Community power: community enterprises transforming care in Wrexham

20 October 2021 · Categories: Communities Care, Wales / Cymru

Wrexham is a traditional market town on the border of England and Wales. It is a place full of history and natural beauty, and it has a proud tradition of enterprise and production. It is a place where ideas, cultures and languages fuse – creating innovation.

A drawn image of an older community enterprise leader cooking with two other women

Wrexham has always had a heritage of production and entrepreneurship, from being a major location for brewing, markets, mining coal, football and, more recently, manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine.

That’s why I wasn’t at all surprised that local people jumped at the chance to start their own enterprises. The people I have met have combined their creative and caring skills with a sincere desire to create change for the better in our community.

It has been great to work in my hometown as a Community Catalyst, helping local people to start their own community enterprises offering bespoke care and support to older and disabled people in the area.

These enterprises are changing their localities for the better. It has been truly inspiring to see local people making a real difference. For example, many older people in the Ceiriog Valley had struggled to get personal care in the valley due to its rural location and it was becoming a big issue for all involved.

A drawn image showing a community enterprise leader helping someone with cleaning

The community rallied together using social media and the local Community Agent for Glyntraian Davena Davies to promote our project and the support we offer. This resulted in seven people in the Ceiriog Valley signing up to our programme to start setting up their own community enterprises to offer support to older people in the area. Three of these enterprises have now launched, and are already making a big difference to older people’s lives in the Ceiriog Valley.

It has been inspiring for all involved to see the difference this new type of support is already making in the Ceiriog Valley and across Wrexham – and to see the entrepreneurs’ confidence grow in the process. What’s more, these enterprises operate hyper-locally meaning their travel and transport demands are low, reducing their carbon footprint.

A drawn image of a community micro-enterprise leader helping an older man put his jacket onThe Community Catalysts project is all about empowering local people to improve their own lives and the lives of people in their community. I work with the people to support them on their journey, helping them to understand the key things they need in place to operate legally, safely, sustainably and effectively. Linking the enterprise leaders up for peer support and connecting them with social work teams is also essential for success. Our support is free to enterprise leaders and it has enabled local people to take control of their own destinies.

Trevor Bates, Councillor for the Ceiriog Valley said about the project:

It’s been very refreshing to see an innovative response to the shortage of carers in my area and quite a relief for local residents who were beginning to suffer as a result. I think this is real “Care in the Community” with local people being looked after locally. It just needed the help and advice that Tom Hughes has provided to give people the confidence to start their own business or become self-employed.  The world is changing rapidly and we need to constantly review the way we respond as situations emerge.

Photo of Community Catalyst Tom Hughes who is smiling in front of St Giles church in WrexhamReflecting on what these extraordinary people have been doing in the town makes me think of Wrexham in the future. Wrexham has been known for its industrious people and enterprises over the years, I wonder if, in the future, it will be known for its plucky community enterprises supporting local people. I certainly hope so.

To find information on the amazing enterprises that have set up as part of this project follow this link to Small Good Stuff.

For more information setting up your own micro-enterprise to provide personal care contact Tom Hughes on tom.hughes@communitycatalysts.co.uk or 07880 195114. You can follow the projects progress across the county on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/ComCatsWrexham


Pŵer y gymuned: mae mentrau cymunedol yn trawsnewid gofal yn Wrecsam

Mae Wrecsam yn dref farchnad draddodiadol ar y ffin rhwng Cymru a Lloegr. Mae’n lle llawn hanes, harddwch naturiol, a bu traddodiad balch o fenter a chynhyrchiad yno. Mae’n fan lle mae syniadau, diwylliannau ac ieithoedd yn uno – gan greu arloesi.

Bu’n wych gweithio yn fy nhref enedigol fel Catalydd Cymunedol, gan helpu pobl leol i ddechrau eu mentrau cymunedol eu hunain, gan gynnig gofal a chefnogaeth bwrpasol i bobl hŷn ac anabl yn yr ardal.

Mae Wrecsam erioed wedi cael treftadaeth o gynhyrchiad c entrepreneuriaeth, o fod yn brif leoliad bragu, marchnadoedd, cloddio glo, pêl-droed, ac yn fwy diweddar, gweithgynhyrchu Brechlyn Covid-19.

Dyna pam nad oeddem wedi synnu bod y bobl leol wedi neidio ar y cyfle i ddechrau eu mentrau eu hunain. Mae’r bobl rwyf wedi cyfarfod wedi cyfuno eu sgiliau creadigol a gofalu gyda dymuniad diffuant i greu newid er gwell yn y gymuned.

Mae’r mentrau hyn yn newid eu hardaloedd lleol er gwell. Bu’n ysbrydoliaeth wirioneddol gweld pobl leol yn gwneud gwahaniaeth gwirioneddol. Er enghraifft, mae sawl person hŷn yng Dyffryn Ceiriog wedi cael hi’n anodd derbyn gofal personol yn y dyffryn oherwydd ei leoliad gwledig, ac roedd yn broblem fawr i bawb oedd yn rhan o hynny.

Daeth y gymuned ynghyd gan ddefnyddio’r cyfryngau cymdeithasol a’r Asiant Cymunedol lleol Davena Davies i hyrwyddo’n prosiect a’r gefnogaeth sy’n cael ei gynnig gennym. Arweiniodd hyn at saith o bobl yng Dyffryn Ceiriog yn cofrestru i’n rhaglen i ddechrau sefydlu eu mentrau cymunedol eu hunain i gynnig cefnogaeth i bobl hŷn yn yr ardal. Mae tri o’r mentrau nawr wedi lansio, ac maent yn gwneud gwahaniaeth mawr yn barod i fywydau pobl hŷn yng Dyffryn Ceiriog.

Bu’n ysbrydoliaeth i ni gyd weld gwahaniaeth mae’r math newydd hwn o gefnogaeth yn ei wneud yng Dyffryn Ceiriog a ledled Wrecsam – ac i weld hyder entrepreneuriaid yn tyfu yn y broses. Yn fwy na hynny, mae’r mentrau hyn yn gweithredu’n lleol iawn, gan olygu bod y galw am deithio a chludiant yn isel, gal leihau’r ôl troed carbon.

Mae’r prosiect Catalyddion Cymunedol yn mynd i’r afael â grymuso pobl leol i wella eu bywydau eu hunain a bywydau pobl eraill yn eu cymunedau. Rydw i’n gweithio gyda phobl i’w cefnogi ar eu siwrnai, gan eu helpu i ddeall y pethau allweddol sydd ei angen arnynt i weithredu’n gyfreithiol, yn ddiogel, yn gynaliadwy ac yn effeithiol. Mae cysylltu arweinwyr menter ar gyfer cefnogaeth gan gymheiriaid a’u cysylltu â thimau gwaith cymdeithasol yn hanfodol ar gyfer llwyddiant hefyd. Mae ein cefnogaeth am ddim i arweinwyr menter a galluogodd i bobl leol gymryd rheolaeth dros eu tynged eu hunain.

Meddai Trevor Bates, y Cynghorydd dros Ddyffryn Ceiriog am y prosiect:

 Bu’n braf gweld ymateb arloesol i ddiffyg gofalwyr yn fy ardal ac roedd yn rhyddhad i breswylwyr lleol a oedd yn dechrau dioddef o ganlyniad. Rydw i’n meddwl bod hwn yn “Ofal yn y Gymuned” yn ei wir ystyr gyda phobl leol yn cael gofal yn lleol. Bu angen am help a chymorth a ddarparodd Tom Hughes, i roi hyder i bobl gychwyn busnes eu hunain neu fod yn hunangyflogedig.   Mae’r byd yn newid yn gyflym, ac mae angen i ni adolygu’r ffordd rydym yn ymateb i sefyllfaoedd newydd o hyd.

Mae adlewyrchu ar beth mae’r bobl arbennig hyn wedi bod yn ei wneud yn y dref yn gwneud i mi feddwl am Wrecsam yn y dyfodol. Mae Wrecsam yn adnabyddus am ei phobl weithgar a’i mentrau dros y blynyddoedd, ‘sgwn  i, yn y dyfodol, a fydd yn enwog am fentrau cymdeithasol dewr sy’n cefnogi eu pobl leol. Rydw i wir yn gobeithio hynny.

I ganfod gwybodaeth ar y mentrau anhygoel sydd wedi’u sefydlu fel rhan o’r prosiect, dilynwch y ddolen i Small Good Stuff.

Am ragor o wybodaeth ar sefydlu ei menter meicro eich hun i ddarparu gofal personol, cysylltwch â Tom Hughes ar tom.hughes@communitycatalysts.co.uk neu 07880 195114. Gallwch ddilyn cynnydd y prosiect ledled y sir ar Facebook yma https://www.facebook.com/ComCatsWrexham.

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