EVI | Ebbw Vale Institute : Ebbw Vale InstituteEVI | Ebbw Vale Institute : Ebbw Vale Institute

Launch Menu Launch Menu

Archive: Dec 2022

  1. A Very Merry EVI Christmas

    Comments Off on A Very Merry EVI Christmas

    It’s been a wonderful and busy year here at EVI, so we put on a week of community festive cheer to celebrate.

    At the beginning of the year, we were granted substantial funding from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund*. This meant we’ve been able to host and launch many community events and initiatives over the past 12 months. From our Open Week, training academies, cultural exhibitions and workshops, to launching the ‘Café at EVI’, a community banking hub, community choir, and more – we’ve had a very busy year!

    This funding has also provided us with the resources to plan and set-up even more community initiatives for 2023, such as the EVI Community Pantry and Repair Café.

    To celebrate all we’ve achieved this year, we put on a week of festive cheer for staff, volunteers and the community.

    Miracle on 34th Street

    The Lighthouse Theatre Company kicked off our festive season with an outstanding sell-out Live Radio Play of the Christmas classic, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’. It was an evening stuffed with seasonal tunes, mulled wine, mince pies and a captivating Christmas tale enjoyed by all.

    12 Days of Christmas

    A big well done to our EVI Voxpop community choir who put on a packed Christmas concert. Led by our dedicated volunteer and choir leader, Alison, the choir has gone from strength to strength since they formed less than 4 months ago. The audience joined in for a rendition of ’12 Days of Christmas’!

    Christmas Dinner

    For our final Christmas celebration, the Café at EVI put on a delicious 2-course turkey roast. EVI staff, volunteers, tenants, and other BG community organisations joined us to celebrate a year of bringing wellbeing, entertainment, education and support to the communities of Ebbw Vale and Blaenau Gwent. A big thank you to all who’ve made this year a successful one and to our wonderful community. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


    All community events and initiatives mentioned within this article have been funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

    *The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, click here.

    ProMo Cymru, charity and social enterprise, operates and is the custodian of the Ebbw Vale Institute. We are proud to have saved EVI for future community use.

  2. EVI’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

    Comments Off on EVI’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

    Louby Lou’s Storytelling magically transformed EVI into a School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for a spooktacular community Halloween celebration.

    90 local children and their families joined us on Halloween for a magical and immersive storytelling experience with Louby Lou’s Storytelling. Children zoomed around the building exploring the possibilities of their imagination and getting lost in the make believe. They took part in three Witchcraft and Wizardry lessons with a different witch or wizard – ‘The Magic Potion Pot’, ‘Zoom on a Broom’ and ‘Charms and Spells’ – free to all thanks to a generous donation from a community member.

    A big thank you to all that came and those who made the day possible!

    ProMo Cymru, charity and social enterprise, operates and is the custodian of the Ebbw Vale Institute. We are proud to have saved EVI for future community use.

  3. Thousands Listen to Talented Budding South Wales Musicians

    Comments Off on Thousands Listen to Talented Budding South Wales Musicians

    A talented group of young people in Blaenau Gwent have released their very own single, ‘Summer of Love’ by KRU (ft. Kidz R Us), and it’s already hit over 5.5 thousand YouTube views and over 3000 streams on Spotify! 

    EVI worked in collaboration with music producer Nick Brine (Oasis, Stone Roses) to enable an inspirational group of young people from Kidz R Us in Blaenau Gwent to write, create, record, and promote their very own single – funded by the Welsh Government’s Summer of Fun scheme through CWVYS.

    ProMo-Cymru (EVI’s custodians) joined KRU and Nick Brine at their state-of-the-art recording studios in EVI for the recording session of their original single, ‘Summer of Love’. Find out how they got on!

    ‘It’s been an amazing experience from start to finish. We’ve had so much fun and learnt so much!’

    KRU Member

    An uplifting and upbeat song to get you through the colder months. Take time to listen and support them by watching on YouTube and listening on Spotify.

    KRU and Nick Brine at EVI

    Also at EVI…

    ProMo-Cymru also used their digital expertise to deliver free training at EVI as part of our Summer of Fun. Local young people took part in graphic design workshops, accredited video production and TikTok creator sessions throughout the summer.

    Picture taken at the Accredited Video Production course delivered by ProMo at EVI.

    “I’ve just finished uni and keen to add more skills to my CV as I search for jobs. The trainer explained everything very well, I understood everything! The sessions were really useful.”

    “I’ve learnt graphic design skills that will help with my own career path and improve the appearance of the YouTube and TikTok videos I already create!”

    Find out more about ProMo’s training sessions here.


    ProMo Cymru, charity and social enterprise, operates and is the custodian of the Ebbw Vale Institute. We are proud to have saved EVI for future community use.

  4. Miloedd yn Gwrando ar Gerddorion Newydd Talentog o Dde Cymru

    Comments Off on Miloedd yn Gwrando ar Gerddorion Newydd Talentog o Dde Cymru

    Mae grŵp talentog o bobl ifanc ym Mlaenau Gwent wedi rhyddhau sengl eu hunain, ‘Summer of Love’ gan KRU (gyda Kidz R Us), ac mae dros 5.5 mil wedi gwylio ar YouTube a dros 3000 wedi gwrando ar Spotify yn barod!

    Bu ProMo-Cymru yn gweithio mewn cydweithrediad â’r cynhyrchydd cerddoriaeth Nick Brine (Oasis, Stone Roses) yn eu Canolfan Cymunedol a Diwylliannol, Institiwt Glyn Ebwy (EVI), i alluogi grŵp o bobl ifanc ysbrydoledig o Kidz R Us ym Mlaenau Gwent i ysgrifennu, creu, recordio a hyrwyddo sengl eu hunain – wedi ei ariannu drwy gynllun Haf o Hwyl Llywodraeth Cymru trwy CWVYS.

    Ymunodd ProMo-Cymru â KRU a Nick Brine yn y stiwdio recordio o’r radd flaenaf yn EVI i gynnal sesiwn recordio o’r sengl wreiddiol, ‘Summer of Love’. Dyma sut yr aeth pethau!

    “Mae wedi bod yn brofiad anhygoel o’r cychwyn i’r diwedd. Cawsom cymaint o hwyl a dysgu llawer iawn!”

    – Aelod KRU

    Cân sy’n codi’r galon i’ch cario chi trwy’r misoedd oer o’n blaen. Dangoswch eich cefnogaeth wrth wylio’r fideo ar YouTube and gwrando ar Spotify.


    ProMo Cymru, charity and social enterprise, operates and is the custodian of the Ebbw Vale Institute. We are proud to have saved EVI for future community use.

  5. Liz’s EVI Journey

    Comments Off on Liz’s EVI Journey

    A big congratulations and thank you to Liz, a successful graduate of our Hospitality training academy and an invaluable ‘Café at EVI’ volunteer.

    Liz began her EVI Journey with us in the summer, coming to us with her aspiration to become a chef, work in catering and improve her cooking skills after a period of being unable to work. She enrolled on our Hospitality Training Academy*, where she successfully completed 9 different courses from essential training qualifications such as first aid, food safety and customer service to practical bar and barista skills.

    Liz then undertook a volunteer placement in our community ‘Café at EVI’* to put her newfound skills into practice. Working with Amanda, our café cook and trainer, Liz practiced lots of new recipes, front of house skills and learnt about the general running of the café. 


    “The best thing about being involved with EVI is meeting new people. I’m feeling so much more sociable, even my back is feeling better, my confidence has improved, and nothing makes me happier than happy customers. I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing what I do now. It’s given me the motivation and time to really develop myself and skills”

    – Liz


    The EVI team have helped Liz update her CV, rehearse interview skills and start to apply for local hospitality jobs. We’ve also helped taste-test many of her delicious bakes and have welcomed her into our EVI Voxpop community choir

    A big thank you to Liz and all our volunteers who are essential to our community and cultural centre and the successful delivery of our community projects. 

    Liz’s EVI Journey has been supported by funding from the UK Government*.

    EVI are looking for volunteers to help support the many community services and activities available at the centre. Help us make a change in your area – meet friends, gain work experience and help others! Find out more about our volunteering opportunities here. 


    *We were able to open the Café at EVI, deliver our Hospitality Training Academy and support Liz on her volunteer journey due to funding from the UK Government through our UKCRF project.

    *The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, click here.

    ProMo Cymru, charity and social enterprise, operates and is the custodian of the Ebbw Vale Institute. We are proud to have saved EVI for future community use.

  6. 30 People Graduate From EVI’s Training Academies

    Comments Off on 30 People Graduate From EVI’s Training Academies

    30 People Graduate From EVI’s Training Academies

    Congratulations to our 2022 Hospitality and Teaching Assistant Academy graduates!

    EVI partnered with Communities for Work Plus and Adult Learning Wales this year to deliver Hospitality and Teaching Assistant training academies – bespoke courses designed by us based on community need. Funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund* meant that these were free of charge to the people of Blaenau Gwent and included delicious daily buffets from the community Café at EVI.

    30 people gained a range of qualifications and skills from barista and bar skills, first aid and customer service to autism awareness, paediatric first aid, anger management, safeguarding of children and more. 

    Celebrating Successes

    4 people have already gained employment as a direct result of attending the academies, with others boosting their confidence and their CV’s with qualifications and skills to help gain future employment, access volunteering opportunities and support their business. 

    We recently held award ceremonies for our graduates. Congratulations and best of luck to you all!

    The feedback from the academies has been overwhelmingly positive;


    “Great for my CV and future job applications. Also very helpful for my confidence.”

    – Hospitality Academy Graduate


    “[It] Benefitted me by giving me skills and qualifications that I can use to get a job in a career that I’d always wanted.”

    – Teaching Assistant Academy Graduate


    Further Opportunities

    Our skilled EVI team were on hand to offer support throughout the course, working with participants to define what they would like to achieve, barriers, future plans, and signposting further opportunities such as training and volunteering. Communities for Work Plus also provided help in removing financial hurdles such as transport, childcare and training to help them get the job they need. 

    Look out for more EVI training academies in the future! Find out more about one participant’s journey below.


    *The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, click here.

    ProMo Cymru, charity and social enterprise, operates and is the custodian of the Ebbw Vale Institute. We are proud to have saved EVI for future community use.

  7. Ukrainian and Welsh Mini-Festival at EVI

    Comments Off on Ukrainian and Welsh Mini-Festival at EVI

    ‘Industrial Dreams’, a free half-day festival, was held at EVI recently as part of the University of St Andrews: Donbas in Focus project in collaboration with Gwent Archives. The project explored industry, archive, erasure and community resilience in Ebbw Vale and the Ukrainian East. 

    Ukrainian filmmakers, artists and people feeling conflict joined with people from Ebbw Vale and historians, archivists and journalists from across Wales for ‘Industrial Dreams’, a free half-day festival exploring how the histories and experiences from industrial areas in the Ukrainian East and South Wales intertwine. The event culminated in a UK film premiere.

    Industrial Legacies

    Both Ebbw Vale and Mariupol, Ukraine were once two of the largest steel producing complexes in Europe. Today both are gone, as a result of de-industrialization in the case of Ebbw Vale, and Russia’s devastating war of erasure in the case of Mariupol.

    This event explored the industrial legacies of these places and how they speak to each other through archival images of the steelworks, moving images and personal testimony, as well as post-industrial projects like the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival and Welsh / Ukrainian contemporary art.

    Cllr Dai Davies talking passionately about Ebbw Vale and EVI’s history.

    Ebbw Vale Institute was a particularly apt venue for the event as the 170-year-old building is itself a reflection of the social and industrial heritage of the town of Ebbw Vale, previously providing training in iron, steel and coal for the area. 

    Attendees wrote heartfelt and moving postcards to pen pals in Ukraine telling them something about their lives in South Wales, showing solidarity for the violence and terror Ukraine is now facing.

    UK Film Premiere at EVI

    The day culminated with the UK premiere of “EuroDonbas”, a documentary film revealing the last footage of Eastern Ukrainian towns before Russian invasion, directed by Kornii Hrytsiuk and produced by Anna Palenchuk. The film brings to life the foreign heritage of Eastern Ukrainian cities, including the history of Welsh labour migration to Hughesovka, today’s Donetsk. Kornii and Anna came online to cheers and long applause from the Ebbw Vale audience and answered audience questions.

    Event organiser Victoria Donovan from the University of St Andrews said, “Wales and Donbas have much to learn from each other’s histories of political and cultural resilience. We are excited to get new generation artists from the two countries talking to each other across borders, and thinking together about their post-industrial futures,  particularly at this incredibly difficult moment of full-scale Russian war against Ukraine.”   

    Picture Gallery

    ProMo Cymru, charity and social enterprise, operates and is the custodian of the Ebbw Vale Institute. We are proud to have saved EVI for future community use.

Foundation Funders:

National Lottery Community Fund Logo
Welsh Government Logo

Current Funders:

Lloyds Bank Foundation Logo
Landfills Tax Scheme Logo
WCVA Logo
Blaenau Gwent County Council Logo
UK Gov Wales