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Category Archive: Environment

  1. Great Things Are Coming At EVI

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    We are pleased to announce that Ebbw Vale Institute (EVI) has successfully been awarded a grant from the UK Community Renewal Fund. This means that the oldest institute in Wales, restored and refurbished by ProMo-Cymru, can reopen after the pandemic with some exciting new developments.

    This funding will allow EVI to develop opportunities with young people and support cultural and economic recovery in Ebbw Vale and Blaenau Gwent. We have lots of exciting plans and ideas for the centre this spring.

    ·  Creating opportunities and pathways into employment for young people involving our café and digital skills training

    ·  Promoting healthy living skills and socialising through our café and garden

    ·  Working with local artists and community groups, hosting cultural events for the community

    ·  Running environmental activities and workshops, increasing positive environmental behaviour both in and outside the building

    Centre of community life

    Although our partner support services have remained open and continue to operate, the centre has been closed to the public during the pandemic. We are so happy to be reopening our community cultural centre in the heart of Ebbw Vale with the launch of this exciting new project. Environmental innovation, sustainability, community and local culture are at the heart of this renewal project, aiming to make Blaenau Gwent a more attractive place to live, work, and visit.

    EVI has been at the centre of community life in Ebbw Vale for 173 years, and this project means it will continue to do so for generations to come

    Find out more

    What do you want to see EVI bring to your community? If you would like to discuss this project or work with us, get in touch with sam@evi.cymru. Follow or like us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to keep up to date with what’s happening and join us on our inspiring and exciting journey this spring. 

    Welsh translation of this article is available here

    This project is 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, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus

  2. ‘Awards for All’ Volunteers create homes for garden wildlife

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    Awards for All Volunteers take local environmental action by creating wildlife habitats for birds, bats, hedgehogs and pollinating insects in the EVI garden …

    The next stage of our Big Lottery Community Fund Awards for All project was to create wildlife habitat, to help attract nesting birds and bats to the EVI garden and create homes for hedgehogs.

    Everyone had a task and were challenged to use tools and techniques that had not been used before.

    Supporting our garden wildlife

    Awards for All Volunteers from Llamau, ACT Training, Barod Gwent N-Gage and Cyfannol Women’s Aid, have created several bird and bat boxes to help attract nesting birds and bats to the EVI garden.
    Visit Gwent Wildlife Trust for more ways you can get involved locally and support garden wildlife.

    We also have a hedgehog home that will be relocated where it is most needed. If you find a hedgehog out in the day or injured, please visit hedgehoghelplinecymru.org.uk for information and advice on what to do next.

    Spreading the Seeds…

    Some of our younger volunteers made seed bombs and had great fun spreading them throughout the garden. We also relocated our pollinator bee and bug hotel and talked about how over a third of our food depends on pollinating insects.

    Wellbeing in Nature …

    Volunteers also created colourful images and words to remind people to spend more time in nature and how we can increase our wellbeing when spending time outdoors – over 18 posts were painted.

    Keeping up the great work

    ‘Awards for All’ Volunteers will continue taking care of the EVI garden throughout the seasons and utilise the wellbeing space for learning, meetings and activities.

    Organisations based at EVI, (Llamau, ACT Training, Cyfannol, Barod and BGCBC Youth Services) will also undertake further environmental and wellbeing projects in the EVI garden.

    Special thanks

    Thanks to Sam Holt, Eggseeds for leading the environmental workshops, MallowArt for the painting workshop and Promo Cymru (the charity that runs EVI) for providing the ‘graphic design with canva’ and ‘Film making on your mobile’ online workshops to support the volunteers in increasing their skills in digital communications.

    A special thank you to all our volunteers for creating a wellbeing space at the EVI garden. Everyone worked together with staff and clients from other organisations, with children and families; many new skills were learned along the way and so much has been accomplished to support our local wildlife.

  3. Volunteers Create a Wellbeing Garden at EVI

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    An environmental project at EVI, made possible by the National Lottery Community Fund Awards For All programme, has brought organisations and volunteers together to create a wellbeing space in the garden.

    What did we do?

    The first step was to plant bee friendly flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables that will be looked after by the volunteers throughout the seasons.

    Over the two sessions, facilitated by Eggseeds‘ Sam Holt, the volunteers and staff from ACT Training and Llamau prepared the soil and planted flowers, herbs (like rosemary and chives), fruit trees (like raspberry and gooseberry) and vegetables (chard, sprouts, peas). Everyone worked really hard and for many, this was a new experience.

    Some of the volunteers spent time creating wellbeing posts, painting vibrant colours and wellbeing quotes onto the old fencing posts, so that everyone is reminded of the benefits of spending time in nature.

    Providing new experiences for young people

    For many of the young people aged between 16 and 18 that were taking part, gardening was a totally new experience for them. Here’s what some of them had to say:

    “It’s my first time gardening I am usually an indoor person”

    “It feels nice being outdoors”

    “With lockdown, people could have got more into gardening”

    “I am enjoying it more than I thought I would”

    ACT Training – EVI Volunteers


    “It’s quite peaceful, relaxing”

    “I like to cook with a lot of these herbs so I am looking forward to planting them”

    “I like building computers so this is being creative in a different environment”

    “It feels nice being outdoors”

    Llamau – EVI Volunteers

    What are the next steps?

    The next step in this environmental project is to carry out the ‘local environmental and wellbeing in nature’ actions that were raised during a focus group with Llamau. These included displaying QR codes around EVI that linked to wellbeing information.

    EVI volunteers will create wildlife habitats, facilitated by Eggseeds, such as bird and bat boxes, hedgehog homes, and homes for pollinating insects. This workshop will be held on Tuesday 3rd August 2021.

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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