|Pembroke 21C Community Association: Foundry House and some of the projects|
Community Spirit is Alive and Well in Pembrokeshire
Elizabeth Gossage, Development Officer for Pembroke 21C Community Association, gave an extremely inspirational talk to members and friends of Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group at their June meeting.
The organisation was started by Joan Asby at SPARC. A community lead action plan in 2000 lead to the formation of the Community Group in 2001. Large grants from The National Lottery, Texaco, the Town Council and the Welsh Government lead to the purchase of Foundry House in 2007 and refurbishment in 2011. Foundry House is open every day and is used by 37 regular groups. It is also available for parties and is also used by regional and national organisations.
Pembroke 21C has lead to the setting up of Pembroke Millponds Action Group, the Holyland Community Woodland, Pembroke Farmers Market, The Pembroke Festival and PembTech, the weekly Cyber Coffee Morning.
The organisation has encouraged volunteering, with an 87-strong volunteer base with 6,800 hours recorded, and, as well as the projects already mentioned, this has lead to the repair of board walks and paths. The Community Interest Company has been set up to supply live willow for stabilisation of river banks.
There are many things to be achieved in the future. The 2020 Community Plan has lead to the Association hoping to set up a community garden as well as restoring the town wall. It is hoped to increase youth volunteering and to set up a Pembroke Millponds Education Programme.
Foundry House will have more uses in the future with school holiday activities, an after school and holiday club, a community cinema and a Friday Cyber Club.
It is hoped that the Association will become financially sustainable in the near future by cutting costs, increasing donations and holding more fund raising events.
PSEEG members and friends were impressed by Elizabeth's enthusiasm. It is clear that the Association will go from strength to strength.
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