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10th January 2022

Congratulations to Janis Werret one of our participants on the Community Growing Cohort on winning the 2021 National Lottery Wales Project of the Year.  Each year the National Lottery Awards celebrate the inspirational people and projects that do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

The Green Valley Conservation & Heritage Proejct, led by Green Valley Wellbeing Group, provides outdoor activities and accredited training programmes for young people, many of whom are excluded from mainstream education.  The organisation also works with people of all ages who are experiencing mental health issues.  The project has forged links with community groups, autistic support networks, job centres and schools and accepts social prescription referrals from GP surgeries.  The emphasis is on connecting with nature and harnessing the benefits of nature to improve wellbeing and employability.

Three years ago the project’s site, Cynon Valley Organic Adventures, was a derelict wasteland.  Today, thanks to £20,000 of National Lottery funding and the outstanding efforts of many of the rpoejct’s volunteers, it has been transformed into a community garden and wellbeing wonder.  The community enterprise now has allotment spaces to grow food for their foodbank, a cafe, summer school and a green gym.