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Thursday, 14 July 2016

Community Work with Renew Wales

Saron Chapel in Treoes

Eco Home Centre is a Rounded Developments Enterprises project. RDE is a not-for-profit organisation that does work with other partners in Wales and one of our main ones is Renew Wales (see www.renewwales.org.uk). Renew Wales is a great concept where experienced community groups help other not-for-profit organisations with climate change linked projects. These projects can cover a wide range of issues: community gardens, community energy, sustainable transport, training and education, .....

We have been one of the mainstays for helping community groups with their buildings. Most of this work is to help groups understand their buildings and also how to refurbish / redevelop them in a more holistic manner. We follow the guidance created by the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA - see www.stbauk.org) These groups include:

Saron Chapel in Treoes
Nantyffyllon Miners Institute in Nantyffyllon
Kings Church in Newport
Amelia Trust Farm in Walterston
Cathays Sports and Social Club in Cardiff
Harlech Swimming Pool in Harlech
Ysgol Glannau Gwaun in Fishguard
Chirk Scout Hall in Chirk
....

The work has varied from looking at heating systems, renewable energy options, damp and maintenance issues, design and new builds. Getting the balance between social, economic and environmental issues is not easy and I think that we have been instrumental in groups really starting to understand both their community building and their own homes. We have found that people come to Renew with one particular issue and leave with the knowledge that there is a large amount of interlinked factors that they also need to be aware of in order to find the correct solution both for them and their property. Factors like intuitive navigation, noise, access, maintenance and servicing are often overlooked, yet they are vital to the day to day running of a community centre. Just getting people to think in a more holistic manner really has really allowed them to make much more informed and longer term decisions.

If you are involved with a community group, are based in Wales and have a property that could do with some holistic advice then think about giving Renew Wales a call. The Renew Wales model means that the service is free for the group and you will benefit from around 5-6 days worth of consultancy from experienced community practitioners. This advice could be in the form of business development, outreach, training, marketing, fundraising or the more specialist services from people like us.

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