent with a wealth of knowledge and seemed the perfect fit for the job – Chris came highly recommended and goes above and beyond all expectations. Both Families First and the Disability Team support Chris with the sessions every week.
The gap in the service was identified and discussed at an ‘all things disability’ meeting – we then worked to bridge that gap and have luckily had a brilliant response to it. We have over 12 young people participating every week and we anticipate more joining the group in the weeks ahead.
As we hoped, we have had a lot of engagement from the local community and this engagement continues beyond the participants; we have had a few inquiries from people living in the local area who would like to volunteer – a post went out through GAVO explaining the new project and there are already very kind people offering their services and wanting to become involved – this process is on-going.
The aim of the group was to give these young adults a voice, independence, a purpose and the opportunity to learn new skills and make new friendships – it is absolutely paramount that services such as this exist to ensure that young adults with disabilities get their voices heard, are integrated within our local community, and that they feel valued, appreciated and inspired.
This group is funded until March 2022, but we are hoping and anticipating to work beyond this date to continue its brilliant success.