Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan has today presented the Creation Development Trust, a social enterprise set up to revitalise the local area near Bridgend, with a Prime Minister’s Big Society Award - the first one to be awarded in Wales.
Creation Development Trust was set up in 2000 by members of the local community to tackle social and economic problems in the region. Since then they have helped local people and groups to set up projects to improve all aspects of life in Bridgend from the Creation cafe which is used to help develop internet skills to the Knitting Nannas group which produces knitted items for charitable organisations. Last year over 700 people benefited from training and development activities run by the Trust, 20% of which had a disability.
The Trust’s most innovative achievement is the Garw Timecentre which is the largest timebanking project in the UK. By volunteering for activities like running classes, planting in the local community or working as Street Ambassadors to look after local streets and their residents members earn credits which can be used to ‘pay’ to take part in other community activities. When the scheme was extended to offer younger people a way to earn credits for activities like judo, cheerleading and social events police reported a 17% reduction in anti-social behaviour.
During her visit Cheryl Gillan met with Street Ambassadors, Knitting Nannas and members of the community currently involved in lantern making for the local Lantern Festival which has become a popular event which brings the local community together to celebrate the town’s mining heritage. The Welsh Secretary also saw how the Creation Cafe is being used to develop internet skills.
Congratulating Creation Development Trust on the award, the Prime Minister said:
The idea behind Creation Development Trust really embodies the spirit of the Big Society - people working to help their own community deliver the improvements they want to see. I’m particularly impressed with how the Timecentre has become such an established part of the local community that people really see their time credits as a local currency.
This award recognises the time and effort those behind the trust have given for more than a decade to build it into such a remarkable organisation. I hope they continue to be a driving force to help everyone in the area build a community they can be proud of.
Presenting the award, Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said:
It has been an honour to present the Creation Development Trust with their Big Society Award today. The staff and volunteers involved in making the local community a better place to live and work are truly inspiring and it is clear why they have been recognised for their work.
The youth team and the street ambassadors, staff at the Real Food Shop, the Creation Cafe and the volunteers leading the art and knitting groups demonstrate great passion and determination. They show that by working together the local community is stronger; they are an inspiration to other communities across Wales.
Congratulations Creation Development Trust!
Accepting the award, Dawn Davies, Chief Executive of Creation Development Trust said:
I am thrilled to accept this award. It is a great recognition of all the work put in by everyone involved. We look forward to visiting Downing Street, sharing our progressive ideas with the Coalition Government and providing an insight to the kind of issues that affect rural communities in Wales.
Notes to editors
Suzanne Halls: 07411212300
On Creation Development Trust
Creation is engaged in economic, environmental, cultural and social regeneration. Established in 2000, it is an independent and not-for-private profit social enterprise. It is a company limited by guarantee (number 3998232) and a charity (number 1091527) managed by a board of trustees. The trustees give their time freely and receive no remuneration or other financial benefits from their involvement. Creation is community based, owned and managed, actively involved in partnerships and alliances between the community, voluntary, private and public sectors. Creation works with local people to develop sustainable projects that will contribute towards the regeneration of the local area, improve equality of opportunity and health and wellbeing.
The organisation has received various awards including the national British Urban Regeneration Association Award for Community Inspired Regeneration, are named on the Cynnal Cymru Sustain Wales Wales Green List and has been nominated in the South Wales Police Awards for partnership work on anti-social behaviour projects.
Timebanking has become central to the work of the Trust and is now being used to explore ways in which businesses can develop closer, mutually beneficial links with the community. Creation runs the biggest timebank of its kind in the UK and is committed to supporting the development of timebanks across Wales and internationally.
Creation’s offices are based at Blaengarw Workmen’s Hall in the village of Blaengarw. The building has seen footfall increase four fold, from approximately 12,000 visits to over 50,000 annually, since the charity took over the building from the local authority. It is a community hub that generates over 20,000 hours of volunteering in one valley alone and through partnership projects with South Wales Police and other organisations, the trust is now working right across the Bridgend County Borough.
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On the Big Society Awards
The Big Society Awards were set up by the Prime Minister in November 2010. The aim is to acknowledge individuals and organisations across the UK that demonstrate the Big Society in their work or activities. In so doing, the aim is also to galvanise others to follow.
The award focuses upon 3 specific areas:
- promoting social action - people being, and being encouraged to be, be more involved in their communities through giving time, money and other resources
- empowering communities - local people taking control of how things are done in their area and being helped to do this by local government and others
- opening up public services - public sector organisations and individuals demonstrating innovative ways of delivering public services and charities, social enterprises and private companies showing new ways of delivering public services