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Nine jobs created through awards to innovative RCT projects

Nine new posts have been created by three Rhondda Cynon Taf social enterprises as the result of awards worth more than £120,000 from a regeneration initiative set up to help communities across the Valleys.
The EU-funded South East Wales Community Economic Development (SEWCED) programme has made the awards to an accountancy service, a community arts company and a childcare co-operative.
Pontypridd-based Community Accountancy Wales is a new social enterprise receiving £36,000 to help it provide accountancy services to third sector organisations, Artis Community/Cymuned – also in Pontypridd - has been awarded £54,200 to help ‘future-proof’ the business, and Treorchy’s Dylan's Den has received almost £30,000 to help establish a playgroup and ‘wraparound’ service.
Supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and run by a six-Valleys local authorities’ consortium of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen, SEWCED has supported 32 social enterprises in RCT since it began in 2010, helping to create six new social enterprises and 23 full-time jobs.
CISWO Community Accountancy Wales is extending its affordable accountancy services to clients including playgroups, tenants’ and residents’ associations and charities.
The SEWCED award is supporting the recruitment of a new Community Accounts Assistant, who will focus on working with South Wales organisations.

“We’re confident we can attract enough business to make the position sustainable in the short term,” said Lead Community Accountant Rhys Williams.
“Once established, we can then concentrate on our other primary aim - offering free hands-on support and training to the treasurers and officers of our clientele. But before we can do this, sustainability is paramount - we need organisations to employ our services to help make us self-sustaining.”
• Any South Wales-based third sector groups requiring an accountant are invited to contact Rhys on 01443 485233 or via the website www.CCAW.org.uk
Artis Community/Cymuned provides opportunities for people to take part in creative dance and visual arts programmes across the Valleys.
The social enterprise’s Arts & Health and Wellbeing project involves it working with Cwm Taf Health Board, local hospitals, social care services and higher education to ensure it meets identified needs and provides an efficient and economically viable programme.

Director Wendy York said: “The SEWCED funding will support our work over the coming year to pilot projects in dance and the visual arts, and to evidence how the arts impact the health and wellbeing of people in Rhondda Cynon Taf.”

The Artis initiative has already benefitted people with dementia at Ysbyty Cwm Cynon through a visual arts project, with nurses and other staff having transformed an underused room into a creativity workshop space and monitored its impact over 10 weeks.
“The patients experienced moments of joy and accomplishment, increasingly opening up to the arts workshops,” Wendy added. “We’re also looking at expanding our work in hospitals into new areas for visual arts and dance.”
The SEWCED award is helping in the creation of one full time post of Visual Arts Co-ordinator and two part-time posts of Dance Co-ordinator and Marketing Assistant, the aim of which will be to establish a new, potentially income-earning area of work.

“By helping to increase our personnel capacity, SEWCED is supporting the development of a sustainable and effective marketing strategy to further raise the profile of our work,” Wendy York added.
“We’ll also be able to undertake new research to inform the next stages of our development, increase our earned and contractual income and grow participation – future-proofing our business in the current challenging economic climate.”

• For more information about Artis Community/Cymuned and its projects, call 01443 490390

Dylan's Den is using its award to help establish a playgroup and ‘wraparound’ service specifically for children aged two to five years old - including pre-nursery, part-time and full-time nursery-aged children.
The childcare co-operative was set up at Treorchy Primary School by a group of parents in 2008, when it had just five children on its books. Today, it has 180 children registered and 13 part-time members of staff.
It runs a term-time out-of-school club five days a week from 3-6pm, offering a range of fun activities and healthy snacks, and a pick-up service for children from other schools in the surrounding areas.
A £76,875 SEWCED award last year allowed the group to set up a holiday club and employ a second manager on a job-share basis, while the latest award is helping it expand further.

“We’re setting up Dragon Tots in response to unprecedented demand from members and the wider community,” said Director Kathryn Williams. “The award means we’ll be able to create five new posts.
“We are a limited company by guarantee and a nonprofit organisation, which means we’ll always offer a fair price for our out-of-school care and every penny is put back into the club to further develop its services for the local community - and especially the children.”
• To find out more about Dylan’s Den or to put your child’s name down, call 07596 639616 or email dylansdeninfo@gmail.com