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
"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
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."
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?"