Caia Park Partnership: Local environment

08 November 2021

The places we live have a huge impact on our health. It’s important for people to have equal access to green spaces, shops, and services. Living in an area that is unsafe or inaccessible can lead to greater inequality.

Caia Park is the largest housing estate in Wales and home to 12,500 people. Whilst a strong community has formed in the area over time, deprivation has continued to be an issue. Over the past year the added impacts of COVID-19 have widened existing inequalities and the area has seen a rise in food poverty and poor mental health.

The Local Conversation in Caia Park is centred on the understanding that local people know what barriers they face and the best way to tackle them.

“Improving our local area is just one part of what we do but it’s really important to the residents. The main thing is getting the community involved and supporting them to make changes.” - Alice Williams, Youth Activities Worker

The project’s priorities, developed by a forum of local residents, are to work together to create a safe and environmentally-friendly local environment, engage more older and young people in the community, and tackle food poverty and mental health.

Improving the local environment is a key concern for residents who expressed wanting to feel safer on the estate. The Local Conversation has used a joined-up approach to make progress towards their wider priorities.

The forum has been successfully working with the local council to improve pavements, street lighting and lower rates of anti-social behaviour around drug dealing, use and discarded drug paraphernalia.

The Local Conversation recently launched a new mental health hub with the support of the Council and North East Wales Mind and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

A partnership with local peer mentoring project Cyfle Cymru and the Salvation Army will enable them to offer support sessions for those with substance misuse issues, in order to try to tackle the root cause of the drug paraphernalia litter and mental health problems.

Residents, including members of the Youth Forum and the men’s group, have also been involved with the development and delivery of the area’s Safer Streets project, which aims to help reduce local crime hotspots.

Other local partners supporting this work include Caia Park Environmental Group, The Green Infrastructure Project, WCBC Housing Team and Community Payback.

The Local Conversation project is supported by Caia Park Partnership, who the Trust has been working with and funding for nine years.

This case study was produced as part of People's Health Trust's 2021 Annual Review and demonstrates how local environment is an important social determinant of health. To read it in full, click here.

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