The Heritage Fund recently announced the awarding of £300,000 to 5 projects in Wales:
‘£300,000 nature funding for under-served communities in Wales’
Greening Riverside led by South Riverside Community Centre, Cardiff, £81,202
South Riverside Community Development Centre is located in CF116ES. It is one of the most economically deprived areas in Wales with average mortality a full 12 years younger than the richest areas in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. The local secondary school has over a third of students whose first language is one other than English. It also has the highest number of pupils on free school meals in the city. With parts of South Riverside ranked at 66 and 140 for deprivation (WIMD 2019), it is in the poorest 6% of communities in Wales. The population of South Riverside is 51 % minority ethnic, with 35 different ethnic groups present. South Riverside has disproportionately high levels of environmental deprivation caused by dense housing, heavy traffic flow and limited green space. Opportunities for growing include three small heavily utilised parks, front and back gardens of properties and several small areas of scrap land around the neighbourhood.
SRCDC looks to continue to build and spread local knowledge of growing and wildlife protection and to engage residents in the co-production of a Local Plan for Greening Riverside.
SRCDC will look to address the Barriers to engagement:
– Many residents struggle to speak or understand English.
– There are cultural differences such as diet, religious beliefs and practices.
– There is a large amount of economic poverty.
– Riverside caters for many of the population of Cardiff that have newly arrived.
– The prior project identified a significant number of residents with a lack of self confidence, loneliness and isolation.
– Many residents have a hectic family life, with multi-generational households that often have more than 10 family members
– There are significant numbers of women with caring responsibilities at both ends of the age spectrum and no personal space or time
– Riverside has a real shortage of safe outdoor spaces to socialise and relax.
The Project will recruit 20 local people from minority ethnic backgrounds to take part in two separate 6-month Urban Greening Leadership courses. Participants will be recruited via our local networks which have so far enabled us to engage over 700 people, 80% of whom are from minority ethnic backgrounds.
Participants will work with a professional wildlife educator to complete a baseline environmental survey of South Riverside and learn about the nature and wildlife that exists in their neighbourhood: including bird and animal life; interesting insects; trees; plants and human history. It will also encourage Re-wilding in, on and around the water.
There will be 2 project facilitators they will support the course participants to develop their own idea for a local greening project. This could be a new idea or could build on projects that have taken place during of Greening Riverside.
SRCDC will provide language and IT support, as well as childcare when needed. Local organisations will help provide independent mentoring.
The Project will enable the participants to:
access a network of support and advice to be able to take forward project ideas of their own, including applying for Local Places for Nature packages
work with local volunteers to deliver mini-projects
learn how to lead community projects
contribute to the development of a Local Plan for Greening Riverside
contribute to the project evaluation.
SRCDC is an independent and locally managed facility. SRCDC will establish a project steering group that represents the local community as part of our commitment to ensuring this project is locally owned.