COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
“The Academy has been a unique experience, having been a part of it, you can become the leader of your area.” Elliw Davies - project student.
The purpose of the pilot project was to establish a Community Leadership Academy, which subsequently became known as “Academi Bro” for 18-30 year olds whilst working in partnership with various agencies in Ceredigion; Cered, Theatr Felinfach and IAITH Cyf. The project also worked with a number of other prominent groups and organisations in Ceredigion.
The aim was to increase local capacity to ensure Welsh speaking neighbourhoods and sustainable bilingual communities in Ceredigion. The Academi Bro targeted young people from across Ceredigion.
The project has not only increased local ability (capacity) to ensure local Welsh neighbourhoods and sustainable bilingual communities in Ceredigion, but enabled young adults aged 18-26 to build leadership skills in the community and their neighbourhood. The project has also allowed the transfer of community leadership skills to the next generation, and highlighting the importance of doing this on the ground, and provided an opportunity to identify additional opportunities to engage with the sharing of good practice by groups and individuals within the community and subsequently assisting in the consideration and planning to adapt the plan for the future.
As part of the process the students designed community projects of their own choice and completed it in their communities during the 9 month long course.
Project activities included:
- A residential weekend at Llangrannog in November 2016. Subsequent to the weekend there was a series of follow-up sessions in Aberaeron and Felinfach between January and April 2017. 3 open educational sessions were also held in Felinfach, Aberaeron and Cardigan. Following the end of the 2016-2017 course there was an awards evening in the Feathers in Aberaeron.
- A training day at Felinfach, in January 2018 was held. This was followed by 3 monthly training sessions in Felinfach and 3 open educational sessions in Aberystwyth, Llandysul and Lampeter.
- Annual intensive development courses
- Casual learning opportunities open to any eligible interested individuals
As a result of the project's existence, Welsh music gigs are regularly heard in Aberystwyth. A Christian Youth Club has been established in Llandysul which provides opportunities for the children and young people of the area to meet, relax and learn how to be a good Christian. By responding to the recent National Eisteddfod announcement in Tregaron 2020, a student is organising a Concert to raise money for the cause.
The above are examples of 'visual' things that were achieved as a direct result of the project.
From the 2 years (2016-2018) the project was run the following projects were completed and implemented:
- Establish a choir for 7 - 13 year olds in the Brynhoffnant area.
- Raise the profile of local Welsh produce.
- Create a Facebook page to suggest/teach people how to take responsibility for their own health with a view to reducing burden on the National Health Service.
- Promote Welsh music in Aberystwyth by holding an afternoon of music at the Bandstand.
- Engage and respond to the needs of the Plant y Dyffryn group, Llandysul.
- Engage with the community of Pontsian, and seek views on how to renovate the hall for the benefit of the community.
- Arrange a concert in the company of Robart Arwyn to raise money for the National Eisteddfod being held in Tregaron in 2020.
The benefits, growth and personal development of the students must also be borne in mind during this period.
“The Academy has given me the opportunity, confidence and support to start a community project in Aberystwyth which will try to make a difference locally. The mentoring and question and answer sessions with a range of experienced people in developing various projects have been invaluable to me.”
Positive feedback was received from students and the public who attended the open sessions. The students benefited in a variety of ways, everyone's expectations were different and the course contributed to an increase in the confidence of many individuals. Obviously from the nature of the course, the results of its results will be seen in years to come as the individuals who attended have matured and devoted themselves further to their communities.
One of the students in the first year of the Community Leadership Academy during 2016 – 2017 was Caryl Griffiths. As a result, in June 2017, the 'Plant y Bryn' choir was formed with weekly rehearsals at Ysgol T Llew Jones. Read the full case study on Caryl’s success
Another student from the first year of the Community Leadership Academy during 2016 – 2017, Steffan Rees, had a passion for Welsh music. Steffan applied for a place on the course in the hope of introducing and promoting Welsh music in Aberystwyth. As a result Steffan has already organised a successful Welsh music concert with talented performers in Aberystwyth. Read the full case study of Steffan’s success
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.