21 Jul 2017
On Thursday 13 July, the Active inclusion Fund team at WCVA put on their party hats and hosted an evening of festivities, celebrations and inspirational stories – and what a night it was!
The event took place in Cardiff's Hen Lyfrgell building (Old
Libray) with the aim of celebrating the achievements and successes
of the fund and also to look forward to its continued future of
making grants to organisations that truly make a difference to
Amongst the speakers for the evening was Julie Morgan AM and
Chair of the Programme Monitoring Committee. Julie's speech centred
around Wales' fortunate position in receiving European Social Funds
which help build cohesive and inclusive communities that give
people a stake in their future through their own actions. She
iterated the importance of celebrating the partnership of projects,
organisations and stakeholders working together in supporting
individuals across Wales through operations such as the Active
Inclusion Fund and SOVA's Achieving Change through Employment
We were also fortunate enough to be accompanied on the evening
by a range of guests who had benefitted from support through Active
Inclusion Funded projects. Whilst the evening was an opportunity to
celebrate the fund, above all it was an opportunity to recognise
the inspirational achievements of participants and their journeys
undertaken on these projects.
Tom Jones OBE, Vice President of WCVA, had the honour of hosting
our every own award ceremony for the 'Most Inspirational
Participant' award. In the run up to the event, all Active
Inclusion projects were asked to put forward nominations of who
they thought was the most inspiring participant that they had
engaged with. Each and every nomination received was inspirational
in its own right; be it a step into volunteering or gaining full
time employment, their journeys were all worthy of recognition.
There was one journey, however, that stood out…
Leon and the Wallich's Skills 2 Pay the Bills project
Originally, Leon, 32 had not wanted to engage with the project.
He felt his first priority was to get off the streets. He was
homeless. There were elements of the course intrigued him though -
he wanted to take part in a first aid course and share his
experiences with others of saving lives.
He eventually took part and his experience on the course made him
eager to engage with the project further. It incited something in
him - he wanted to be active, create a positive routine and be a
positive influence on others. He started to show a real commitment
and attended each employability skill workshop, and over time
After gaining industry standard qualifications including his
Construction Skills Certification Scheme card, he was given a place
at a local hostel. As soon as he gained this accommodation, he
discussed that he wanted to stay off the streets, and now felt
ready for the next step in his journey - employment.
He started volunteering at the Wales Millennium Centre, ushering
and stage building and even took part in a theatre show, sharing
his life experiences with the audience. This gave him the
confidence he needed to take another step in his journey.
It was whilst at a project event that he met his employer, ISG
Construction. He is still sustaining his employment as a labourer,
and recently won an award from his employer for helping a blind
woman across the road. ISG Construction are extremely happy with
Leon's progress, dedication and compassion and have even nominated
him as a mentor to support new starters with their transition into
Congratulations Leon, you are a true inspiration to us all!
The evening was a great success and the Active Inclusion Fund
team would like to thank everyone that came and extend a BIG
congratulations to each and every individual engaged with the
Active Inclusion Fund.
You can view photos of the evening