Community members from four different Invest Local communities took a trip to the beautiful Rhondda Valley to visit a project called Welcome To Our Woods (WTOW).
Community health and wellbeing is a common theme among Invest Local communities, and the visit was a whistle-stop tour of some of the many projects that come under the WTOW banner.
WTOW is a community partnership that’s a mix of local private sector businesses and landowners, statutory government and agencies, voluntary sector organisations, local community groups and individual volunteers.
Its work connects people and places, sustainably managing local resources and spaces for health, wellbeing, recreation, training and employment.
WTOW runs a variety of projects centred around health and wellbeing, skills and jobs, and tackling poverty: from walking rugby sessions and a ‘social strollers’ group to a community allotment, harnessing energy and tackling fuel poverty through a community micro hydro on the hillside to training local people in woodland management skills.
We visited the old Treherbert library – now a community space/workshop on the high street. We walked along with the woodland wellbeing group, and joined them for a cuppa under a canopy in the woods. Then we had lunch at the Pay-As-You-Feel Café in the local church – where Phil and his team transform surplus food into delicious meal and you pay whatever you can afford.
One Invest Local community member said: “It’s been fantastic to see the variety of projects that are going on here in the Rhondda. I especially like the use of the landscape and natural resources as a way of getting people to feel more connected to their communities. I’ll definitely be taking lots of ideas back to our Invest Local group.”