‘Your Voice Your Choice’ event awards grants totalling £75,000 to help community groups across Gwent

Community groups from across Gwent gathered in Abertillery on Saturday 29th February to bid for a share of a grants pot worth around £75,000 from the Gwent High Sheriffs’ Community Fund.

The 2020 ‘Your Voice Your Choice’ event is a partnership between the Gwent High Sheriffs’ Community Fund, the Office of the Gwent Police & Crime Commissioner and Community Foundation Wales to award grants of up to £5,000 to community groups across Gwent.

This event features a novel grant-giving format that enables local people to prioritise solutions to local issues and support grassroots projects.

The event showcased 26 groups who each had two minutes to pitch their project, with each presentation being scored by the other groups. The projects thought to be tackling the most important issues were given a share of a £75,000 grants pot. The format of the event allowed groups to communicate their stories in their own way and share their drive and commitment to improving lives in Gwent.

This year the 3-year grant, aimed at supporting sustainability, was awarded to Cyfannol Women’s Aid. A contribution of £500 was also given to the groups who were unsuccessful in their bid ensuring they did not go away empty handed.

This grant-making celebration is the highlight of the Gwent High Sheriffs’ Community Fund calendar and the culmination of a year of fundraising by the current High Sheriff of Gwent, Claire Clancy. A significant contribution to the grants pot also comes from the Police & Crime Commissioner, Jeff Cuthbert.

The Gwent High Sheriffs’ Community Fund works hard to build safer communities in Gwent by supporting projects that mentor and inspire young people to fulfil their potential. This event is an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and dedication of volunteers and community groups who do so much to improve the lives of people in Gwent.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Wales, speaking about the event, said:

“We believe that Your Voice Your Choice reinforces our commitment to open, transparent grant-making, and empowers local people to prioritise solutions to local issues.

One of the great things about this event is that it provides community groups a platform to share their stories, often through the words of the people who benefit directly from the projects. It also helps them to meet other groups who are doing similar work, hopefully leading to sharing of ideas and the forging of new partnerships.

We want to thank everyone who took part for their enthusiasm and energy as they shared their stories with us today.”

Claire Clancy, High Sheriff of Gwent 2019-20, said;

“Your Voice Your Choice is a unique event showcasing the wonderful work of community groups across Gwent, and this year was no exception.

As High Sheriff of Gwent, it is a pleasure to host this event, which brings together diverse community projects under one roof – all sharing the common goal of empowering local communities in Gwent.

I would like to congratulate the groups that were successful in receiving funding and offer my thanks to all that attended and shared their energetic, emotive and inspirational stories.

As we celebrate ten years of Your Voice Your Choice, we hope to continue this proud tradition of offering a platform for transparent grant-making to help support community groups in Gwent for many years to come.”

The successful organisations at the 2020 event were as follows:

  • Blaenavon Town Band
  • Building Bridges Project
  • Clwb Noddfa
  • Cyfannol Women’s Aid
  • Dance Blast
  • Friends of Henllys Local Nature Reserve
  • G – Expressions
  • HCT (Help Caring Team)
  • Islwyn Art Project
  • Made in Tredegar
  • Ministry of Life
  • Newport Central Jame Masjid
  • Parent Focus Group
  • Ready Steady Go
  • RecRock
  • Shaftesbury Youf Gang
  • The Hwb Torfaen

Find out more about the Gwent High Sheriff Community Fund here.


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