Community groups across Gwent come together for ‘Your Voice, Your Choice’ grant making event

9th March 2023

Community groups joined together to bid for a share of a grants pot worth around £60,000 from the Gwent High Sheriffs’ Community Fund.

The 2023 ‘Your Voice, Your Choice’ event took place at Coleg Gwent in Newport with 13 groups bidding for a grant to support their project.

‘Your Voice, Your Choice’ is a partnership between the Gwent High Sheriffs’ Community Fund, the Office of the Gwent Police & Crime Commissioner and Community Foundation Wales to award grants of up to £5,000 to community groups across Gwent.

This event features an innovative grant-giving format that enables local people to prioritise solutions to local issues and support grassroots projects.

The event showcased 13 groups who each had four minutes to pitch their project, with each presentation being scored by the other groups. The projects thought to be tackling the most important issues were given a share of a grants pot. The format of the event allowed groups to communicate their stories in their own way and share their drive and commitment to improving lives in Gwent.

This year, Parish Trust was awarded a multiyear grant, aimed at supporting sustainability and resilience.

This grant-making celebration is the highlight of the Gwent High Sheriffs’ Community Fund calendar and the culmination of a year of fundraising by the current High Sheriff of Gwent, Malgwyn Davies. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent contributes £65,000 to the scheme.

The Gwent High Sheriffs’ Community Fund works hard to build safer communities in Gwent by supporting projects that mentor and inspire young people to fulfil their potential. This event is an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and dedication of volunteers and community groups who do so much to improve the lives of people in Gwent.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Wales, speaking about the event, said: “It was great to see the community organisations in Gwent showcasing their amazing projects that are helping to improve the lives of people in their local community.

“Your Voice, Your Choice provides a platform for community groups to share their stories, often through the words of the people they are helping. It puts the power in the hands of local people to prioritise solutions to local issues.”

“Well done and thank to everyone that took part in this year’s Your Voice, Your Choice.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “Grassroots community groups that offer localised support to children and young people are crucial to creating opportunities that steer young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour.
“This is something I take very seriously and is a key commitment in my Police and Crime Plan, which is why, this year, I have contributed £65,000 to the High Sheriff’s fund.

“I am pleased this investment will enable so many groups to make a real difference to children and young people in their communities.”

Malgwyn Davies, High Sheriff of Gwent 2022-23, said: “It was an occasion when the young people of Gwent enthused about the services they could provide if additional finance became available. Their exuberance was infectious and created an enjoyable atmosphere throughout the event.

“Awards were made which will enable the ambitions of the successful organisations to be achieved, benefitting the lives of many of our young people.”

The organisations awarded grants at the 2023 event were as follows:
• Made in Tredegar
• The Outdoor Partnership
• Llamau
• The Parish Trust
• Operasonic Cyf
• Cymru Creations
• Rewild Play
• Duffryn Community Link
• TOGs Centre
• The Bridge to Cross CT
• Crimestoppers Trust