I have to say that the activities provided by the Our Back Yard project have been amazing and only yesterday I was discussing with my colleague how the outdoor learning has the been the best ever for year 4 this year. The experiences have nicely complimented not only our study of local Welsh industries but also our final topic all about habitats, food chains/webs and local wildlife. Feedback from both children and parents has been complimentary. We have a class Seesaw account where parents can access all photos so they have been able to see everything that has taken place. It would be nice to set some dates for the next academic year in September so that consent forms can be sent out early and the school calendar updated.
The fact that the children have been involved in creating an app has been invaluable, they were so proud. We have been trying hard to raise the profile of ICT in our school so this has really helped.
Thank you so much for all you have done this year and I hope that you continue to work with Golftyn in the future.
Our community lies on the River Dee, and has a population of around 17,500. People are proud of their industrial heritage and background, and embrace the changes which have occurred in recent years.
We are seeking to create a community network to make the most of our open spaces for everyone’s wellbeing.
We are trying to deliver:
- A direct improvement in the quality of the environment for local residents.
- Green spaces are nurtured and cared for, with increased practical skills, a sense of belonging, improved communal confidence and individual wellbeing achieved through participation.
- Residents will have a greater respect for green spaces on their doorstep, with a better network of linked green spaces, a stronger sense of heritage and appreciation of local history.
- There is increased park usage particularly by smaller children and families, improved social connections within the town, greater green spaces enjoyment and a more relaxed community atmosphere.
- Connah’s Quay has safer green spaces, without negative associations, a wide range of recreational opportunities are enjoyed across generations, promoting greater community spirit and increased use of outdoor spaces.
- A community which works well together, strengthening bonds in neighbourhoods and where people work together to create a tidier town.
- A community which provides equal opportunities is accessible for all and promotes a close knit community.
- A strong sense of youth empowerment, involvement and promotion of wellbeing for future generations.
- Increased educational opportunities, increased awareness of the local area, stronger community culture, and increased use of outdoor space to support learning.
Our Back Yard in Connah’s Quay is a partnership lead by Groundwork North Wales and involving local individuals and partners such as Connah’s Quay Town Council, Flintshire County Council, Quay Watermen’s association, Friends of Wepre, Friends of Central Park, Owl Cymru, Radio Deeside, Deeside and District Historical Society , North Wales Wildlife Trust, Ysgol Bryn Deva, Ysgol Caer Nant, Ysgol Wepre, Ysgol Golftyn, Connah’s Quay High School, Leonard Cheshire, Keyring, Keep Wales Tidy, Clocktower, FLVC and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Volunteers have contributed 4885 volunteer hours towards environmental improvements so far on weekly volunteering sessions, one off sessions, educational content creation for the digital trail and the steering group. We have improved several green spaces across Connah’s Quay.
Volunteers and community members have worked on the following that have a direct impact on the environment:
- 21 Habitat Management sessions (Including bracken bashing, installing bird/bat boxes/hedgehog boxes, wildflower planting, making bug houses/habitat piles, clearing wildlife corridors of rubbish and growth, managing SSI sites, collecting data for national wildlife surveys)
- 13 Access Improvement sessions (Path maintenance, Path clearance, fence and signage maintenance)
- 25 Litter picking sessions (224 bags of rubbish collected by volunteers)
- Wildlife awareness sessions (Including school sessions, creating educational content on app, wildlife walks, wildlife identification)
We have also worked to improve the following areas:
Golftyn Park – A lease has been drafted and submitted to Flintshire County Council and discussions around insurance and liabilities are ongoing. We have discussed a 10 year lease with FCC maintaining the park and community members being responsible for doing habitat management with capital works to start in Year 2/Year 3 if the lease goes ahead.
Primrose Street Playground – Working with the community we have cleaned up the playground, painted existing play equipment, added flower beds and worked with Aura Leisure to install new play equipment. Community members have been involved at all stages and have fed back that that they are happy with the improvements.
Pen y Llan – Our Back Yard Volunteers and residents worked together to create a community garden in a housing project.
We have also been successful in:
- Engagement events and attending local events aimed at promoting the project and the volunteering opportunities.
- Partnership working and formation of a steering group with open membership to community groups and residents.
- Working with all schools and colleges in Connah’s Quay.
- Developing marketing materials and social media presence to promote the project and the opportunities to get involved.
- Support for Our Back Yard Champions Volunteer group.
- In terms of volunteers that have been directly involved in the project we had 163 in year one, and to date 146 in Year 2.
We feel that a major achievement has been the creation of the Connah’s Quay digital trail by various partner organisations such as the town council, volunteer groups, historical societies, schools and individual volunteers. The community really led the creation and uploading of content, have been enthusiastically involved in the promotion of the app and are enthusiastic to continue to create and upload content as well as using the app in lessons, walks and talks. The social benefits of a regular volunteer group is a positive outcome that has been achieved. Many of the volunteers were socially isolated and the volunteering has provided a great way of socialising, building confidence and skills.
Continue to support the community to promote the digital trail app and add and update content. We will work with community groups to use the app to add value to their activities.
Continue to work with the volunteers on a weekly basis across different green spaces, undertaking a range of task and continuing to build knowledge and skills with practical sessions and training.
Quay clean partnership
Support and play active role in the Quay Clean partnership, organising a Connah’s Quay wide annual clean week by various organisations.
Improve site with capital works and continue the maintenance of the park. Create a community group responsible for maintenance of the park.
Continue to plan and deliver community events alongside the community. Develop regular walk programme and sensory steps initiative with partners.
Education & Training
Educational sessions with local schools and resource development and partnership working with Coleg Cambria Welsh Baccalaureate students.