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Celebrating Welsh culture and passionate people in Gwynedd

Nothing says community more than the Eisteddfod. Passing through villages on the way to Boduan you can’t help but be moved by the colourful displays that have been created by people working together.

Seas of flags and fiery dragons ignite a feeling close to your heart, you can’t help but feel proud to be a part of the event, a celebration of Welsh culture and a chance for people to unite – friends, family, competitors, local businesses and organisations.

Working for Community Catalysts means I help people in Gwynedd to set up small enterprises offering care and support to other local people through a free development programme funded by Gwynedd Council. We call these community enterprises.

My job is deeply rooted in local communities, finding out what services or support would benefit the area, helping people develop their ideas, providing support to set up their community enterprise and creating connections so that people know what support is available.

Thanks to Gwynedd Council, I’ve had the opportunity to attend this year’s Eisteddfod. I’ve been able to connect with people and have some really meaningful conversations. I’ve spoken to people about the amazing work care and support workers already do and the moving stories of people who are unable to get the support they need. Sometimes this is because there is an imbalance of people who draw on support and not enough resources on offer but sometimes it is because people don’t know what is available or they are scared to ask for help.

Walking around the Eisteddfod, the feeling of community is again at the forefront of my mind, there are so many organisations offering support to live good lives. They are passionate about what they do and are striving to make a difference.

Flyer for Eisteddfod showing images from around the festival. Including coloured bales and signposts and a photo of Community Enterprise Catalyst Fran.I am so proud to be working alongside these organisations and finding ways we can work together; my biggest ambition is to make sure people can access support at times, and in ways, that suit them. I know I’m not alone in this vision and I feel a comradery with those around me who share this idea especially the team at Gwynedd Council supporting the project.

Community Catalysts can also support existing enterprises who may need advice about policies and procedures to ensure they are operating legally, and we can also help those who may want to offer additional services. We aim to build a diverse local directory that people can access for support so please keep an eye on this. We’d be happy to share information about local organisations and charities on here as well so please get in touch if this is something you’d like to hear more about.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the project in Gwynedd, please get in touch with Fran.

By Fran Lowden (Community Enterprise Catalyst – Gwynedd)

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