OVER 100 Community groups across the Dyfed-Powys area are to benefit from funds of over £200,000, following participatory budgeting events that have taken place in the Force area through Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
The money has come from an initial investment of £140,000 from Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn, who committed £10,000 to each neighbourhood policing area. Several of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams were successful in securing additional funds from local partners and organisation, bringing the total funds available to £213,500, which resulted in more money for local community groups to apply for.
On Wendesday 20th January 2021, Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn and Dyfed-Powys Chief Constable Mark Collins met with all Neighbourhood Policing Teams to thank them for working with local partners and community groups to run the participatory budgeting events.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said; “I’m delighted to see that this innovative approach to community funding has been such a success, and I’m grateful for the work of our Neighbourhood Policing Teams for managing and running the events in each area. Several of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams managed to more than double the funding that I allocated to each of them, which is fantastic news to communities as it means we have been able to see more great projects and initiatives being funded.
“I committed to fund this new participatory funding approach as I think it’s vital that local residents have a say in how money is spent in their area. They are best placed to work with the police, and other partner agencies, to identify where the money is needed and what would most benefit the local communities.”
Superintendent Ifan Charles, Force lead for participatory budgeting, added: “As the events started to take place across the Dyfed-Powys area at the end of last year, we were pleased with the high level of interest from groups in applying to take part.
“Organisations were required to show how their project could improve community safety and promote a healthier safer community in their area and the communities themselves then decided which bids would be most beneficial for people living in each area.
“In doing it this way, we are giving people a greater say in how their community evolves.”
“Participatory budgeting has worked really well elsewhere and It’s been a privilege to lead the introduction of this approach here in Dyfed-Powys.”
One of the successful applicants in the Llanelli Participatory Budgeting event was CYCA, which is a centre that to provide support services for children, young people, and families across Carmarthenshire and beyond in the fields of emotional health and well-being, training, play, education, and physical health.
Tracy Pike, CEO at CYCA, Carmarthenshire said; “CYCA are delighted to receive this funding as we are aware that there are young people in the ward who require counselling support.
“They will present with anxiety or depression and need specialist services to give them strategies to earn to self soothe. Without this support it can lead to self-harm, substance or alcohol misuse. Our work is preventative.”
In Haverfordwest, funding was secured by Haverfordwest High VC School to develop a new radio station. Aurelia Gardner, Wellbeing co-ordinator at the School said; “The project will give our students the opportunity to take a lead role and develop their talents. Students will be given responsibility and ownership for Haverfordwest High Radio and for choreographing productions.
“Achievements will be rewarded on air to boost pride, sense of community and wellbeing and promote students’ own performances. The opportunities will bring a positive boost and provide transferable skills for all involved.
“We look forward to this amazing opportunity for all of the young people in the HHVCS community.”
Dementia Matters in Powys (DMiP) are also one of the successful applicants, who received funding for activities for people in the area who live with dementia. Deborah Gerrard from DMIP said; “We are delighted to receive so much support from the community during the Participatory Budgeting funding application process. The application was straightforward and interactive, this approach not only helped DMiP to secure the funds needed but also enabled us to raise our profile amongst the LD1 postcode area.
“We are so grateful for this opportunity, to know that the funding has enabled us to bring something enjoyable to those who are isolated during such difficult times and the feedback we are receiving is priceless – thank you for your support.”
All the participatory events happened virtually, on Zoom, where community groups who were applying for funding were asked to present a video showcasing their project ideas. PCC Llywelyn added; “It’s been great to hear of all the projects that have been successful and I hope we will be in a position later on in the year to be able to visit several of these groups to see how their communities have benefited of the funding”.