This two-year project builds on the community’s success keeping the children’s pool open in the village of Penrhiwceiber, Rhondda Cynon Taf, by providing activities and training for local people in the new meeting space being built on the site.
Lee Gardens Pool is run by local people who hold weekly meetings which participants and the wider community are encouraged to attend.
Weekly groups such as knit-and natter, drop-in sessions and training courses bring people of all ages together for fun and friendship, to tackle isolation and loneliness and provide skills to support local people to find employment.
Penrhiwceiber, Rhondda Cynon Taf
Penrhiwceiber had the highest child poverty rates across Wales in 2017/18 with 49.4% of children living in poverty. Health inequalities in Wales mean that people living in neighbourhoods experiencing the highest levels of disadvantage will have a reduced healthy life expectancy of 18.2 years for females and 16.8 years for males.
When the Lee Gardens Pool Committee started their community project in 2015, their aim was to reopen the local children’s pool which closed in 2013. The pool was in a poor state but through working with over 100 community volunteers, schools, the local authority, local businesses and larger corporations, they were able to re-open the pool for the community to use.
Lee Gardens Pool Committee now run social activities within the community for people of all ages including a Knit & Natter group, Friendly Fridays and after school activities for young people. The pool, which was originally built from the selfless actions of miners, has become a hub of local activity and was described as the beating heart of the village when journalists paid them a visit in 2019.
Working on this project is so rewarding. People tell us we put so much effort in but we get out every bit as much of what we put in. We love meeting people and when we see the smiling faces of the children, parents and elderly, it’s amazing.