Did you know?
A report by Public Health Wales identified that people living in the Llynfi Valley have 20 years less healthy life expectancy compared to the rest of Bridgend County Borough. We want to change that, and we need your help to succeed.
So who are we and what are we doing?
We are a partnership of community groups, businesses, Councillors, local authority, ABMU health board, GP practices, Public Health, NRW, Police, social landlords and residents.
The Public Health report identified eight key areas of concern and at a recent Maesteg fayre, local residents generally agreed these were the right things for us to focus on. By working together with residents, businesses and the local community we want to promote and improve local people’s health and wellbeing.
We want to raise awareness of how people can improve their own wellbeing and health and make better use of, and improve access to local services and resources, as well as developing new initiatives where possible.
Our eight areas of concern are:
Weight and nutrition
We will be working with the community, schools, restaurants, businesses, leisure services, allotments and market gardens amongst others to promote health and fitness activities, weight management programmes, leisure, outdoor gyms, recreation and play activities.
Jobs and skills
The Volunteer Centre in Commercial Street, Maesteg can offer you the opportunity to do something worthwhile, match you to something you are interested in, for as little or as much time as you want to give. Volunteering is a great way to meet people, develop employment skills and experience – whether it’s volunteer driving, working in a charity shop, befriending older people or supporting youth clubs – it can help build up your CV too.
We will be looking to gain more volunteers, but we will also work with businesses and have achieved funding for the valley to set up a Job Club in Maesteg in the New Year to help you gain employment. We also want to understand what are your training needs so that we can help with that too.
The physical environment
We want to improve people’s mental health and wellbeing through the use and protection of green and open spaces. Evidence shows contact with green spaces and natural environments can reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress and improve mental wellbeing as well as physical health. We are therefore continuing to work with the National Resources Wales Woodlands Creation Project and we will be working with others to open up safe outdoor environments for all our community to enjoy.
We want to set up new activities and/or do more to connect people to existing opportunities such as social walking and running clubs so people can enjoy the outdoors more. Tell us what you think.
Dementia friendly communities
We want Llynfi Valley to be the first dementia friendly community in the county borough. Dementia is a growing issue. A dementia friendly community is one where residents and businesses have raised awareness of, and understand more about dementia. It’s a community that is able to recognise, be patient and care better for people with dementia. It is also a place where people with dementia can continue to have aspirations and feel confident, knowing they can still contribute and participate in activities that are meaningful to them.
In these communities, people living with dementia will still feel included in community life, be more independent and have more choice and control over their lives and their carers will be encouraged to seek help and support.
We will be promoting early interventions and prevention aimed at children and young people within your communities. We will also be working with your local GPs to help them better understand the needs of people with both mental health and substance issues so that they will be able to ensure that they receive the help they so need to get back on the road to recovery.
We will be improving access to sexual health information and advice for young people through working with your local youth organisations, schools, community groups and health clinics. We aim to reduce the levels of teenage pregnancies and a condom distribution service will also be re-established.
We will be working towards increasing awareness of domestic violence by asking you to sign up to the White Ribbon Campaign which promotes the ending of men’s violence towards women. We will work with local schools to educate young people about healthy relationships and we will work with healthcare and police professionals to find ways of making it easier to report suspected domestic violence cases.
We are also working with support agencies to help victims, and looking at perpetrator programmes to reduce violence and level of incidents. We need you to go online and sign the pledge too. Visit www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk/makepledge
There are huge health benefits of stopping smoking, but we know people need help, they think they can’t do it. They can!
To help, we will be increasing the number of free stop smoking services within the Llynfi Valley. Local pharmacies are involved and tackling the use of e-cigs amongst young people too.
LV20 Project update Spring 2018 - find out what's been happening!
Our last newsletter to everyone in the Llynfi Valley told you about our work in summer 2016 … now it’s time to update you!
Since the Public Health Wales Health Equity Audit report in 2013 that identified people living in the Llynfi Valley had 20 years less healthy life expectancy compared to the rest of Bridgend County Borough, work with community groups, businesses, councillors, ABMU Health Board, GP practices, Public Health, BAVO, Bridgend County Borough Council, Natural Resources Wales, Police, Valleys to Coast and residents, have helped to tackle concerns and highlight the good work that is taking place.
So what have we done?
Download our spring 2018 LV20 newsletter here >>>
Get involved in LV20 … we want to hear from you!
Contact Kay at BAVO, T: 01656 810400 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Three running trails on the 'Spirit of Llynfi Woodland' site already being used by local community!
Great news - the three running trails on the 'Spirit of Llynfi Woodland' site have now been waymarked, and are already being used by the local community!
The running trails comprise a 5k, 3k and 1k route, providing the opportunity for people of different fitness/ability levels to make use of the trails.
The Running Trails Project was initiated by the local community with various groups and individuals, including local school children coming forward with the desire to see waymarked running routes developed in the community.
Download information on trails here >>>
The partners involved in developing the running trails were Natural Resources Wales, Bridgend County Borough Council, Sustrans and Run Wales. The project was part funded through a 'Changing for the Better' grant administered by BAVO.
'The Spirit of Llynfi Woodland' also now has a formally constituted volunteer group 'The Llynfi Woodland Group'. This group comprises of local volunteers who currently meet on the first Saturday of every month on site to undertake a range of activities ranging from habitat creation, vegetation management, and outdoor cooking.
The Woodland Group now have their own Facebook page 'Llynfi Woodland' should you wish to find out more/get involved!
Work has recently started on the woodland site to address the issue of illegal off-roading which has been a cause for concern for visitors and local residents for some time. So far kissing gates have been installed at the main entrances, with further fencing to be installed at key locations in due course. It is hoped that these measures will go someway to reducing off-road bike activity and further improve the safety of visitors to the woodland.
There are plans in place for a green gym trail and a dog activity trail on site, so watch this space.....!
For further information visit www.cyfoethnaturiol.cymru or www.naturalresources.wales or T: 0300 065 3000.