The market town of Neath is currently undergoing a £40 million regeneration, so Cynefin Place Coordinator Kathryn Britton is working to help local residents to realise their full potential and help empower the community to have a say in the decisions that affect them and their future.
Neath Port Talbot is 5th highest
Neath Port Talbot is 5th highest deprived ward in Wales, with 73.64% of its 20,000 residents classified as living in deprivation. Compared with the Welsh average, life expectancy in Neath Port Talbot is lower for both males and females and 22.7% of children are entitled to free school meals compared with 19.9% in the rest of Wales.
In spite of this, Neath residents
In spite of this, Neath residents are enthusiastic and passionate about their town. There are many voluntary groups operating in the area and, as a recent consultation proved, young people are keen to get involved with initiatives from litter picking and growing schemes to community art projects. Neath town centre is also on the edge of the beautiful Green Flag Gnoll Country Park, which will benefit from a £13 million redevelopment over the next few years.
Following data gathering and
Following data gathering and conversations with a wide range of residents and stakeholders, four main work streams were chosen for Cynefin Neath. The suburbs of Fairyland and Melin, along with Neath town centre, were agreed as the focus for 'place-based' efforts.
Place Planning in Fairyland
Kathryn is focusing on community spaces in Fairyland via Place Planning. She is also working with others to develop and implement a Place Plan and an Action Place Plan for Fairyland with a focus on health and wellbeing, community safety and cleaner, greener environments.
Engaging with young people
Kathryn has undertaken some research on 'what young people want' and is working to facilitate opportunities such as improving skills and bringing in partner organisations to take account of the youth voice in places when making decisions.
Play Space Melin
Kathryn has been facilitating and working in partnership with other organisations in the area to develop an open play space led by the community and managed by volunteers in Melin.