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Category Archive: Young People

  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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  4. 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.

  5. Dathliadau Nadolig a Chynaladwyedd

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    English article here

    Gwahoddwyd teuluoedd Glynebwy i ddigwyddiad Dathlu Nadoligaidd yn yr EVI yn ddiweddar. Roeddem yn nodi diwedd prosiect cynaladwyedd blwyddyn o hyd, yn gwella effeithlonrwydd ynni yn yr adeilad hanesyddol ac yn hyfforddi gwirfoddolwyr o’r gymuned.

    Yn fis Rhagfyr 2019 derbyniodd yr EVI £32.523 o Gynllun Cymunedau’r Dreth Gwarediadau Tirlenwi, rhaglen Llywodraeth Cymru sydd yn cael ei reoli gan CGGC. Dros y flwyddyn rydym wedi gwella’r gwresogi a’r goleuadau yn yr EVI, wedi cynnal gweithdy Llygredd Plastig gyda phobl ifanc, creu paradwys trychfilod yn yr ardd o flaen yr adeilad yn ystod gweithdy garddio bywyd gwyllt, wedi hyfforddi gwirfoddolwyr mewn ysgrifennu blogiau a chreu fideos gan greu banc o erthyglau ar ein gwefan, ac yn olaf, dathliad Nadolig mawr gyda thwist cynaliadwy.

    Gwahoddiad i ddathlu

    Ymestynnwyd gwahoddiad i bobl y gymuned i ddod i ymuno gyda ni ar ddiwedd mis Tachwedd i ddathlu Nadolig cynaliadwy gyda bwyd a disgo pŵer pedal i’r plant, gwin poeth a mins pei i’r rhieni, a gweithdai yn creu nwyddau Nadolig o ddefnyddiau wedi’u hailgylchu.

    Roedd 100 o lefydd ar gael, a llenwyd y rhain yn sydyn iawn. Darparwyd adloniant gan U3A (University of the Third Age) fu’n canu ac yn cynnal gweithgareddau canu i’r plant. Roedd y bwyd yn llwyddiant mawr, a phob briwsyn wedi’i fwyta, dim gwastraff o gwbl!

    Pweru parti

    Roedd pawb wedi gwirioni gyda’r disgo pŵer pedal, a’r dyn eira, gyda’r plant yn cadw’r gerddoriaeth i fynd, y dyn eira llawn aer a goleuadau’r goeden Nadolig i fflachio drwy’r nos. Pŵer y bobl!

    Roedd y gweithdai yn boblogaidd iawn, gyda phawb yn cymryd rhan. Roedd pobl wrth eu boddau yn cael creu’r coed Nadolig a’r bôbls allan o froc môr a hen baledi, dysgu ychydig o pyrograffeg a chael mynd â’r rhain gartref gyda nhw.

    Daeth dau o’r gwirfoddolwyr fu’n rhan o’n hyfforddiant ysgrifennu blog draw i helpu. Roedd Jamie Lee a Victoria yn gymorth mawr gyda’r gweithdai ac roeddem wrth ein boddau cael clywed sut roedd erthygl Jamie Lee, Plannu Coed i Achub y Byd, wedi’u hysbrydoli i blannu coed mewn coedwig gwarchodfa.

    Addewid i fod yn wyrddach

    Daeth adran ailgylchu a gwastraff Cyngor Blaenau Gwent draw i roi gwybodaeth a chyngor am gasgliadau ailgylchu wythnosol.

    Daeth dysgwyr Llamau (fu’n cymryd rhan yn rhai o’n gweithdai) draw hefyd gydag arddangosfa ryngweithiol. Roeddent yn gofyn i bobl i wneud addewidion ar gyfer Nadolig cynaliadwy ac i helpu’r amgylchedd.

    Cafodd y dysgwyr amser da iawn yn gweithio â’i gilydd i greu’r byrddau arddangos, a dysgodd pawb rywbeth newydd am gynaladwyedd, a gobeithio bydd y negeseuon yma yn cael eu rhannu.” meddai tiwtor Learning 4 Life Llamau.

    Cafwyd addewidion gwych ar y goeden addewidion. Dyma ychydig ohonynt:

    • – Defnyddio bagiau cotwm i siopa
    • – Addo ceisio defnyddio’r swm lleiaf o blastig bosib
    • – Lapio anrhegion Nadolig mewn papur newydd!
    • – Ailgylchu cymaint ag sy’n bosib
    • – Clirio plastig oddi ar y traeth

    Roedd Llamau yn cymryd archebion am glecars ‘Dolig di-blastig ac yn cynnig awgrymiadau defnyddiol am ffyrdd cyfeillgar i’r amgylchedd i lapio anrhegion.

    Nid dyma’r diwedd

    Roedd Samantha James, Cydlynydd Gweithrediadau’r EVI, wrth ei bodd gyda llwyddiant y digwyddiad ac yn meddwl mai dyma oedd y ffordd berffaith i gloi’r prosiect blwyddyn.

    “Rydym wedi cyrraedd pen taith y prosiect hwn, ac wedi cyflawni cymaint yma yn yr EVI,” meddai.

    “Rydym wedi helpu codi ymwybyddiaeth o fioamrywiaeth a materion amgylcheddol ac mae’r gwirfoddolwyr wedi bod yn integrol i hyn. Maent wedi helpu gyda’r ymgyrch cyfathrebu. Ar ôl derbyn hyfforddiant mae rhai ohonynt wedi symud ymlaen i helpu prosiectau amgylcheddol eraill. Roedd y digwyddiad Nadolig yn ffordd berffaith i derfyn pethau, wrth gynnwys y gymuned gyfan yn yr hyn sydd wedi bod yn digwydd yma.”

    Ac nid dyma ddiwedd y daith i’r gwaith cynaladwyedd yn yr EVI meddai Sam.

    “Dim ond megis cychwyn mae’r gwaith i greu EVI mwy cynaliadwy a gwyrddach. Rydym wedi dysgu llawer o wybodaeth a  sgiliau newydd ar hyd y daith ac yn awyddus i barhau’r gwaith yma”.

  6. Christmas & Sustainability Celebrations

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    Erthygl Gymraeg yma

    Ebbw Vale families were invited to a Christmas Celebration event at the EVI recently. We were marking the end of a yearlong sustainability project, improving energy efficiency at the historic building and involving and training volunteers from the community.

    In December 2018 the EVI received £32,523 from the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme, a Welsh Government Programme managed by the WCVA. Over the year we’ve made improvements to the heating and lighting at the EVI, held a Plastic Pollution workshop with young people, created a bug paradise in the front of our building during a wildlife gardening workshop, trained volunteers in blog writing and creating videos creating a bank of sustainability articles on our website, and lastly a huge Christmas celebration with a sustainable twist.

    Driftwood christmas trees at Landfill Christmas celebration event

    An invitation to celebrate

    We invited people in the community to join us at the end of November to celebrate a sustainable Christmas with festive food and a pedal powered disco for the children, mulled wine and a mince pie for the parents, and workshops making Christmas goods from recycled materials.

    The 100 spaces we had on offer for the event filled up quickly. Entertainment was provided by the U3A (University of the Third Age) singing group, who sang and held singing activities for the children. The food went down very well, and every scrap was eaten, no wastage here!

    Pedal powered snowman at Landfill Christmas celebration event

    Powering a party

    Everyone loved the pedal powered disco, and the snowman, with the children keeping the music playing, the snowman inflated and the Christmas tree lights powered all night. People power!

    The workshops proved popular with everyone taking part, people loved taking home the Christmas trees and baubles they had made using driftwood and old pallets and learning a bit of pyrography.

    Two of the volunteers who had been part of our blog writing training came to help out. Jamie Lee and Victoria helped with the workshops and we loved hearing how Jamie Lee’s Planting Trees to Save the World article inspired them to plant trees in a woodland sanctuary.

    Llamau's pledge tree at Landfill Christmas celebration event

    Pledging to be greener

    Blaenau Gwent Council’s waste and recycling department also came along to give information and advice about weekly recycling collections.

    Llamau learners (who also took part in some of our previous workshops) came along with an interactive display. They asked people to make pledges for a sustainable Christmas and help the environment.

    “The learners had a really good time working together to make the display boards up, and they all learned something new about sustainability, and we hope these messages will be passed on,” said a Llamau Learning 4 Life tutor.

    There were some great pledges made and stuck onto the pledge tree. Here are just some of them:

    • – Use cotton carrier bags for my shopping
    • – I promise to us as less plastic as I possibly can
    • – Wrap all my Christmas presents in newspaper!
    • – I will recycle as much as I can
    • – Pick up the plastic at the beach

    People could also put in orders with Llamau for plastic free Christmas crackers and were given handy tips on environmentally friendly ways to wrap presents.

    Christmas tree pyrography at Landfill Christmas celebration event

    This is not the end

    Samantha James, Operations Coordinator at the EVi, was overjoyed with the success of the event and thought it was a perfect end to the yearlong project.

    “We’ve come to the end of this project and we’ve achieved so much here at the EVI,” she said.

    “We’ve helped raise awareness of biodiversity and environmental issues and our volunteers have been integral to this. They’ve helped us with our communication campaign. After receiving training with us some of them have gone on to help other environmental projects. The Christmas event was great to cap it all off by involving the whole community in what we’ve been doing here.

    And this is not the end for the EVI’s sustainability drive says Sam.

    “This has just been the beginning of the EVI becoming more sustainable and greener. We have learnt lots of new skills and information along the way and strive to keep up this good work”.

  7. Ymunwch â Ni i Ddathlu Nadolig Cynaliadwy

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    English article here

    Dros yr ychydig fisoedd diwethaf mae yna lawer wedi bod yn digwydd yn yr EVI i wella cynaladwyedd yr adeilad a’r ardal gyfagos. Wrth i ni gyrraedd diwedd y cyfnod yma o’n gyriad cynaladwyedd arbennig rydym yn gwahodd trigolion Glynebwy i ymuno â ni mewn dathliad Nadoligaidd a chreu addurniadau sydd yn gyfeillgar i’r amgylchedd.

    Ar ddydd Mercher, 27 Tachwedd rydym yn gwahodd holl aelodau ein cymuned i ymuno gyda ni rhwng 4yp a 7yh ar gyfer ein digwyddiad Hwyl yr Ŵyl i’r teulu. Bydd yna ddisgo pŵer pedal, bwffe i’r plant a gwydriad o win poeth a mins pei i’r rhieni. Byddem hefyd yn cynnal gweithdai ailgylchu hwyl yn creu coed Nadolig o froc môr a bôbls Nadolig… a hyn i gyd AM DDIM.

    Mae’r digwyddiad yn cael ei gynnal i ddathlu diwedd ein prosiect cynaliadwy sydd wedi bod yn rhedeg dros yr ychydig fisoedd nesaf gyda £32,523 o ariannu gan Gynllun Cymunedau’r Dreth Gwarediadau Tirlenwi trwy’r WCVA. Mae’r EVI wedi bod yn fwrlwm o weithgareddau fel rhan o’r prosiect hwn.

    Goleuadau Godidog

    Y peth cyntaf i’w wneud oedd ceisio lleihau’r defnydd o ynni yn yr EVI. Roedd adolygiad ynni’r EVI eisoes wedi’i gyflawni ac yn amlygu’r ardaloedd yn yr adeilad oedd yn gwastraffu ynni fwyaf. Roedd yr arian derbyniodd yr EVI yn caniatáu i ni gyflawni’r gwelliannau awgrymwyd yn yr adroddiad adolygiad ynni. Roedd goleuadau yn wastraff ynni mawr, felly defnyddiwyd peth o’r arian i newid y goleuadau i gyd i rai LED, sydd yn defnyddio 90% llai o ynni. Gosodwyd sychwyr dwylo eco newydd yn y toiledau hefyd, sydd yn defnyddio aer oer yn hytrach na phoeth.

    Roedd drafftiau a gwres yn broblem yn yr adeilad mawr, hanesyddol yma. Rhai o’r problemau mwyaf oedd drysau’n cael eu cadw’n agored, gwresogi ystafelloedd gwag a defnyddio gwresogyddion trydan drud. Cafodd hyn ei ddatrys wrth osod dyfais cau drws awtomatig ar y drysau i gyd, rheolyddion awtomatig ar y rheiddiaduron a mesurwyr ynni. Cafwyd gwared ar y gwresogyddion trydan cludadwy a gosod gwresogyddion wal ynni effeithlon newydd gydag amserydd 10 munud. Roedd y pympiau gwres o’r awyr, gosodwyd pan adferwyd yr adeilad dros ddegawd yn ôl, angen eu trwsio gan am eu bod yn aneffeithlon bellach. Yn y gaeaf roedd rhaid defnyddio’r boeler nwy wrth gefn i gynhesu’r adeilad. Caniataodd yr ariannu yma i ni drwsio’r pympiau, ac felly gallem unwaith eto wresogi’r EVI gyda’r pympiau ynni effeithlon ran amlaf.

    Bug Houses/Tai trychfilod - a Sustainable Christmas - nadolig cynaliadwy

    Ysbrydoli’r Gymuned

    Fel rhan o’n prosiect cynaladwyedd roeddem yn awyddus i gynnwys y gymuned wrth gynnig cyfleoedd gwirfoddoli a hyfforddiant. Y bwriad oedd dysgu sgiliau a hysbysu’r cyhoedd am gynaladwyedd a’r hyn gallant ei wneud. Yn fis Ebrill cynhaliwyd gweithdy llygredd plastig yn yr EVI ar gyfer Diwrnod y Ddaear. Rhannom wybodaeth am gyffredinrwydd plastig yn ein bywydau a’r hyn gellir ei wneud i leihau hyn.

    Yn fis Mehefin cynhaliwyd gweithdy garddio bywyd gwyllt gyda Eggseeds i gynyddu bioamrywiaeth yr ardal. Bu’r gwirfoddolwyr ifanc yn adeiladu sawl gwesty trychfilod a bomiau hadau. Mae’r gwestai trychfilod lliwgar yn sefyll yn falch o flaen yr EVI.

    Grym mewn Gwybodaeth

    Rhan bwysig o’r prosiect i ni ydy annog pobl yn yr ardal i’n helpu i rannu’r neges cynaladwyedd. Rhoddwyd gwahoddiad i’r rhai oedd â diddordeb helpu rhannu’r neges i fynychu dwy sesiwn hyfforddiant gwahanol. Roedd y cyntaf yn weithdy blogio a chreu fideo. Dysgwyd sgiliau cynllunio a chreu fideo eu hunain. Er mai dim ond diwrnod oedd ganddynt i wneud popeth, llwyddwyd i greu’r fideo canlynol hefyd, yn dangos yr holl waith oedd wedi bod yn digwydd yn yr EVI hyd yma.

    Roedd yr ail sesiwn yn weithdy ysgrifennu blogiau. Dewisodd y mynychwyr bwnc oedd o ddiddordeb iddynt a chreu sawl erthygl yn hyrwyddo’r neges cynaladwyedd ac effeithiolrwydd ynni. Roedd yr erthyglau yn cynnwys sut i leihau’n defnydd o garbon, plannu coed, te cynaliadwy a mwy. Mae’r erthyglau yma i gyd wedi cael eu cyhoeddi ar y wefan yr EVI. Mae’r rhestr lawn i’w weld yn yr Erthyglau Perthnasol isod.

    Ymunwch â ni

    Mae’r digwyddiad Hwyl yr Ŵyl yn ffordd o ddathlu’r holl waith sydd wedi’i gyflawni ac i barhau i rannu’r neges cynaladwyedd mewn ffordd hwyl wrth greu addurniadau Nadolig i fynd adref gyda chi. Felly i ailadrodd – disgo pŵer pedal, bwffe, gwin poeth a mins peis – a glywsoch chi ei fod yn rhad ac AM DDIM? Ymunwch â ni i ddathlu a chreu gan gofrestru’ch diddordeb yma:

    Erthyglau perthnasol:

  8. Join Us To Celebrate A Sustainable Christmas

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    Erthygl Gymraeg yma

    Over the last few months the EVI has been doing lots to improve the sustainability of the building and the surrounding area. As we come to the end of this period of our special sustainability drive we’re inviting the residents of Ebbw Vale to join us in a Christmas Celebration and create some environmentally friendly decorations.

    On Wednesday, 27th November we invite all members of the community to join us between 4pm and 7pm for our Festive Family Fun event. There will be a pedal powered disco, a buffet for the kids and a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie for the parents. We’ll also have some fun recycling workshops turning driftwood into fun Christmas trees and creating Christmas baubles… and we’ll be doing all this for FREE.

    Festive Fun Day - a Sustainable Christmas

    The event is being held to celebrate the end of our sustainability project that has been running for the past few months with £32,523 funding from the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme through WCVA. A load has been going on at the EVI as a part of this project.

    EVI light - a Sustainable Christmas

    The Light Fantastic

    The first thing we did was attempted to reduce energy consumption at the EVI. An energy review that had been carried out previously at the EVI highlighted where energy was being wasted the most in the building. The funding the EVI received allowed us to carry out improvements based on recommendations made in the energy review report. Lighting was a huge energy waster therefore some of the funding was used to convert all the lighting to LED, which uses 90% less energy. New eco driers that use cold air rather than cold air were also fitted in the bathrooms.

    Drafts and heating were also an issue in this large, historic building. Doors being left open, heating empty rooms and expensive electric heaters being used was a big issue. This was solved by fitting automatic door closers on all the doors, automatic controls were fitted on radiators and energy meters were installed. The portable electric heaters were banished as new energy efficient wall heaters were fitted with 10-minute timers. The air source heat pumps that were installed when the EVI underwent restoration over a decade ago were in dire need of repair works as they had become inefficient meaning that in the winter we had to rely on heating the building with a back up gas boiler. The fund allowed the repairs to take place meaning the EVI was once again being heated primarily through the energy efficient pumps.

    Bug houses - a Sustainable Christmas

    Community Spirit

    As a part of our sustainability project we wanted to involve the community by offering volunteering and training opportunities. The aim was to teach skills and inform the public about sustainability and what they could do. In April we ran a plastic pollution workshop at the EVI for Earth Day. Here we shared information about the prevalence of plastics in our lives and what we could do to cut down on this.

    In June we held a wildlife gardening workshop with Eggseeds to increase the biodiversity of the area. Young volunteers built bug hotels and made seed bombs. The colourful bug hotels take pride of place at the front of the EVI.

    Knowledge is Power

    An important part of the project for us is that we encourage people in the area to help us share the sustainability message. We invited those that were interested in helping us spread the word to attend two separate training sessions. The first was a blogging and video creation workshop. Attendees learnt skills on how to plan and create their own videos. They also, despite only having a day to fit in everything, managed to create the following video detailing all the work that had gone on at the EVI so far.

    The second session was a blog writing workshop. Attendees chose a subject that interested them and created a number of articles to promote the sustainability and energy efficiency message.  Articles included how to cut down on carbon, planting trees, sustainable tea and more. All these articles have been published on the EVI website. Check them out in the related articles below.

    Join us

    This Festive Fun event is our way of celebrating all the work that has been done and to keep spreading the sustainability message in a fun way by creating some Christmas goodies to take home. To reiterate – a pedal powered disco, buffet, mulled wine and mince pies – and did we mention it was FREE? Join us to celebrate and make by registering your interest here:

    Related articles:

    5 Steps To Live A More Sustainable Life

    5 Things You Can Do To Help The Earth

    The Ultimate Guide To Sustainabili-TEA

    Planting Trees To Save The World

    Easy Ways To Cut Carbon For The Environment

  9. 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    

  10. Lot’s of fun & information at the EVI Family Fun Day…

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    Thank you to everyone who took part in our Family Fun Day !

    It was great to see families explore the EVI building during the Easter Information Trail, asking questions about the support services available and taking part in the activities !

    Arts & Crafts Workshop…



    EVI Easter Information Trail:

    Lot’s of organisations were at hand to provide information on support services available, both within EVI (Barod Cymru Gwent N-Gage project, BGCBC Youth Services, Changing Minds, ACT Training and Llamau)

    and external to EVI:


    EVI TV

    EVI TV is now live, providing information on EVI services, news, classes and events !

    With the funding support received from the Police & Crime Commissioner Partnership Fund, EVI was able to develop this TV system to help make information and support services easier to access.

    We will soon be showing our archive of local history / community films on our EVI Youtube channel – watch this space !

  11. EVI awarded £4,000 from Police & Crime Commissioners for Gwent Partnership Fund

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    ProMo-Cymru, the charity that runs Ebbw Vale Institute has been awarded £4,000 from the Police & Crime Commissioner for Gwent Partnership Fund which is funded by the proceeds of crime awarded to the police and from the sale of unclaimed found property.

    With this support, EVI will provide an ‘information point’ for visitors to find out more about the services available within EVI, particularly around supporting vulnerable people, crime prevention and community cohesion.

    • BGCBC Youth Services: offers information, guidance and support including Anti-Social Behaviour prevention and Health & Well Being to young people.
    • ACT Training: provides opportunities for young people who are looking to get started in the world of work or improve their career prospects.
    • Gwent-N-Gage: offers free, confidential and friendly one to one specialist support for young people who use substances and for their loved ones.
    • Changing Minds:  provides support to young people aged 14-25 who have or are experiencing mental health difficulties.
    • Llamau SY/MF project provides young people [16-19yrs] who have offended and those leaving the care system greater access to employment and training by undertaking a six month paid work placement.
    • Expressions: helps people deal with the root causes of anti-social behaviour, depression, anxiety and many other problems though CBT.
    • NHS Road to Wellbeing: Stress Control & ACTivate (Mental Health Support for adults)
    • Youth Offending Service (Community Panel)
    • GDAS: Provides direct support & intervention to service users and families.
    • And many more…

    In celebration of Easter and with thanks to the key services provided to support the community (located within and external to EVI), we will hold a Family Fun Day  on Wednesday 28th March 2018, from 3pm – 6pm.

    Free activities include sumo wrestling, dance mats, arts & crafts, sugar craft demonstration, goodie bags and more – the first 50 people to complete the trail will receive a free Easter Cup Cake.

    All ages welcome, cafe with WIFI available.

    I would like to congratulate all the projects funded on their success.  I know that small amounts of funding can often make a big difference to people’s lives and can sometimes be the catalyst which can help small community projects to develop, grow and help even more people.  The Partnership Fund is a fantastic way of putting money we have seized from criminals back into the public purse so it can be used for positive community action.  The Police & Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert.


Foundation Funders:

National Lottery Community Fund Logo
Welsh Government Logo

Current Funders:

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