NEWSLETTER SIGN UP
The last event at Tesco Caernarfon on the 6th of April had to be cancelled due to not enough people taking part. Therefor we have arranged another date to pack bags and raise awareness of Gisda in Tesco Caernarfon on the 17th of May which is on a Friday – making it easier for people to take part. We would be very grateful if anyone could help us on this day – if you are interested in helping Gisda in this event e-mail or call me to confirm times etc.
Thank you very much!
19/04/13: Mentoring Day 10/4/13 and 17/4/13 photos - click here
17/04/13: Gisda Spring Newsletter - click here
08/04/13: Rabbit Farm photos - click here
05/04/13: Mosaics Session Tremadog photos - click here
03/04/13: Street Football Wales April photos - click here
18/03/13: Gardening Blaenau Ffestiniog photos - click here
18/03/13: Graffiti Blaenau Ffestiniog photos - click here
14/03/13: The Play Centre photos - click here
13/03/13: Graffiti photos - click here
08/03/13: Job - Counsellor (Part Time) - click here
22/02/13: Mountain biking photos - click here
21/02/13 : If you would like to volunteer to help Gisda fundraise by
packing bags at Caernarfon Tesco on 6/4/13 please let us know.
21/02/13: Information Centre Launch photos - click here
20/02/13 : Thank you to the volunteers who came to fundraise at Bangor Tesco last Saturday - £321 was raised!
11/02/13: Gisda is looking for volunteers to help fundraise at Bangor Tesco next Saturday 16/2/13 bewtween 10am and 4pm. If you can spare an hour or two of your time please contact email@example.com. This is also an opportunity for young people to get evidence towards the Welsh Bac.
24/01/13: Mentoring Day photos - click here
04/01/13: 'Darparu Cefnogaeth a Chyfleoedd i Bobl Ifanc' (Papur Dre, Cwmni Da a Choleg Menai) Video - click here
04/01/13: 'Gweithgareddau GISDA' (Papur Dre, Cwmni Da a Choleg Menai) Video - click here
03/01/13: Young parents go bowling photos - click here
03/01/13: Making Gingerbread Men photos - click here
03/01/13: Peer Mentor training photos - click here
03/01/13: Making Xmas Wreaths photos - click here
21/12/12: Christmas Quiz photos - click here
18/12/12: Christmas Newsletter - click here
18/12/12: Photos of children's Christmas Party - click here
|18/12/12: Gisda has been presented with a certificate for a Healthy Workplace by Simply Health – presented to Sian and the staff by Jade Wright.|
18/12/12: Gisda has won the Lloyds Bank Community Fund Campaign
Photo of Sian receiving a cheque from Jonathan Jenkins (Lloyds Bank Senior Business Manager) and Steve Ancill, Bangor Branch Manager Lloyds Bank. Thanks to all who supported Gisda.
27/11/12: Drums for Peace Youth Exchange to Estonia - click here
22/11/12: Photos of Cinematic - click here
01/11/12: This was a ‘Drums for Peace’ youth exchange to Estonia and three young people from Gisda went there for a week with two members of staff.
Click here to listen to Soundcloud
15/10/12: Photos of Sea Kayaking and Gardening - click here
01/10/12 The Daily Post ‘Wish’ Campaign
Gisda is part of the Daily Post ‘Wish’ campaign from 2nd of October 2012.
There is £25,000 available to share between an amount of organisations in North wales who have been nominated and we are in the mix.
How does it work? – Between October 2nd and November 19th there will be four tokens in the newspaper every day. Whoever buys the newspaper can decide, if they wish, to cut out the tokens and donate to whichever organisation they so wish. At the end of the campaign the organisations count the tokens received and take them to the Daily Post office. The more tokens we have, the bigger our share of the pot.
How can you help? – by:
- If you already buy the paper yourself, you can give the tokens to Gisda, if you wish
- Tell your friends, neighbours and contacts about the scheme
- Share on Facebook and Twitter during the campaign
- Putting a poster up in an effective place in your area – just ask me for a poster – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Asking your local newspaper shop if they would be willing to put up a poster and collecting the tokens for Gisda (we have posters and we can get some more boxes) – I will ask iwan’s shop in Caernarfon, the Spar in Brynsiencyn etc.
- If you are in a work meeting – let people know about the campaign
- If you attend college, or are a member of any groups outside of work, ask if we can put a poster up and let them know about the campaign
- Perhaps you have your own ideas? Let me know!
With this type of campaign it works better if you have a number of people collecting on your behalf, lessening the effort involved.
There will be a box in the reception at Ty Rhydalun for receipt of tokens also.
Thank-you so much!
21/09/12: Annual Report 2011 - 2012 - click here
Gisda’s young people have been successful with their application for £2500 from the Princes’s Trust to develop a new enterprise, an inflatable cinema. Here is their presentation……. - click here
19/09/12: Latest Newsletter - click here
11/09/12: Job: Project Worker - click here
September 07 2012
Football Tournament September 2012 - click here for the photos
August 20 2012
GISDA Awards Night - click here to view the photos
August 1 2012: Photos Art Workshop South Gwynedd / Royal Opera House / Mosaics July 2012 - click here
August 1 2012: Photos from the Streetwise Opera in London
August 1 2012: From the press: Homeless people centre stage at Royal Opera House
July 30 2012:
GISDA's Business Plan 2012-2015 - click here
02/07/12: Drumming workshop June 2012 photos - click here
02/07/12: Mosaic Workshop photos - click here
May 23 2012
GISDA's young people have recorded this song with Grassroots in their studio in Cardiff - click here
Gethin Evans on the Radio - click here
Fundraising at Asda
Mel and Lowri raising awareness about GISDA and fundraising at Asda Caernarfon 27/4/12 – collected £123.
Big thanks to Asda and the customers.
Click here to see the photos
Stencil sessions held in Blaenau on the 19.03.2012.
Young people working on individual pieces of art to be accrediated by Agored Cymru.
Click here to view the photos
|A party was held for the young people’s little children at GISDA with Santa’s grotto on Monday. A great time was had by all!|
GISDA Photography Club
During the autumn service users were asked to take pictures of how they saw the community they lived in under the guidance of local photographer Phoebe Davenport. Two clubs were formed, one in Blaenau and the other in Caernarfon. Over a period a two weeks the groups went out to take pictures having had basic guidance on how to frame, light and compose a picture.
Whilst the the groups where out taking photos it became obvious that the project turned out to be more than going out to take photos in their local community. By going out to their area discussion where raised about social and community issues as the project proved to be an opportunity for the service users to talk and think about the world around them. Discussion where held about light subject like the cruelty of keeping chickens in a house to subject a bit deeper as the economic impact that tourist have on work in their area.
As well as raising interesting discussions about their community the project produced pictures of very high quality. With so much material GISDA decided to put on an exhibition of the work at the annual governors meeting. The reaction to the work was positive, so much so that one of the governors was so impressed with work he produced a picture post card of one of the pictures.
The project has proven to be very successful and the the service users have said they would like the ‘club’ to be a regular session in GISDA’a activity calendar.
GISDA Graffti Project
Over a couple of days in September GISDA service users had the opportunity to volunteer their time to improve an area within their community. The exciting project also saw the group getting accreditation for their hard work.
As the young people led the project, they decided to put together an application to the GWIRVOL grant which is administrated by Mantell Gwynedd, for two days worth of workshops under the guidance of street art expert, Andy Birch.
The grant allowed Andy to work with the group for two days and during the workshops they would learn how to create street art that allowed them to create an original piece of art in their local skate park in Caernarfon. Since the project there has been a mural of their work looking over the park which creates a colourful and fun atmosphere. As well as learning new skills and volunteering in their community the group also achieved a certificate in ‘creating street art’ level 1 through Agored Cymru.
The group had so much fun that they have since asked Andy Birch back for a day to create another mural at the Hafan hostel in Caernarfon, and has also been asked to create an original mural with GISDA’s service users in Blaenau Ffestiniog for the hostel in Llys Meddyg. The group working with Andy on the Blaenau project will also receive an accreditation in ‘creating street art’.
The group’s work was exhibited at the GISDA’s AGM, and it proved to be a hit with the service users as well as the young people who have since used the park.
Click here to view the photos
GISDA’s Mosaics workshops
Since early July GISDA service users have been working on individual mosaics pieces in a bid to learn new skills to decorate a part of the outside wall of the GISDA office in Blaenau FFestiniog.
Under the guidance and support of mosaic expert Wendy Deangelis weekly sessions have been held at Tan y Maen, Blaenau FFestiniog. Service users have been hard at work on individual pieces of art work and the hope is that whilst working on their mosaics the young people will learn how to design, collate and produce pieces of mosaic..
As they work hard on their designs GISDA’s educational program Agor Drysau will accredit the young people who have taken part in the session with Agored Cymru accreditation in ‘direct Mosaics level 1.’
As work continues on the individual pieces, work is being done to design a larger piece of mosaic to decorate part of the outside wall of the GISDA office in Blaenau FFestiniog. Donations have already been given from Llechwedd and hopefully other businesses from the area will donate any material that could be used for the project.
The sessions have proven to be a huge hit with the young people and the feedback has been great. As well as gaining accreditation and learning new skills, the session have been a tool to develop self esteem, confidence, motivation and communication skills.
Click here to view the photos
One day training on practical First Aid with the British Red Cross – Robert, Glesni and Laura
On Thursday June 30 seven of GISDA’s young people climbed Snowdon for the very first time. They were accompanied by an experienced Mountain Leader as well as Key Workers and members of the Agor Drysau Team.
After a slow start to the day the group started their climb at 10:30am from ‘Pen y Pass’ car park and even the fog couldn’t stop the climbers making it up to the summit in a respectable 2 hours and 50 minutes.
In the warmth of the new cafe everyone enjoyed a spot of lunch and the compulsory picture at the top of the mountain before starting the long descent back down. After an hour of climbing down, the peak of Snowdon appeared from the clouds, even Gethin’s pleas to go back up to have a look at the views couldn’t stop the group from voting to carry on down the mountain.
During the day the mountaineers had a brief history lesson from Gary, the mountain leader, about Sir Edmund Hillary’s Everest training as well as the copper mining industry that failed to materialise in areas surrounding Snowdon. A very educational and tiring trip all round. The expedition (we are professional now!) got back to the ‘Pen y Pass’ car park for 4:30pm before everyone went home to sleep!
Gary said “It gives me great pleasure to congratulate all who took part in this event, which resulted in everyone reaching the summit of Snowdon. This is unusual for a team of this size and experience in the mountains.
The team had a positive attitude throughout the day and a sensible approach to the task in hand. They showed an interest in mountain safety, craft, weather conditions and their surroundings.
I was particularly impressed when the team waited just below the summit until all team members were together so that they all reached the top as one team.”
Click here to view the photos
Gardening at Hafan
Over the past month Hafan tenants have been busy (bees) in giving a new lease of life to the garden at Hafan, and by all accounts they have been very successful in doing so(w). Harri Morris, GISDA’s Peer Mentor, has set up the project to try and encourage participation in all activities by the young people.
Harri says “The reaction to the project has been so positive. In recent weeks the young people have been there waiting for me on a Friday morning ready to start, looking forward to working on the garden. They have been so successful, that by now, some of the residents have been working in the garden on their own initiative without me being there.” He added “We had a young person, who was moving in shortly, shown around the hostel last week, and the residents that have been working on the garden wanted to show them the garden as part of the tour. They obviously feel that they own the garden and are very proud to show off their hard work”.
The plan is that once the potatoes, onions and other vegetables are ready, the young people can learn how to prepare them for dedicated cooking sessions to promote healthy eating. This will also create an ethos of sustainable living within the hostel. As well as getting free meals. The plan is for the young people to obtain a gardening accreditation from Agored Cymru.
Agor Drysau Pamper Night
A pamper night was arranged by GISDA recently in Blaenau Ffestiniog for some of the young people in our South Gwynedd Project. They each enjoyed a half hour treatment of their choice. They chose a manicure and a mini facial, which they all thoroughly enjoyed. The evening proved to be a very successful one.
The treatments were given by an independent mobile business called ‘Beauty Bug’, which is based in Caernarfon. The Business owner is Kayleigh Thomas, a young woman who runs her own business. She spent time with the young people talking about her training and how she started her business. Kayleigh was both efficient and flexible in her approach and the young people enjoyed the evening very much, it was a good experience.
Here are some comments by some of the young people after the session:
“It was really fun and I really enjoyed it.”
“It was really good and it helped me to relax. I hope to do it again.”
“It was really good to have all of the girls together and gave us the opportunity to do something we can’t usually afford.”
Click here to view the photos
Five a side football
The Agor Drysau team have been busy recently organising football matches for GISDA’s young people. After speaking with the young people it was obvious that there was a need for physical activity to be offered to them and football was chosen as the easiest way to get the sessions started. Since starting the football matches, the teams have been based on the Caernarfon team taking on Blaenau FFestiniog, and up to now, Caernarfon have had the edge over their rivals. The sessions have been successful and the turnout increases with each game. The young people see the activity as a good way to get to know each other and it has served as a great way for the new ‘Agor Drysau’ team to get to know the young people.
When the Community Justice Intervention Wales invited GISDA’s football team to compete in their football tournament everyone was very excited. The tournament was held in Rhyl, where 15 teams were competing. The teams were separated into three groups of five.
GISDA’s team played very well in the tournament and gave 100%. In the first and third game we drew 0 -0. In the second game we won 1-0 and then unfortunately lost 1-0 in our last game. However, it was great day out for the young people who got to see the Barclay’s Premier League Cup and take some photos of it.
‘Agor Drysau’ has also been looking at the possibility of staging a football tournament for agencies across the county to compete in, as a way of promoting GISDA as a service. Watch this space!
Grant from the Welsh Assembly Governement to improve the Youth Service 2011-2012
A grant of £10,000 was received in order to employ a Theatre Forum worker. The post will arrange workshops for GISDA’s service users and performances in local Colleges. Over the years, GISDA’s Theatre Forum project has shown that it is an effective style for the development of young people’s confidence and self esteem, for them to work as part of a team and a way of sorting out problems. It also looks at positive ways of tackling oppression by making others in society more aware of the problems facing young people. It is hoped that the work will be accredited by Agored Cymru level 1 and 2 and will enable access to the Millennium Volunteers project.
Waitrose ‘Community Matters’ Scheme - THANK YOU
We would like to thank everyone who supported us with the Waitrose campaign.
We have raised £667 in total!
Siân Elen Tomos receiving a cheque from Waitrose for £667
Notice of Annual General Meeting
GISDA ‘s Annual General Meeting will be held at Caernarfon Town Football Club, The Oval, Marcus Street, Caernarfon at 1.30PM on Monday 26 September 2011. There will also be the launch of the ‘Agor Drysau’ Project funded by the Big Lottery.
For additional information please e-mail email@example.com or phone 01286 671153.
Waitrose ‘Community Matters’ Scheme
We are delighted to announce that GISDA is one of three local charities to benefit from the Waitrose ‘Community Matters’ scheme for July.
Each month, Waitrose donates £1000 to be shared between three charities. Their customers receive a green plastic token with each purchase and the customer then chooses which charity to support by donating their token into one of three boxes near the exit.
This is an excellent opportunity for GISDA so please show your support by either purchasing an item from Waitrose in Menai Bridge and put your token into our box or by asking your friends and family to show their support also (mention on Facebook and Twitter etc.). Remember you can give a token each time you purchase something during July.
Many thanks for your support.
The eagerly anticipated match between the North and South Gwynedd teams was played out in a frantic and very tight game on Wednesday night. The bragging rights went to the South Gwynedd team on this occasion in a narrow 19-18 victory. The match was played in very good spirit and enjoyed by young people and staff alike. A re-match has been arranged for the 15th of June, a match whereby the North team are eager to gain revenge after they felt some controversial decisions went against them. North Gwynedd’s captain Harri said “it was a great success and a match that everyone enjoyed. It was a fun yet competitive match that was played in good spirit. Although I have to congratulate the South on their win, I must stress that the North will come back better and stronger for the re-match”. Michael, captain of the South Gwynedd team said “I really enjoyed this match. It was a lot of fun and a good chance to meet people. I’m glad that we won and think we’ll win easily in the re-match!”.
Click here to view the photos
Adventure Day Out!
On Thursday the 7th of April 2011 six young people form GISDA went on an outdoor sector activity for the day. They experienced mountain biking on a course in Capel Curig with a professional mountain biker during the morning. In the afternoon they all went rock climbing and some tried their hand at abseiling. They all thoroughly enjoyed the day which, amongst other things, taught them great team-building and communication skills. They had to work together, especially whilst rock climbing and abseiling.
Some comments from the group were “It was really good”, I would like to do it again” and “It was fun”.
The main purpose of the day was for the young people to have a taster session in outdoor activities to see if they were interested in a career in the outdoor sector.
Click here to view the videos
New Mediation Service
GISDA has a new Mediation service!
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process of negotiation following relationship breakdown between family members, friends and housing/tenancy disputes. Trained mediators are independent third parties who remain non-judgmental in their work with individuals. Mediation allows both parties to explain their concerns and needs to each other in the presence of the mediator; who in turn acts as an advocate for each party involved in order to find their own workable solutions to the conflict.
About the service
The service provides free, confidential and impartial mediation support, enabling clients to resolve conflicts themselves. The aim is also to facilitate better communication and improve relationships between those in dispute. The Mediation service is voluntary and can only take place if both parties agree.
Who is the service for?
The Mediation Service works predominantly with service users within GISDA, who find themselves in conflicts that threaten their housing. The service is also available to those who find themselves in conflict within their housing projects or those who are having disagreements with friends.
Red Nose Day 2011
TY Rhydalun staff on red nose day — we raised £63
Sports Leadership Course
“GISDA has helped me with getting a place to live; they have also helped with getting me motivated by attending Bocswn, the Social Enterprise and also a Sports Leadership course.”
A few of GISDA’s young people attended a ‘Get into Sports Leadership’ (Outdoor sports programme), arranged by the Prince’s Trust, from Monday 14 March to Thursday 21 April 2011.
This is a full-time, six-week programme for any young person aged between 16 – 25 in the local area, who is unemployed, not in education or any other training who is interested in finding employment in the outdoor leisure industry.
The programme includes:
The course will be delivered by Plas Menai Outdoor Centre in Caernarfon and anybody referred must be job ready, and able to commit to the full 6 weeks of the course.
Following the course there is the option of 6 months progression support for each participant if they wish, to assist with helping to find employment or further training.
“I enjoy Sports Leadership very much; it keeps me motivated and active throughout the day. I enjoy being in my kayak on the water as I’m catching a wonderful suntan!
I am going to stick at it as it is fun and sometimes I have a right laugh. The wet suits are tight and makes me look a plonker but still being out there is relaxing.”
First Minister meets ‘budding entrepreneurs’
On 17 March some of GISDA’s young people, who have been working on a feasibility study for their own social enterprise, had the opportunity to present their research into their sustainable business, which involves a climbing wall at Blaenau Ffestiniog, to the Welsh Assembly’s First Minister, Carwyn Jones, at Plas Menai
The presentation was part of the fourth National meeting organised by Llamau. The First Minister was invited to hear about three social enterprise projects by various homeless charities across Wales. Carwyn Jones was clearly impressed with the work that the group had achieved whilst working on the project. Speaking with the budding entrepreneurs he said “You’ve shown people that no matter how difficult circumstances are, how tough a time you’ve had, there is a chance for things to get better.”
He went on to say “The important thing is: all these ideas have been ideas that you’ve thought of and taken forward yourselves. People haven’t done it for you. The energy has come from yourselves and it just shows there’s no limit to what people can do given the chance. Fantastic examples of great ways to improve not just individual people’s lives, but the lives of entire communities.”
Harri Morris who worked on the social enterprise with the group, and is a Peer Mentor with GISDA, presented on the day and was very happy with the Minister’s comments. He said “The young people here deserve this recognition from the highest level, and it doesn’t get much higher in Wales than Carwyn Jones. Following their discussion with the First Minister, this has inspired the group to progress the project from the feasibility study stage to a real venture”
The Assembly were so impressed with the study that they have supported the group by giving them extra funds to work with a Business Consultant to create a business plan. Their aim is to research and apply for grants so they can realise their exciting business venture. In addition to running their own business, the group will also be offered the opportunity to train as climbing wall instructors, giving them the best possible chance to become qualified instructors when the business opens.
At the end of the presentation Carwyn Jones went on to give some words encouragement to the group “Best of luck to you all and fantastic to see such wonderful examples across Wales. Well done all of you.”
Click here to view the photos
A social enterprise group was set up by Gisda’s young people to find out what would benefit the people and communities of Blaenau Ffestiniog and the surrounding area.
The group came up with the idea of having a dedicated climbing wall centre in Blaenau Ffestiniog, as it would help attract more tourists to the town itself.
After lots of research, strategy and statistics, the group came up with the idea of holding a community consultation. We decided to have a mobile climbing wall outside the sports hall in Blaenau ffestiniog to get the public’s opinion and their thoughts of having a permanent climbing wall in the town.
We decided to provide drinks and vegetable soup for the visitors, prepared by the young people. Everyone seemed to enjoy the soup and some even asked if they could pay for it so it must have been quite nice!
The group designed some hoodies which they wore on the day; they made a questionnaire, booked the mobile climbing wall and distributed lots of flyers all over the Blaenau Ffestiniog area to attract attention to the event.
All of the kids who came along got involved and really enjoyed themselves. The feedback from the parents was that they thought it was a great idea and it would be very useful to have in Blaenau Ffestiniog.
We received over 40 completed questionnaires, with 100% agreement to the idea of having a climbing wall in Blaenau Ffestiniog. The event itself was a huge success and around 160 people showed their interest and support, which the group was very grateful for.
Our group really enjoyed the day as a whole and just hope’s that our business idea can come true.
Harri – Peer Mentor
What the young people said:
“As a young person I have learnt how to set up a social enterprise such as the one we have been working on which is a climbing centre in my local town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. We think we can bring more tourists to our town.”
Click here to view the photos
GISDA received an invitation for two young people to attend a European workshop called ‘Moments, Places, Journeys’ (MPJ) in Porto, Portugal. MPJ is a network that researches the value of the Arts as a method of encouraging ‘social change’ within societies.
We began our journey on Friday March 11, flying from Manchester to Frankfurt and landing in Porto at 5PM.
After leaving our bags in the hostel we had to meet with groups from the other countries that were participating in the network – France, Austria and Portugal.
On the first night we played some games so that everyone got to know each other, followed by a supper at the end of the night where we were able to socialise.
During the next three days there were workshops on dance and graffiti as well as the opportunity to go on a protest to Porto.
We had to make some banners, and do some activities that were a bit different, such as making a body shape for the protest that portrayed what the group were feeling. The purpose of the protest was equal opportunities and equal rights for all e.g. free education, housing for all and reduced homelessness, better services for disabled people etc.
In order to create the body shape the group needed to portray what we were feeling without conversing with each other, by using our bodies as shapes. After the shape had been created we had to put cling film over the body and then sellotape it for strengthening. We had to break the cling film from the body and put it back together with sellotape…….. Difficult for you to imagine so have a look at this photo:
A photo of one of the finished shapes:
During the protest the body shape drew quite a bit of attention from the people as it was a different way of portraying our feelings.
The Graffiti workshop
Darren, Anthony and I took part in the workshop but we had a bit of trouble between the rain and then the paint being locked inside the car (by accident)….. But, after getting the spare set of keys to obtain the paint, and the rain stopping, we had our graffiti workshop.
Jean Guy (who is part of the ‘International Culture Exchange project’) from France, was the person directing the workshop and teaching the group on how to create a piece of art.
Jean Guy had designed what we were to work on and the message was ‘housing for all, and that no-one should be homeless.’ Have a look at the artwork below:
I have to confess it was quite difficult to stop the paint from running and keeping between the lines, as well as making sure that the wall had been well covered by the paint.
Anthony and Darren had enjoyed themselves immensely and had seen the difference between artistic graffiti and graffiti that defaces buildings which is not nice to see.
On the Monday we had a free morning so Darren and Anthony went off with Felix to see Porto’s football ground and later in the afternoon everyone went to see the old factory to see the graffiti and to watch a performance by the dance group.
Opportunities like this make a big difference to the lives of young vulnerable people and gives them the confidence as well as the opportunity to socialise with people from other countries.
What the young people had to say
“I had the best time in Portugal. One of the best trips I have ever been on, we did lots of stuff I wouldn’t have thought, protesting, graffiti etc. I also met such a nice group of people who I got along with and felt happy been around them.
I was also happy with the people that came with me to Portugal. I had a fantastic time and couldn’t have asked for better people.
It was a fantastic trip.”
Click here to view the photos
After an afternoon of activities and interviews in Aberystwyth, two of GISDA’s young people have been chosen to go to Mongolia in September with the ‘Welsh Youth Forum on Sustainable Development’.
The Forum was established in 2003 for young people in Wales to have a voice on sustainable development issues through Empowerment, Education and Action. The Welsh Assembly Government provides the organisations’ core funding.
They will be travelling for 8 days on the Trans Siberian train and volunteering in Mongolia for two weeks before travelling back. Between now and then both Anthony and Kyle will be working on projects to raise some money for the journey. Well done them!
Click here to view the photos
Click here for the blog on ‘Dyfodol’s’ website
London Visit - 24/03/11
‘Streetwise’ runs a weekly music Workshop Programme in homeless centres around the country – the also stage an annual production which gives homeless people the chance to star in quality shows where there are high-expectations.
Streetwise Opera's goal is s to give homeless and formerly homeless people opportunities to further their personal development through participation in music- making of the highest professional quality and to promote more positive attitudes towards homelessness.
This was the first visit to London for all the young people in our group. We started our journey on the train on the 24th of March; we dropped our luggage at the hotel and made our way to the South Bank National Theatre. Of course trying to work out the underground system took sometime but we eventually arrived!
We arrived to be told that there was no opera performance at the theatre that night! Panic! We were informed that the performance was at the cinema, which was opposite the theatre - phew! Indeed, this performance was very different from the norm, a mixture of live theatre and multimedia.
Four short films were shown on the big screen; in between each story there was an introduction by the 'story teller' and his chorus of singers who were sat with the audience. The audience were encouraged to respond and participate during the performance which made the production lively and unique. Members of the choir were all people who have been, or are currently homeless.
There is no doubt that the performance portrayed a different alternative to conventional opera. The performance caught your imagination which allowed the audience to have a better understanding of the stories and characters. This provided an opportunity for individuals in the audience to explore their own interpretation of the stories.
There was a mixed response from the forum theatre group, some enjoyed the performances and others were puzzling over the true meaning of the stories. However this performance allowed the forum theatre group to understand that individuals from deprived backgrounds can succeed in theatre.
During the past 10 years Streetwise has grown with the number of homeless participants increasing annually. The organisation attracted attention and praises from national media as well from operatic music professionals. In 2008/09 Streetwise Opera won 4 major awards in the homelessness and arts sectors including the first Music in the Community Award in ‘The Times’. Streetwise will be touring Australia in 2011.
The following day the sun was shining in London so we hopped on an open-topped bus. Everyone had a chance to see London’s main attractions - Big Ben, London Eye and Buckingham Palace. One or two were disappointed that the Queen had not come out to say hello! We went on a boat trip down the River Thames which took us to the Tower of London. We went to Oxford Street as the girls wanted to shop! By the end of the third day everyone was feeling pretty tired and ready to go home.
The trip was successful with the group leaving London with a better understanding of life in a multicultural city. Above all, the group witnessed a group of vulnerable people performing on a professional stage to a sell out production! Bravo!
Osian Gwyn Elis
What our young people had to say:
“My trip to London was amazing - I loved it so much, I experienced and did lots of different things which I loved, the company there was great too and it was a great experience for me.
All in all was a worthwhile and amazing trip.”
Click here to view the photos
Care Leavers Research Launch 08/03/11
Shelter Cymru had approached GISDA last year asking if we could assist them with their research into financial exclusion that young people face when leaving or have left care. The research was commissioned by Consumer Focus Wales.
As a result Darren Roberts, a young person who currently receives support from GISDA, was appointed as Peer Researcher for the duration of this research and some of the young people who receive the personal advisor service agreed to be interviewed.
On Tuesday 8th March, Darren and myself attended the Care Leavers Research Launch in Cardiff Bay where the report of the research findings and a dvd highlighting the young people’s experiences would be shown.
Darren had been interviewed previously by Radio Wales and the interview had been aired on Tuesday morning to coincide with the launch. The feedback at the launch regarding Darren’s interview was extremely positive. Darren also agreed to be interviewed for ITV news during the launch.
After the launch we met Dr Brian Gibbons AM and Mrs Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister amongst other people, all of whom were grateful to the young people for their contribution towards the research.
Darren has stated that he was pleased to be given the opportunity to be a Peer Researcher, something he would never have considered in the past. Some of the other young people who have taken part in the research stated that the appreciated the opportunity to ‘give something back’.
Hopefully, the young people receiving support from GISDA will be given the opportunity to take part in other research in the future.
You can view the photos by clicking here.
Treffos School Farmer’s Market – 1 March 2011
Pupils at Treffos School in Llansadwrn celebrated St. David’s day by having a local produce market and raising funds for GISDA.
The children sold raffle tickets and manned all the stalls, whilst encouraging the customers to ask for their purchases in Welsh.
Isabell Tolley-Roberts, who manned the flower stall, said “I loved to see the smile on the nursery children’s faces when we gave them a daffodil each”.
Olivia Williams and Emma Cronin who were serving the tea explained to the customers that there wasn’t any coffee for sale “as it just wasn’t Welsh!”
When the infants were asked what they enjoyed most about the event, they all replied “cake, cake and more cake”.
We also received donations by Celtic Kitchen, from the sale of jams, pickles and preserves.
The school raised a total of over £130 for GISDA.
A big thank-you to you all and well done!
Right To Ask – 11 February 2011
Our event called ‘Right to Ask’ took place on Friday 11 February at the Galeri in Caernarfon. Young people from Anglesey and Gwynedd came together to question a panel of prominent figureheads about what was important to them in their society today.
The audience comprised of a cross-section of pupils from schools on Anglesey and Gwynedd, local students, youth club members, local agencies, charities and associations that work with young people and members of the public.
The panel members were Eleanor Burnham AM, Hywel Williams MP, Keith Jones, North Wales Police, Irfon Williams, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Councillor Brian Jones, Children and Young People’s Partnership, Iwan Trefor Jones, Corporate Director, Gwynedd Council, Gwern Ap Rhisiart, Gwynedd Education Department and Sharon Williams, Careers Wales.
The evening was chaired by Gwyn Llewelyn, Broadcaster and Presenter.
The overall audience feedback was that the evening had been very successful and that they would relish the opportunity to do this again. Ilan Llŷr Williams from Gwynedd youth club said “Very interesting. I have had the questions that I wanted information about answered.” Tomos Guto Davies from ‘Llais Ni’ in Anglesey said “A good evening with lots of information. The Galeri was a good venue and there were some good answers to varying topics and questions.”
Most of the feedback was positive such as “very interesting”, “very useful information for young people and myself who works with young people daily”, “very useful, experienced people had been chosen and had answered the questions fully, giving a lot of guidance.”
Hywel Williams MP, a panel member said “I was very glad to take part in the event. It’s important that all of us who are involved in the decision-making process listen to the views of young people. GISDA should be congratulated for their excellent work and for giving young people an opportunity to have their voice heard.”
Mair Richards, our Chief Executive said “Our young people decided that they would like to mark our 25th year by positively engaging with other young people in Gwynedd and Anglesey to let people know what it is like to be a young person in our community today.”
There is a DVD of the evening available, which includes interviews by some of those who attended. This will also be on our new website from May 2011.
We would like to thank all those who took part in the evening and for all your questions. As we were unable to have all the questions answered during the evening we forwarded them on to the panel members and these have now been answered. A list of these questions and answers are available:
If you would like to see the DVD click here.
You can view the photos by clicking here.
St Peter’s Church fundraising event – February 2011
Well, St. Peter’s Church looked something like ‘cardboard city’ recently!
Twelve young people ‘camped out’ inside the church one evening in February from 8pm to 8am to raise money for GISDA.
The children had a taste of what it was like to be without heating. They had a sleeping bag and some cardboard boxes to try and keep warm.
One of the biggest changes for them in the 21st century was that they didn’t have any of their computer games or the constant flow of treats they have so readily at home.
They were allowed a mug of soup and a sandwich around midnight then tea and a cake at 4am.
The children said: “It was cold”, “I was bored” and “I was hungry”.
The church organisers said” We wanted our young people to grasp something of the experience of what it means to be sleeping out on the street. Some of them enjoyed the experience of being together and talking all night as well! We were also grateful for the support we had from the staff at GISDA who came to share with us what their service was all about and stayed with us in the church for part of the event. But we do need to congratulate them as to date they have raised over £350 towards GISDA’s work with homeless young people and the donations are still coming in.”
GISDA’s Chief Executive, Mair Richards said “We would like to thank Janice Gourdie and the organisers at St Peter’s Church, as well as all the young people who took part and gave up their time to raise funds for GISDA. This was a very innovative way of raising funds and raising awareness of the work that GISDA does with homeless young people throughout Gwynedd – Congratulations to you and well done!
You can view the photos by clicking here.
An Evening of Celebration – 12 November 2010
Three young people attended an evening to celebrate the successes of young people as part of the Children and Young People’s week at Hafan Y Môr Pwllheli on Friday 12th November 2010. Darren and Laura received certificates for their successes through GISDA.
A full stomach of food was eaten followed by a disco to burn off the calories! Everyone enjoyed themselves and we would like to thank Amy, Darren and Laura for representing GISDA.
Glyn Llifon Day – 10 November 2010
GISDA was part of a task group which organized an activities and information day in Glynllifon on Wednesday 10th November 2010 as part of the Children and Young People’s week which is held annually by Gwynedd council.
Around 85 young people from year nine in Gwynedd secondary schools attended and participated in orienteering, archery, soundbox, slate workshops, metal workshops and had the opportunity to play with activities by the games instructors from Gwynedd Council. There were many agencies there to provide information to young people. It was a very successful day and was broadcasted on ‘Wedi 3’.
Social Enterprise – Autumn 2010
GISDA is researching the possibility of setting up a social enterprise with support from the Welsh Assembly Government. A group of young people have come up with the idea of opening a Rock (climbing) Café and centre in Blaenau Ffestiniog. We have already had a look at potentially suitable buildings in the area. The next step will involve working on a feasibility study, coming up with a sound business plan, before looking for funding sources.
Awards for Young People – Autumn 2010
Congratulations to eleven of our service users who have attained Certificates on completion of their Pave the Way units. Well done all of you on your success.
Big Lottery Fund Success! – Autumn 2010
GISDA has been successful in their lottery grant bid and has secured a grant of £289,075 from the Big Lottery Fund. This funding will be used to build on the Pave the Way project.
The new project will be called the Opening Doors Project. As well as offering units accredited through Agored Cymru the project will fund a wide range of challenging and interesting activities for GISDA service users. It will also provide opportunity to be part of wider ranging activities such as sailing, youth exchanges and specialist courses.
In addition, the Opening Doors project will include a mediation service, an impartial service offering help and support to identify the best ways of re-engagement with the family and helping to build family support networks.
This is what some of our young people have to say:
“Fantastic! By prolonging support to address the needs of the young people of today and tomorrow.”
“I think the money will be spent wisely and it’s great that GISDA have the opportunity to help people.”
“I think it’s great because there’s more support for young people.”
“It should be good for aiding development and education.”
“It’s awesome that you’ve got money – well done!”
“It’s great if used correctly. Awesome!”
Happy 21st Hafan! – October 21 2010
On Thursday evening, October 21st, some of
GISDA’s young people and staff celebrated a special birthday at Hafan, their hostel in Caernarfon. Hafan has offered accommodation and support to vulnerable young people in Gwynedd for 21 years.
Lynda Roberts, a member of staff, wrote a poem for the occasion which incorporates everything that we all feel about the hostel - click here to download.
Scaling the Mighty Snowdon – 19 October 2010
On 19 October myself, Neil Jones, a few of our young people and Gary, our mountain leader scaled the MIGHTY Snowdon. I would firstly like to thank Gary, for kindly volunteering his time as a mountain leader to take our young people up Snowdon. He was an excellent guide, and his great local knowledge was very beneficial to the young people– So a big thank you to Gary.
One of our young people, who has recently moved into Hafan, had never been up Snowdon, or any other mountain in fact. Originally from Manchester, he seemed to be in awe of the amazing scenery and became our official camera man. He thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures of the scenery, and said that he was very proud of reaching the summit. In terms of his development, he realised that his smoking perhaps contributed to his heavy breathing and described his lungs as feeling ‘stuck together’. He has therefore decided to try and quit smoking to benefit his health. Good luck to you with this. Going up Snowdon has triggered a new interest for him and he has vowed to go again, as well as venturing up other mountains in time.
Another young person with GISDA, is keen to enrol with the Royal Marines and has been training towards this goal. This young man had never been up Snowdon and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the climb and also the great scenery. It was great for him to experience the changeable weather. At one point the visibility was good, we then went into the clouds, where it was damp and cold. When we reached the top of the mountain (where you can see over the other side on a clear day), we were met with gale force winds which everyone seemed to enjoy! After a few poses for the camera at the highest point, we enjoyed hot chocolate and sandwiches before heading out into driving rain. This was only for a short while until we began the descent down the Pyg track. The experience emphasizes the need for the correct clothing, equipment and footwear.
Matthew (AKA Sir Edmund Hillary)! Said: “All in all a great day out, and very beneficial to the young people.”
GISDA young people run Caernarfon 10K race – Autumn 2010
This year, some of GISDA’s staff and young people took part in the annual Caernarfon 10k race, organised by Eryri Harriers. The young people decided to enter the race so that they could improve their fitness and get a sense of achievement.
Anthony Williams from Blaenau Ffestiniog, who is in training for the physically demanding fitness test to join the Royal Marines, said “I really enjoyed the race and thought it was beneficial towards my training for the Royal Marines. I was pleased with my time and will be back to complete the race again next year, hopefully to win it. I was glad that GISDA gave me the opportunity to run the race.” Anthony completed the race in a very impressive time of 42 minutes.
Kelsey Jones was a previous youth runner for Wales. However, this was her first run in a long time. Although it was hard going, she enjoyed getting back into it and was pleased to finish. Kelsey commenced a bricklaying course at Coleg Menai in September and hopes to have a career within the construction industry.
Daniel Hall, a staff member also enjoyed taking part in the race however he has realised that you have to train before taking part! But he enjoyed taking part and it was an opportunity for him and the young people to improve his fitness and have a sense of achievement. He hopes that this will be a taster for future events – London Marathon perhaps?
You can view the photos by clicking here.
GISDA’s fun day at Porthmadog – 12/09/10
Well, after lots of busying around, organising, advertising and asking for raffle prizes, the day came and went in the blink of an eye. Was it a success? The staff and young people at GISDA certainly think so and so do the local press (report in the Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald on 16 September.)
On arrival at the Sports Club at 8.30AM the heavens opened and I thought, ‘Oh no, it can’t rain today!’ It had been dry all the way until I reached Tremadog, but hey, you can’t do anything about the weather can you? I needn’t have worried though because it cleared up and we had a lovely sunny afternoon.
It was great to see all the traders, exhibitors, archery, falconry and the bouncy castles arrive. It was even better to see some of the staff have a sumo wrestling match! The planned activities went well and the staff and young people all worked well together as a team, manning the stalls, organising the car park and the games .
There were a variety of things to do throughout the day including a chance to sit inside the fire engine, taking part in the fancy-dress competition, the children’s games, penalty shoot-out, singing karaoke (which the young people enjoyed), shopping in the market, archery, falcon display and listening to live music outside on the patio. As well as marking our 25th year, it was a great opportunity to raise awareness of GISDA’s services to the general public and to let them know how GISDA can support homeless young people to live independent and fulfilled lives.
You can view the photos by clicking here.