Hub Pentredŵr & Gwlangollen’s joint roles in combating rural poverty and the lack of employment opportunities will work towards securing community prosperity by providing:
Rural Enterprise options
Working with farmers to find alternative uses for fleece in order to diversify and create new enterprise options. This will include undertaking a feasibility study into establishing a commercially viable fleece processing plant. Local farmers will be involved in supplying fleece.
Working with members of local rural organisations to explore the wider use of locally produced fleece, for construction, agricultural and/or horticultural uses.
Rural Training opportunities, increasing skills
Wool-based courses, designed to raise awareness of both the historical and contemporary importance of sheep rearing and fleece to the immediate area.
The courses will
- Help local people gain the necessary craft skills to use their own fleece, taking it from raw dirty fleece with no financial value to produce marketable quality soft furnishings and gifts from fleece products.
- Provide cleaned, carded, spun or felted fleece for local crafters at cost.
- Develop retail links and information, especially the health and safety regulations associated with what is produced for sale. We will sign post people to Business Wales and other orgs for support with setting up their new businesses.
These taster courses will be non-accredited and specifically designed to raise confidence, self- esteem and form the foundation for further skills development plus opportunities to explore potential uses of other local resources such as making hedgerow baskets, wood carving, foraging etc. The course content will highlight the context and original use of the skills being taught, linking wherever possible to the local area. These will include:
- Spinning art yarn for; weaving, sculpture or free knitting using a drop spindle.
- Weaving using either; a peg loom, potholder, 3D sculptural, table top, picture frame, card and palm loom as requested.
- Felting wet, needle, 3D or nuno felting. To ensure equal opportunities, an electric felting roller will be made available for anyone unable to physically manage the hand felting.
- Rug making.
Access to services and amenities
Rural “in-work poverty” is one of our biggest challenges. The negative impact of digital isolation exacerbates the problem. Increasingly everyone is required to “apply on-line” for agricultural grants, cheaper utility rates, services, purchasing and advice. The project will combat the detrimental financial and social impact of digital isolation by providing a community hub with Wi-Fi access and community coordinator support:
Hub Pentredŵr aims to:
- Provide a place for local people to access the on-line elements of their day to day lives and businesses, with basic technical support from the co-ordinator.
- Accommodate a Citizens Advice advisory worker to be based there for an agreed time each week to help with form filling, social and transport issues etc.
- Improve the sustainability prospects of the community hub through gaining revenues from on-site advertising, marketing, social media and on-line bookings through:
a) Increasing the number of organisations wishing to deliver courses or training with an on-line element.
b) Become a regular training venue for rural skills course providers (informal discussions already underway).
Rural isolation has a number of impacts on our community. Youth migration results in less young people within the community to be part of activities and developments. By alleviating social isolation Pentredŵr will become a stronger community by providing a programme of events built around the specific needs of our community to:
- Provide opportunities to meet and socialise with a broad focus on wool based activity which is very much at the heart of the community. Local people will have the opportunity to meet new people, see what is being created (and maybe join in if that is what they wish) or simply catch up with old friends. Snacks and/or a hot meal would be provided.
- Provide examples of successful diversification through talks, wool days and wool skills workshops
- Inspire our community and support them in looking at new directions
- Making the community centre available for learning, research, advice, networking and social interaction.
- Providing homework and space for our young people to socialise and work. Out of school hours all our children are living in isolation, being dependent on parents driving them out of their community to socialise.
- Enabling whole community participation in larger projects that require the internet – digital story-telling, local history, family histories, community recording – weather watch, bird counts, wildlife surveys etc.