Penparcau Local Conversation

06 November 2014

"We know that real change takes time… and the people of Penparcau are ready.”

“Gathering needs and views on a daily basis by word of mouth is very important in helping the community raise concerns and issues, and this is where our Local Conversation started.

“Penparcau has not really enjoyed a good reputation as a place to live and work in. But the area is made up of good people who want to make a difference to their community, and our Local Conversation is seen by many as a way to make change happen.” Bryn Jones

Penparcau is a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Aberystwyth in Wales, home to around 3,000 people. Relative to other neighbourhoods across Wales, Penparcau is socially and materially disadvantaged but has great skills and enthusiasam within the community.

Penparcau Community Forum were invited to apply to the Trust for funding to start a ‘Local Conversation’ – a new funding programme People’s Health Trust began last year. By engaging the whole community in a conversation, it’s a chance for people to start discussing where they live, voicing some of the issues that concern them, as well as using their skills, experience and wisdom to begin to think about making real and sustainable long term change.

“Local people on the Penparcau Community Forum committee regularly hear from local residents at a ‘drop in’ facility, where listening and responding goes a long way in building a sense of trust that changes can be made. There are also workshops and public meetings that people are getting involved in to focus on specific or more general issues. People that would not normally get involved are able to do so through social media and specific weekly ‘drop ins’ set up for them. There is a real sense of ownership of our Local Conversation throughout the community.

“Ideas are emerging from the conversations that are taking place. Young people are expressing a strong interest in setting up a Youth Forum for the area, and there is also a request for a community website. Making what we do sustainable is also really important to the community.

“Being part of this Local Conversation has excited, inspired and mobilised our community like never before. We are especially amazed by the hunger and commitment of young people to be involved in our Local Conversation. The Community Office is buzzing every day with people wanting to be involved and to volunteer help. We know that real change takes time… and the people of Penparcau are ready.”

 

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