Listen to Bron Afon’s Duncan Forbes on Radio Wales

Duncan Forbes

Duncan Forbes

Last Saturday morning Duncan, Bron Afon’s chief executive, was asked to go on Radio Wales to review the morning papers.

Click on this link to go to the BBC iPlayer of the show. This link is only available until Saturday 16 June.

Listen to Duncan  from around 7.40am.


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22yo man gets a job from a ‘speed dating’ event with employers

Sport that Works

Sport that Works

A young person from Cwmbran has secured a full-time job with a local painting and decorating business, thanks to a sports-based, employment opportunity scheme and a special ‘speed dating’ event with local businesses held at a Torfaen housing organisation.

Jamie Edwards, 22, was one of seven young unemployed people between the ages of 18 and 24, who were referred by the Job Centre for Sport That Works, a ten week course supported by staff from Bron Afon Community Housing and run by local councils in Newport, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen.  

Sport That Works staff and volunteers offered coaching in writing cvs, communication skills, interview techniques and team work.  Rugby, football and gym sessions followed in the afternoon.

 Bron Afon staff followed up the course by inviting local businesses, including R and M Williams, Envirowall, Westdales, Felt Fab, P and P Contractors and SERS,  to meet with the young people to discuss potential job opportunities.  It was at this event, arranged in a ‘speed dating’ style, that Jamie impressed his new employer, R and M Williams.

Jamie said: “I thought Sport That Works was great, I learned a lot.

“The jobs fair that Bron Afon put on was a fabulous idea, it was a great experience for me. I have gained employment from it and I am really enjoying it. I would like to thank Bron Afon for supporting me.”

Lisa Charles, community investment manager, Bron Afon, said: “Sport That Works has been an innovative pilot employment programme, designed to use sport as a hook to engage young people to gain job-ready skills. 

 “It has truly transformed lives of young people who participated in a number of ways, such as securing employment, increasing life skills and confidence building.  Alongside partners, Bron Afon are now exploring opportunities to develop programme and secure further investment.” 

Some of the young people involved in Sport That Works are now volunteering with Bron Afon’s community teams and have joined the organisation’s Youth Forum.  All of them are still meeting up to continue their search for jobs.

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Success stories from the Support Service

Annalisa Beavan, senior support officer, gives some of the great success stories from the team.

“The Support Officers in the Support Service continue to do some fantastic work with residents to make many positive,  life-changing differences. As a newcomer to the service, I am so impressed with the good news stories that I hear. The regular compliments are testament to the commitment and skills of the team.

Here are just a few examples of the amazing achievements that the team have had in recent weeks:-

  • The team have supported residents who did not know that if they have certain medical conditions they can have their water bill reduced by Welsh Water. Some residents are also saving money by having a water meter installed. They did not know this until they had advice from their Support Officer. 
  • One resident is a miner’s widow and our support officer found out she was not receiving a widow’s pension. Through our support she will now be receiving this pension, which will also be backdated. 
  • One disabled resident is £100 a week better off. She was unaware of her benefit entitlement and was supported to apply. She also didn’t know she was eligible for a Blue Badge so her family now find it easier to take her out and about which has reduced her feelings of isolation.  
  • A Support Officer worked with a lady whose confidence was shattered after a fall which left her with a broken arm. The lady was feeling vulnerable and unable to drive her car and became so anxious that she would not go to the local shops on her own. This meant she was unable to pay bills and buy essential groceries. The Support Officer worked regularly with her, showing patience and understanding,  taking ‘small steps’ to encourage her on each support visit to go outside the home. At first, the accompanied stroll to the shops was very difficult for the lady who would shake uncontrollably all the time she was out.  Following months of support and encouragement, this lady is now able and happy to go the local shops alone, is driving again and has regained her confidence and sense of independence.

“Our service is now FREE and available to ALL  over 50s in Torfaen. This means tenants, leaseholder, homeowners and people who rent privately.

“So if you think you know someone who may benefit, please call us on 01633 620 480 for more information.”

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