News story

Oxfam Project in Newport is “empowering the community”

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Wales Office Minister Baroness Jenny Randerson will today (24 January 2013) visit Oxfam community development project, Duffryn Community Link.

Wales Office Minister Baroness Jenny Randerson will today (24 January 2013) visit Oxfam community development project, Duffryn Community Link (DCL) in Newport.

DCL works with vulnerable local parents to enable them to build a more positive and sustainable future for themselves and their children. Their work focuses on vulnerable children who are referred to Duffryn Infant School’s nurture group (Rainbow Class). The school creates an environment halfway between home and school, to support the children’s emotional needs so that they may benefit from education and learning. It also provides mentoring for parents to allow them to better support their children.

The visit stems from a recent meeting with Oxfam officials where the Minister was updated on the work being done in Welsh communities as part of the charity’s UK Poverty Programme. She was impressed by the ‘knock-on’ effect Oxfam’s community work is having with those involved spreading a positive word to engage neighbours and the wider community.

At the DCL Baroness Randerson will meet local families and teachers that are supported through their work and hear from the Chair of DCL Joe Chiummo and Oxfam UK Poverty Programme Coordinator Frances Taylor. She will also engage in a roundtable discussion with officials linked to both DCL and Oxfam to talk about how well DCL is working and what challenges they face.

Baroness Randerson said:

This visit has enabled me to see first hand the valuable work both Oxfam and Duffryn Community Link are doing for the local community in Newport, ensuring families are accessing all the services, support and resources available to them. It’s been wonderful to meet everyone involved and hear how local parents have benefitted.

The Big Society has a long and proud tradition in Wales. It is a model that I am personally passionate about, having been a Committee Member that produced the 2010 National Assembly report into the role that social enterprises have to play in the health of the Welsh economy. In November last year, I hosted the Big Society seminar in Cardiff where I had the opportunity to meet with community groups, local organisations and businesses to discuss ideas and new approaches that could encourage and support the growth of partnerships and social enterprises.

Community projects like Duffryn Community Link have a critical, but also very challenging role in these difficult economic times. I admire the continued dedication of those who create and manage the schemes, empowering vulnerable local people to build a more positive and sustainable future for themselves and their children.

Chair of DCL, Mr Chiummo MBE said:

Duffryn Community Link was delighted to have been chosen as one of Oxfam’s partner agencies using the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach to support disadvantaged and marginalised people.

This new approach is very successfully assisting individuals who felt excluded access support and services they require. I believe this is improving the quality of their lives with long term cost-savings for the state.

A measure of any civilised society is how it regards and supports its most vulnerable individuals and families.