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Category Archive: Health & Wellbeing

  1. ‘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.

  2. 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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  3. Awards for All Environmental Project at EVI

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    Thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund – Awards for All, ProMo Cymru will be delivering environmental activities in our new EVI garden, with volunteers learning new skills and raising awareness of how we can all take LOCAL environmental action and increase our wellbeing in Nature

    The EVI (Ebbw Vale Institute) is a community hub offering support, learning and cultural activities to young people and families, with a cafe, venue and conference/training facility, cinema quality screen and exhibition facilities available to the community.

    We are working on this exciting project with the organisations based at EVI, Llamau, Cyfannol Women’s Aid, Blaenau Gwent CBC Youth Services, ACT Training and Barod Gwent N-Gage.

    To start the project, Llamau, Learning 4 Life volunteers held a focus group, discussing different ways we can all take local environmental action and increase our wellbeing in nature. Volunteers suggested planting bee friendly flowers, fruit, vegetables, herbs and installing a water capture barrel in the EVI garden. Other suggestions included joining the BGCBC Litter Champion scheme and making wildlife habitat such as bird boxes, hedgehog homes and bug hotels for pollinating insects. A mood board was created to help present their ideas.

    During the focus group, volunteers discussed how we can increase our wellbeing in nature and what they would like to see in the EVI garden. Some of their wellbeing ideas included tending to plants, listening to the birds, meeting and learning outdoors, getting vitamin D and time for reflection and sitting quietly.



    The learners engaged really well in the focus group session and wanted to continue the mood board and the discussion into the following week. The moodboard activity really focussed one of our harder to engage learners, and the whole group are excited about being able to create a space outside that will help them improve their moods

    Laura Wheeler, LLamau Learning 4 Life Tutor

    Llamau volunteers also came up with many wellbeing words that could be displayed as a mural on the garden wall, and a fantastic idea to display QR code linking to nature videos, sounds and relaxation music to help remind everyone to spend more time in nature.

    In response to the ideas generated by the volunteers, ProMo Cymru will tailor environmental workshops to support ways we can all take local environmental action and increase our wellbeing in nature. We will also deliver digital communication training to help support the volunteers in their work.

  4. Lighting EVI in purple to mark World Polio Day

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    On the 24th October, World Polio Day, thousands of Rotary clubs around the world will hold events and fundraisers to recognise the progress in the global fight to end polio.

    International Rotary members have contributed $1.9 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from this paralysing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $8 billion to the effort.

    As part of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Purple4Polio campaign, Ebbw Vale Rotary Club is marking historic progress towards a polio-free world by lighting up local landmarks.  

    The plan locally is to light up Ebbw Vale Institute in purple. Purple is chosen to represent the children who in many countries, have their little finger painted with a purple dye so it is clear they have been immunised.

    The Rotary Club of Ebbw Vale work tirelessly to raise funds for local good causes, placing them right at the heart of their local communities.

    Recent & upcoming rotary activities include:

    Donation to EVI defibrillator Unit, enabling local people to access this life saving equipment

    Planting Purple Crocus bulbs for World Polio Day at several schools, EVI & Ebbw Vale Hospital, planted by local children

    Selling Poppies at Tesco for British Legion, with 3 wreaths by be laid at Ebbw Vale

    Inviting Young Carers to a show at the Motorpoint, Cardiff

    Providing chocolates for Ebbw Vale Hospital for Christmas



    If you would like more information about Ebbw Vale Rotary Club or would like to be considered for membership of this prestigious organisation, which has been in existence worldwide since 1905, please contact:

    Fred Prosser, President Elect, Ebbw Vale Rotary Club  tel:01495 306072    

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