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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Friendship Room benefits from community fund

* Buddug Williams of Grŵp Cynefin with Jan and Don Ware outside the Outhouse Friendship Room. 
A Llangollen couple who run a welcoming drop-in centre have benefitted from financial support from a housing association.

Grŵp Cynefin has shared out nearly £12,000 between 54 North Wales community groups and organisations to fund a variety of different projects and activities during 2018-2019.
The community fund is part of Grŵp Cynefin’s commitment to support local communities where they work and offer more than housing to people living in North Wales and north Powys.
Among them are Jan and Don Ware who work on a voluntary basis at Tŷ Allan’s Outhouse Friendship Room in Llangollen. They have twice been successful in their application for support from Grŵp Cynefin.
The Friendship Room is situated in Castle Street at the corner of Market Street car park and usual opening hours are from 10am-4pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Jan said: “We offer a warm room to stop during the day, a cup of tea or coffee, where people of all ages can pop in, chat and share any concerns they may have. It’s a safe and warm environment for local people, with some looking for support during a troublesome period in their lives.
“The people who stop by and visit us vary from young mothers with prams, wanting a five minute break in between shopping in town and the school pick up; young people struggling to find work to older people killing time before the bus arrives and people who are in dire need of support.
“It’s a voluntary project, but we are able to signpost people with more pressing needs to different agencies and organisations. We’ve been known to arrange birthday parties for families who are struggling, feed a family with no food in their cupboards, and Christmas is a special time where we open our doors for the festive period, and offer refreshments to people who may be on their own.
“We are wholly dependent on donations, so receiving support from Grŵp Cynefin has been fantastic. This year we’ve been able to buy new heaters and smaller tables that are more manageable for us to adapt the space we have for arts and craft activities. We’re also keen to develop our informal Welsh learning sessions, as working bilingually is very important to us.”
Community, voluntary and tenant groups are encouraged to bid for up to £500 to help them make a difference to local people’s lives and the environment they live in. The application process is a straightforward, says Grŵp Cynefin.
Community gardens, festivals, well-being sessions, family camping, conservation days, PA systems, play areas, investing in village halls, arts and science projects, first aid sessions and sporting events are just some of the activities people will benefit from.
“We are delighted that so many applications come through to us each year,” explains Mair Edwards, Community Initiatives Manager at Grŵp Cynefin.
“There are so many people across North Wales and north Powys working hard within their communities to support, care for and make a real difference to people’s lives. The variety of applications we have seen is inspiring.
“We have four application windows where we accept people’s proposals, and then our grants panel, made up of our tenants, meet to discuss each application based on a number of different criteria.”
* For more information regarding Grŵp Cynefin’s Community Grant, contact the Community Initiatives Team on 0300 111 2122 or email

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