North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner praise for supermums

A group of young supermums were hailed as community heroines by a police boss.

The mothers created a £40,000 playground for their children at the Glanrafon estate, in Llanrwst.

Among the 80 tenants on the Glanrafon estate are several young families, but the old playground had seen much better days.

They voiced their concerns to Emyr Hughes, Neighbourhood Coordinator for Cartrefi Conwy, the housing association who took over responsibility for housing from Conwy County Borough Council in September 2008.

Emyr passed on their concerns to Community Involvement Coordinator Vicky Kelly who began working closely with the mothers on the playground project.

The group secured the bulk of the cost of the project by submitting bids totalling £30,000 into Cartrefi Conwy’s Community Chest and Environmental funds which were set up to help the housing association’s tenants access funding for projects benefitting their communities.

The rest of the money came from Conwy County Borough Council Parks and Gardens and Rural Conwy Partnership.

The North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Winston Roddick CB QC, called to see the play area for himself and meet the mums behind the project during a visit organised by Cartrefi Conwy.

He said: “It’s wonderful, and no doubt children absolutely love the play area which is a safe place to spend leisure time. I think it’s also a great idea that parents can watch and keep an eye on their children while they are using the facility.

“There is a real sense of ownership and also a real sense of community that comes across as you walk around the Glanrafon estate. It’s clear people, both young and old, respect the environment and take pride in their community.

“I do think Glanrafon tenants are an example to other communities across North Wales as to what can be achieved by working together.

“The installation of the play area must have a positive bearing on anti-social behaviour as children now have somewhere to play rather than causing potential problems on the streets and around homes.

“I do feel Cartrefi Conwy, as a registered social landlord, deserve praise too for helping to build a community through fostering good practice and listening to the concerns of their tenants.”

Cartrefi Conwy Community Involvement Co-ordinator Vicky Kelly said: “The old play area was unsuitable particularly for very young children. The equipment was outdated and the surface dirty which left clothes damaged.

“A group of mums contacted Cartrefi Conwy to ask what could be done. The mums did a survey to see what ideas people came up with an improvement plan was put in place.

“Everyone at Cartrefi Conwy was really pleased to be able to help these young mums put their plans in place and to see the whole scheme through to a successful conclusion.”

Jo Towns, vice chair of the Glanrafon Re-start group, said: “We are thrilled with the new play area which is now well used by many children and parents from the Glanrafon estate. It showed us how we can work together to bring about positive change.

“We were all really pleased with the way Cartrefi Conwy got behind the scheme and helped us all the way. It is something positive and something we can all take pride in.”

According to Cartrefi Conwy Neighbourhood Co-ordinator Emyr Hughes, the successful playground project was a fantastic example of a community working together.

He said: “I am delighted that Cartrefi Conwy have been able to help in securing the required funding to complete the project which has provided something the community is immensely proud of.”

Young mum and Glanrafon tenant, Kay Turner, and her six-year-old daughter, Lucy Maria James, chatted to Mr Roddick as he took a look at the play area.

Kay told him: “We are really proud of the play area and it’s lovely to see children enjoying the play equipment safely. It’s definitely much better than what we used to have.”

Cartrefi Conwy Chief Executive Andrew Bowden said: “It is wonderful to see Mr Roddick showing an interest in and engaging with our communities. I have also taken the opportunity to explain how we, as a registered social landlord, are investing in our communities.

“We don’t just want to maintain our housing stock we want to build communities to be proud of and that means giving our tenants a say in how their communities can be improved and built upon.

“We can do that through co-operation and a willingness to listen and work together for the benefit of all.”

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