18 Apr 2019

Gilfach Goch may be a small village in the Rhondda, but with help from Active Inclusion and the backing of European Social Funds, the Gilfach Goch Community Association are providing a bustling hub for their community.

Gilfach Goch Community Association is housed in the middle of the former coal mining village, and plays host to any number of social activities including after school clubs, play schemes, youth clubs and disability groups. With such an active community already based around the GGCA, Active Inclusion funding can make all the difference when it comes to empowering them.

"I come here every Tuesday" said one participant "I'd locked myself away from the world but Ceri, my Active Inclusion engagement officer, helped me come out of my shell. I enjoy most every day"

"It's helped me build confidence and gain new skills" said another "I'm going out of my comfort zone, doing things I wouldn't normally do"

Lee came to Gilfach Goch Community Association two years ago when he started attending the work club and ended up as a participant on their Active Inclusion project. He suffers from Fibromyalgia, which can make finding sustained employment difficult, but with help from one of GGCA's Engagement officers they were able to build on his passion for barbering - Lee had previously done a course in college - and help him set up his own barbershop in the community centre.

"They've helped me make business plans, CVs and to make an appointment with Business Wales. It helps with my confidence to go on these courses, but I also just enjoy the socialising here, seeing people around"

Emily trained as a hairdresser in college, but an underwhelming course left her without the vital experience of actually getting to cut anyone's hair. She has now received support from GGCS and Scissor Sisters Hair Salon for a fresh start.

"The salon here's lovely. My experience through college wasn't the best, but here it's a constant learning experience, and I love the community. I'm learning how to blow dry hair, put colours in, toner - now I'm learning from the best."

gilfach goch hair

Seeing the path Lee took, Emily is inspired: "I've done a makeup course now. One day I want to open my own salon and do people's hair for their weddings, the whole lot."

Summing up his experience, how the support of Active Inclusion and GGCA and being involved in that community helps push them on to new heights, Lee says: "This really enables me to get out there, it's a new opportunity. You just think, well, you may as well do something so… why not?"