On yer bike at Conwy at fun day

Tenants and staff of a housing association have launched a campaign to raise much needed funds for a hospice.

They embarked on a marathon sponsored bike ride in aid of St David’s Hospice, in Llandudno, at Cartrefi Conwy’s annual fun day at Eirias Events Centre at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay.

The team cycled all the way from Chester to Holyhead without leaving the events arena as they pedalled furiously on exercise bikes to complete the 108-mile trip following the North Wales cycle route.

The fun day attended by hundreds of tenants from across the county was hailed as one of the best ever as Cartrefi Conwy prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary.

This year’s event had four fun filled themed zones full of information and activities based around health and wellbeing, digital inclusion, life skills, training and employment an how to make every pound count.

Among those taking part in the sponsored bike ride was Keira Vogel, Cartrefi Conwy’s Head of Maintenance, who managed 16 kilometres in half an hour..

She said: “As well as raising money for St David’s Hospice in Llandudno which is our chosen charity this year, we’re promoting the importance of health and well-being.

“Half an hour of exercise a day can help people stay fit and well so we’ve also got a raffle and the prizes include six months’ free membership of the Conwy Ffit scheme which includes access to five fitness suite, four swimming pools, over 100 aerobic classes and 10 leisure centres.

“Other prizes donated by sponsors included high street shop vouchers,  food hampers, Venue Cymru meal and theatre tickets and the latest Kindle Fire HD which was won by a delighted Jake Carey of Llandudno.”

The tenants were treated to a feast of activities and entertainment, including a display from a talented troupe of street dancers, Autonomy, from Colwyn Bay.

They had just returned from Glasgow where they reached the final of the United Dance Organisation World Championships.

It was a major achievement for the young hip hop dance group which was formed just 12 months ago.

It was a proud moment for dancer Isla Davies, 16, from Rhos on Sea, who was delighted they’d been given the opportunity to strut their stuff closer to home.

She explained:  “We’re all dancers from Step One performing arts school and we were thrilled to reach the final of the world championship bearing in mind we’ve only been together as a group for a year.”

Choreographer Jess Childs added: “It’s a huge achievement. Everyone’s done us really proud in the group, they work really well as a team.”

There was a display of a different kind by some green-fingered tenants from the Parc Peulwys estate in Llysfaen.

The have enrolled on a horticultural course and have been working hard in the perfect classroom – their own gardens.

The project is part of a £1.1 million environmental scheme at the Parc Peulwys estate.

At the fun day they were demonstrating how to put create floral displays in pots and hanging baskets.

Tutor Christine Joynson, from Llandrillo College, said: “The skills they are learning will help to brighten up the estate.”

Among the students working towards an NOCN Level One qualification in horticulture is tenant Tracie Rosean, who lives on the estate.

She said:  “Chris is fantastic and my garden is looking a lot better. It’s also very sociable and I’ve made new friends.”

Tenant Jenny Dallaway, 32, from Glan Conwy, was there with her children, Isabella, nine, Georgina, six,, and Benjamin, two.”

She said: “We’re having a lovely day. The kids are having a good time.”

Fellow tenant Eddie Barker, from Colwyn Bay, made a new friend – a six foot long Salmon Boa snake.

Eddie draped the slithery creature around his neck when he paid a visit to see the Animals Out of the Box stand at the fun day.

He said: “I’ve held a few very small snakes before, but it’s the first time I’ve had a larger snake around my neck – as long as he’s had his lunch I don’t mind!”

John Roberts, Chair of the Tenant’s Forum, said the fun day was the best year.

He added: “There are plenty of things for the kids to do, and the tenants can get help and information here as well. I’m very pleased.”

According to Andrew Bowden, the Chief Executive of Cartrefi Conwy, it was a very important day for the housing association.

“We have been in existence five years and I am proud of what we have achieved in that time, not least bringing up every single one of our 3,800 properties up to Welsh Housing Quality Standard ahead of the deadline set by the Welsh Government.

“Having a community fun day is also part of our commitment to tenants, to enable them to have fun for all the family but also to provide a one-stop shop for information and advice for those who need it.

“It is an opportunity for the tenants to meet and talk to our staff outside the day job and the important part is to ensure that our customers feel they have an opportunity to change and influence the organisation and get involved in the activities of Cartrefi Conwy.

“Our vision statement is about creating communities to be proud of and days like to today are a great way of showing we are a company that’s here to stay and that we are rooted in our communities across Conwy.”

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