Healthy Living Project: Improving Basic Services in Rural Areas (run by Neath Port Talbot Credit Union)
Neath Port Talbot Credit Union (NPTCU) sought to expand the provision of a member-run, safe savings and affordable loans facility to the residents and employees of rural wards and to increase the numbers of school based credit pay points in Neath Port Talbot County Borough with the aim of reducing major personal indebtedness and incidents of new indebtedness particularly amongst young people.
NPTCU established a network of 22 community collection points manned by volunteers and invested in a customised van to serve as a mobile office in order to reach areas where no community space was available – the van also acts to advertise the service.
It expanded its payroll saving scheme to workplaces in the County Borough’s rural wards and increased its programme of financial education to primary and secondary schools in Neath Port Talbot and is now the most successful schools saving scheme initiative in Wales. The schools savings scheme has allowed whole groups to save for school trips and young individuals to aspire to break a cycle of family debt.
An estimated £1.5m has been injected into local communities as a result of affordable loans being utilised by those communities, rather than loan sharks and high interest rate moneylenders.
Healthy Living Project: Improving Basic Services in Rural Areas (run by Calan DVS)
Calan DVS is an organisation that supports individuals who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence and abuse and campaigns to end its practice. It provides refuge and aims to empower women, children and young people who have experienced the effects of domestic violence or abuse in the home to take greater control of their lives and to give them the opportunity to address the effects of domestic abuse.
A Family Worker was employed to provide learning opportunities, help develop skills and knowledge to encourage young people to address personal issues. Activities looked at rebuilding family relationships, helping children and young people explore their feelings about keeping the family unit together and how to recognise a healthy family relationship. The activities also aimed to encourage children and young people to become more involved in their community by increasing opportunities to develop their social networks. Sub-project activities included an after-school club attended by both children and mums to encourage positive interaction and build social networks a family fun day, baby yoga course, book club for mums and one to one support sessions with children and young people, siblings and mums, identifying referrals to further support if necessary.