Living by the coast

07 September 2017

In this piece, we hear from Dan Millington about a story of a thriving coastal community, making change as part of their Local Conversation project.

“Holyhead’s reality is one of a drive-through destination experiencing disadvantage, yet our community is thriving.

We have an incredible tapestry of culture, history and maritime heritage. The town’s past and present empowers individuals to act, do, change – looking to make their community even better.

We have so much beauty - Anglesey is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which includes Holyhead Mountain.

The Isle of Anglesey is the largest island off the coast of England and Wales – it’s the size of Greater London but has a population of around 70,000, compared to 8.5 million people living in Greater London.  

The island’s main town is Holyhead, a port town located on the north-western tip of Anglesey, North Wales.

Despite recent research painting coastal communities in a negative light, we are proud to live in one.

From afar, the town has a breath-taking backdrop and welcoming community, but it has historically faced disadvantage and the inequalities associated with its relative geographical isolation and lack of connectedness to major employment centres.

Holyhead people overcome these challenges with their igniting, imaginative passion for making a positive difference to the area.

The Local Conversation in Holyhead, funded by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthDiverse through The Health Lottery, provides a platform for local people to build confidence and skills whilst enabling community development to thrive.

Through fun days, trips and activities, local people are generating a buzz in the town, having a voice and standing up to social isolation! 

Last month, the newly formed Holyhead Community Events Group, which is part of the Local Conversation in Holyhead, organised an amazing fun day. Thousands of people from the community came along, and the MP for Ynys Môn, Albert Owen, also came to show his support and join in the festivities.

Young people are taking an increasing role in the community, particularly with our youth café, named by the young people as ‘the Pod’, which was developed as part of the project. 

There are decks for budding DJs, they hold gigs and there is always lots going on. It has a café area where the young people can share baking skills, or volunteer to make and serve snacks to other members.

The community is constantly strengthening and people of all ages, many of whom didn’t previously engage, are making new friends and getting involved. We now go on regular day trips, including to James Pringle Weavers.

Dan Millington

 

Dan Millington is the Local Conversations Project Officer at Mon CF. Mon CF is supporting residents in Holyhead to develop a shared vision for their community and take local action on issues that matter to them.

 

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