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15 June 2015

fesTYval comes to Merthyr!

It’s back to school for 200 people on Thursday 18th June as Community Housing Cymru (CHC) runs its award-winning fesTYval at Merthyr’s Cyfarthfa Castle in partnership with Building Enterprise, CREW Regeneration Wales, Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association and Merthyr Valleys Homes.

Back by popular demand after last year’s sell-out event in Swansea, fesTYval is an interactive day which celebrates regeneration and social enterprise across Wales. All those involved in community regeneration are welcome to attend including housing associations, local authorities, social enterprises and third sector organisations.

With a Head Girl and Boy, House Captains and Prefects, breakfast club, merit cards, school trip and a tuck shop, delegates will be transported back to their school days. Lessons are planned around health and wellbeing, creativity, communities, social enterprise and engagement.

CHC has received a phenomenal level of support for this event from partners all over Wales. Costa Coffee will be providing refreshments for fesTYval’s breakfast club and Forsythia Youth Project, based in the Gurnos, Merthyr Tydfil, is stocking up our tuck shop. The project is free of charge for young people and provides a range of opportunities including sports, education and basic skills, health related projects, counselling services and arts projects. It is completely young person driven and works to an ethos of inclusion and active, meaningful participation. Young people at the project have won numerous awards including second prize at the International film awards in California and first prize in the Kids4Kids film festival awards. The project has delivered consistently high quality services to young people and the community to enable them to achieve their potential.

Lunchtime is an exciting part of every school day and Cyfarthfa Catering will be supplying our lunch bags on Thursday. Cyfarthfa Catering is a social enterprise run by Gellideg Foundation Group, employing local people and providing quality catering services across the Valleys.

The Wales Co-operative Centre, Wales’ national body for co-operatives, mutuals, social enterprises and employee owned businesses, is also lending considerable support to this event. The Centre will be exhibiting at fesTYval as well as supporting our venue clean-up ahead of the event. The Co-operative Food has also supported the event by supplying a range of cleaning products and materials.

All attendees will be able to tweet to their heart’s content as Merthyr Valleys Homes has opened up its Digital Merthyr wifi access for the day. A team of Digital Champions made up of residents, local social enterprises and Merthyr Valleys Homes staff, with support from tech partners and key public sector stakeholders, co-designed and planned the digital infrastructure development in the Gellideg community to provide free internet access for residents.

Our interactive exhibition areas are sold out and include a diverse range of companies. Exhibitors vary from housing associations to recruitment companies to design agencies to money advice projects such as the Your Benefits are Changing team. Exhibitors will be providing stickers for delegates’ merit cards all day so there’ll be plenty of opportunities to learn more and to get involved.

Sioned Hughes, CHC’s Director of Policy and Regeneration and Head Girl at fesTYval, said: "This event is all about demonstrating how we, as a sector, think and do differently to regenerate communities and support enterprise development through our Building Enterprise programme. We have purposely designed this unique and engaging event format to showcase our creativity and we’re looking forward to facilitating an inspiring day."

Building Enterprise is a European Regional Development funded project, led by CHC, which supports the local economy, individuals and enterprises to lock the Welsh pound into local communities by supporting social enterprises and housing associations to partner and encourage new business models.