‘Your Voice, Your Choice’ grant making event brings together community groups from across Gwent

6th March 2024

Community groups joined together to bid for a share of this year’s grants pot from the Gwent High Sheriffs’ Community Fund.

The 2024 ‘Your Voice, Your Choice’ event took place at Penallta House in Hengoed with eight 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 eight groups who each had five 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, there was an additional £1,000 on offer to the groups voted to have given the best presentations on the day, which went to Gwent Young Farmers Club and ReWild Play.

TOGs Centre was awarded a multiyear grant, which will help them with their long term planning and sustainability.

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 and raise awareness of the consequences of crime and anti-social behaviour. 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, said: “Once again, the Your Voice, Your Choice event showcased an amazing array of projects that are helping to improve the lives of young people in their local community.

“This event provides a platform for community groups to share their stories, often through the words of the people they are supporting. It empowers local people to prioritise solutions to local issues.

“It was great to hear how community organisations in Gwent are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children and young people and we are proud to be able to support all the groups who took part with funding.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said: “I am proud to support the Gwent High Sheriff’s Fund which is helping to ensure that grassroots community groups are getting essential funding to support the young people in their area.

“By creating opportunities for children and young people to take part in meaningful activities, giving them a safe space and a safe face in their communities, and offering them support from adult mentors, we can help to reinforce good behaviours and positive thinking.

“It was fantastic to see the commitment, dedication and drive of so many groups working to make a difference to the young people in their communities, and I am pleased that all were able to receive funding that will help them to take their projects forward.”

Prof. Simon J. Gibson, CBE, DL, High Sheriff of Gwent 2023-24, said: “Your Voice Your Choice stands as a unique event spotlighting the invaluable efforts of organisations dedicated to guiding young people onto positive life pathways across Gwent. As High Sheriff of Gwent, I am delighted to host this event, which gathers a spectrum of community projects focused on empowering young people with transformative opportunities.

“A special commendation goes to the organisations that have secured funding, and my sincere gratitude extends to all participants who shared their energetic, emotive, and inspiring narratives.

“The High Sheriffs’ Community Fund remains steadfast in our commitment to nurturing this vital tradition of transparent grant-making, ensuring continuous support for organizations assisting young people in forging fulfilling and constructive life trajectories.”

The organisations awarded grants at the 2024 event were as follows:

  • TOGs Centre
  • Bridges Centre
  • Gwent Young Farmers Club
  • Torfaen Sea Cadets
  • The Family & Community Group
  • ReWild Play
  • Urban Circle
  • Nantyglo & Blaina Air Cadets