Exciting new community micro-enterprise project in Rhondda Cynon Taf
I love working at the coalface of social care and making a real difference to people’s lives.
I’m Heather Maling and I started with Community Catalysts in the Powys project nearly 3 years ago, with the Pandemic around the corner and a huge shift in the care work force in rural areas it has been a rollercoaster ride.
It was great to work on the project in Powys (working in the area where, pre-Community Catalysts, I was a community physio) and feel proud that through the project I have enabled around 70 local people to set up their own community micro-enterprises offering care and support to other local people, collectively contributing over 1,000 hours a week.
I met some amazing people on the journey and acknowledge them for what they have done and continue to do; those who went to emergencies, stabilised the situation and prevent hospital admissions, another who provided companionship and support to someone who others may say was “hard to reach” both geographically and socially, and in doing so made a massive difference to their quality of their life in their final weeks. People who spent time listening and connecting people with interests, old and new and those who have enabled family members to go and recharge their batteries.
It is now time for a new challenge and I have taken on a new Catalyst role and will be travelling over the Brecon Beacons to work in Rhondda Cynon Taf, starting in the North Cynon communities of Aberdare, Hirwaun, Penywaun, Rhigos and Penderyn. As a physio I worked in the NHS in Tredegar, Ebbw Vale, Pontypool and Ystradmynach and I know how brilliant Valleys Communities are.
This is a 2 year project working in partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. Over the course of the project, I’m really looking forward to connecting with people living in, and who serve these communities…and enabling community micro-enterprises to set up.
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By Heather Maling – Community Enterprise Catalyst (Rhondda Cynon Taf)
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