Community Legacy supports people from a range of backgrounds to improve their health and wellbeing, learn new skills, develop personal characteristics, achieve accredited qualifications and make positive life improvements through the renovation of empty properties throughout the local communities of South Wales.
Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, the project supports the regeneration of our communities, reducing empty property numbers and positively impacting upon the effects of anti-social behaviour, crime, and vandalism. In doing so, the project supports people to learn new skills, develop a sense of community ownership and pride and make meaningful progression into employment or other positive ambitions.
“When community members take part in our projects, their personal background is not taken into consideration and doesn’t impact their involvement. Although Rhys had struggled to access training and employment due to his personal situation and offender ‘label’, he was one of our most diligent and skilled participants, supporting others to develop their skills, whilst building upon his confidence, self-esteem, knowledge base and motivation.”
Rhys took part in the Community Legacy Project in Glynneath during 2020. Referred into the project by JCP Neath, Rhys had struggled to access employment opportunities due to a criminal conviction. His ‘ex-offender’ status, like many others in his situation, meant that it was extremely difficult to secure long-term employment regardless of his skills, ability, and motivation. Having developed skills in motor vehicle repairs, construction, furniture making and wood craftsmanship, Rhys had many talents and wished to start his own business, however lacked the confidence and knowledge to do so.
Rhys started the project during September 2020 and quickly showed his experience and talents in woodwork, whilst quickly being able to learn new practical skills.
The project supported Rhys to develop a work routine whilst being considerate of his other responsibilities and commitments. Rhys also suffered from pain in his back, therefore the project and skill development activities were sympathetic to his physical needs.
Rhys was successful in achieving both the Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work and CITB Health & Safety Awareness qualifications, providing him with the necessary knowledge and confidence to pass his CSCS test and progress into construction site employment.
Rhys plans to use his project involvement as a stepping-stone to access employment or to start his own business, utilising his improved confidence, work ethic and new accredited qualifications to do so.