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NEWPORT & DISTRICT COMMUNITY FORUM

The idea of setting up the Community Forum arose from very well attended community visioning workshops (organised by Planed - Pembrokeshire Local Action Network for Enterprise & Development. www.planed.org.uk) and these also formed the basis of a Newport Action Plan adopted in May 2004. The Forum became fully constituted in March 2005.

What benefits are there for individuals & local groups?

The Forum is open to anyone living in the area of benefit or who has an affinity with Newport. It brings together local organisations, groups and individuals to work to improve and sustain a high quality of life for everyone.

By becoming involved in the Forum you can learn about other local groups and what they do. The Forum can help to inform other people about your group and we can all discover how to work together and with other organisations and statutory authorities to the benefit of the community.

Because the Forum provides a means of consultation and the opportunity to work in partnership by engaging a wide range of people and organisations, it can clearly demonstrate community support. This is respected by grant giving bodies and can be of assistance in fund raising. As the Forum is a constituted body with a bank account, member groups are able to apply for funding through us.

What has Newport Community Forum achieved so far?

One of the Forum's main achievements is to form working groups that have gone on to become independent or largely independent. These include The Newport Area Environment Group and Newport History Society and more recently the Preseli Practice Patient Group, and Newport Community Library Working Group.

In 2009, a new (3rd) Action Plan for Newport was written by Newport Forum members and during 2013 and 2014 work began on updating this. A statement describing Newport today “Towards Newport Action Plan” was published and is available from the Forum secretary or PLANED. Subsequently, Action Plan proposals were updated in cooperation with Newport Town Councillors and the resulting RAG sheets are available in Newport Community Library.

In the last 4 years, Newport Community Forum has

•    Arranged a public meeting for the Newport area to discuss local issues with the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales

•    Worked with PLANED over several months to draft the document, “Towards Newport Action Plan” which was ratified, by public meeting

•    Formed a Section within the Forum to include Town Councillors to study Action Plan Proposals and rationalise these into RAG sheet form. The Action Plan RAG        Sheets were ratified by public meeting and are held in Newport (Community) Library

•    Run Newport Awareness Day and published and distributed the booklet, “Newport Trefdraeth: Help and Support Available”

•    Produced Summer Events Lists for the Newport area

•     Formed and launched Newport Good Neighbour Scheme and found “Good Neighbours” to participate

•    Formed Newport Neighbourhood Support Group Network which meets to exchange information and ideas for improvement in delivery of services and voluntary  support in the Newport area.

•    Brought together those interested to save Newport Library to form the group which became Newport Library Working Group, - eventually the Charitable Incorporated Organisation managing Newport Community Library (NCL) under a Service Level Agreement with Pembrokeshire County Council.

•    Encouraged NCL to join the Investors in Carers scheme – which has led to all Pembrokeshire libraries being encouraged by PCC to do so.

•    Brought together those interested to form the Preseli Practice Patient Participation Group (PPG), which now consists of the practice carer lead, representatives of   the Forum, Newport Neighbourhood Support Groups, the Town Council, Community Library and individuals interested to help, the PAVS Community Connector, IiCs  at the surgery, Pharmacy and Community Library, and Pembrokeshire Investors in Carers Development Officer. PPG exchanges information and ideas and passes comments to the Surgery and the Authorities and Agencies working to improve health and wellbeing

•    Produced and updated Lists of Newport Area Contacts for local service providers and all voluntary groups, of Regular Group Activities, and of Neighbourhood Support Groups

•    Arranged public meetings and brought together those wishing to help save the National Park Visitor Centre to form Newport Visitor Centre Action Group. The Group worked with Newport Community Library and Newport Town Council to achieve this aim.

More recently, NCF has

•    Worked with the Pembrokeshire Time Banking Development Officer to help establish Newport Time Bank.

•    Worked with PPG and Newport Time Bank to organise an Event in Newport called “Support Team Newport”, bringing together all groups in need of more voluntary input to showcase what they do, and to network.

•    Set up a working group to look into becoming an all-age friendly community, particularly initially, through investigating how to see provision of housing suitable for older people

•    Set up a working group on Traffic, Parking, and Pedestrian Issues to work with our County Councillor in seeking solutions

•    Undertaken unsuccessful discussions with PLANED about strengthening the Materion Carningli Project – by seeking to employ a coordinator to match what people can offer to the needs of other individuals and to groups

•    Applied unsuccessfully to the Caring Communities Innovation Fund for distribution of information and a survey of assets and needs in the Newport area

•    Produced a paper for Pembrokeshire County Council on gaps in services supporting health and wellbeing in the Newport area

•    Applied successfully to Age Cymru for a grant to alleviate loneliness and Isolation in the Newport area

•    Produced a Town Newsletter

•    Begun a Friendship and Fitness Club for older people

•    Drawn up a Newport map and list of services, facilities and attractions to give to Visitors to compensate for the loss of the National Park Visitor Centre

•    Held public meetings to encourage community groups to apply to PCC’s Enhancing Pembrokeshire programme

•    Communicated with PAVS to encourage a pilot project, basing a Local Community Connector in Preseli GP Practice who also does social and green prescribing

The Forum is currently applying to Enhancing Pembrokeshire (the Grant scheme run by Pembrokeshire County Council which distributes funds raised through the 2nd Home Council tax premium - to communities to mitigate adverse effects of 2nd homes). This project is to produce a Newport/Trefdraeth Handbook to distribute this to all households in Newport Ward, including 2nd Homes, and to encourage increased participation in the community.

For more information about the Forum, please contact Ken Davies Chairman on 01239 820090 or Sandra Bayes Secretary on 01239 820889 

 

2018 


 

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