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Our Lockdown Exhibition

The current exhibition at the Art in the Attic Robert Maskrey gallery, situated at the Factory in Porth is ‘Our Lockdown Exhibition’-Valleys Kids’ adult art groups-Penyrenglyn, Penygraig and Porth.

 

This exhibition shows the wonderful work produced during the 16 months that the art groups were in lockdown and their continued determination to be creative.
Lockdown started, buildings were closed but art classes continued……….

During the first week of lockdown, art bags containing all the essential art supplies were delivered to all the art group participants by Valleys Kids’ Artist in Residence, so that classes could continue from the safety of people’s homes. WhatsApp groups were set up to share the weekly tasks and tutorial videos and to keep everyone in touch with each other. Funding was sourced for some ipads so that we could ‘zoom’ during the sessions and get the chance to see and speak to each other. New skills were learned as we all became familiar with the invitation to ‘Zoom’. As art group members’ ages range from 40 to 91, some grasped the new technology quicker than others but we got there!

Generous donations from generous people meant that new materials could be bought to ensure the sessions could continue, and continue they did, every week for 16 months.
From leaves to lighthouses, ferns to fish and bird feeders to bags, they covered many subjects using a variety of materials and mediums.  Come along to the gallery and see the fruits of their labour.

Some of their comments.

I looked forward and enjoyed every minute of my Zoom art day. It was great catching up and having a cuppa with my friends, talking about how we were coping with the lockdown and supporting the ones who were struggling.  We were all there for each other.  Doing my art was one of the things that kept me going through all this.

Art during lockdown was a lifesaver.  Every Wednesday I would look forward to 10 o’clock when we would get a new project.  Always something new using different materials.  More importantly we were able to keep in contact with the group through WhatsApp and Zoom.

I can’t say enough about what a difference the art sessions made to my life during lockdown.  I don’t know where I would have been without them, they really were a lifesaver for me and for my mental well being.

Fixed Term Fundraising Job Opportunity

Over the last 40 years Valleys Kids has built up an impressive track record of improving the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society through working closely with the local community. This is an exciting time to join us as we are undergoing a period of transition building a new income generation team.

We’re looking for a successful bid-writer, to join the Fundraising Team on a fixed term basis, who has proven experience of securing substantial funding from Trusts and Foundations. You’ll be a self-starter and problem solver who can use their creativity and build effective relationships.

You will work with the Business & Finance Director and Fundraising Team to develop and establish a long-term Sustainability Strategy to increase restricted and unrestricted income streams.  

Job Description

Role:         Trusts & Foundation Fundraiser

Terms:       Fixed term 10 x month contract to end no later than 31st July 2022
0.5 FTE post – 18.5 hours pw
25 days holiday pro rata
3% pension contribution

Salary:       £31,400 per annum pro rata

Post will be managed by the Fundraising Manager and supported by Director of Business and Finance

Location:    Home based, with requirement to attend meetings at various Valleys Kids Centres

Duties and Responsibilities

•       Maximise income from Trusts, Foundation & National Lottery sources.

•       Collaborate with Project Co-ordinators and Fundraising Team to develop       proposals and targets to meet the needs of Valleys Kids’ core activities.

•       Work closely with the Project Teams and Senior Leadership Team to identify work that meets the funding interests of Trusts & Foundations.

•       Prepare persuasive funding applications to deadlines and respond promptly to acknowledge donations.

•       To prepare project budgets in collaboration with the Finance Team and Project Co-ordinators and ensure Finance Team are informed of restricted and unrestricted income.

•       To maintain up to date records of all communications with funders and ensure that all information is recorded accurately on the database.

•       To maintain donor contact details in compliance with data protection legislation and fundraising best practises.

•       To monitor and research Trust & Foundation and Lottery criteria and opportunities.

•       To work with web designer and Digital Marketing Fundraiser to ensure Valleys Kids website is kept up to date with new developments and acknowledge support appropriately.

•       To provide Digital Marketing Fundraiser with relevant details to publicise support from funders.

•       To collaborate with Income Generation Team to develop and initiate innovative fundraising ideas

Essential

•    Affinity with the vision and values of Valleys Kids.
•    Experience of researching, collating, preparing and submitting persuasive funding applications.
•    Recording and analysing data.
•    Evidence of long-term relationship building with external funders.
•    Self-motivation and confident to work independently.
•    Excellent communicator, both face-to-face and via remote communications.
•    Excellent written and numeracy skills
•    Ability to manage time effectively, prioritise workload and plan ahead.
•    Excellent IT skills
•    Understanding of Data Protection and fundraising regulations, compliance and best practice

Desirable
•    Knowledge of Welsh Language

Application Information

Safer Recruitment Statement
As part of its Safeguarding Policy, Valleys Kids ensures that safe recruitment procedures are in place and that all appropriate checks (including the Disclosure and Barring Service checks and references) are undertaken in respect of all staff.

How to apply:

• Please send a cover letter explaining why you are suitable for this post along with a CV to:  Lynfa@ValleysKids.org
Please note that application without a cover letter will not be shortlisted
• Please also complete the Equal Opportunities Form.

Application Deadline:       5pm on Friday 6th August 202
Interviews:         Thursday 12th August 2021 – Penygraig, South Wales

The Times They Are a-Changin’ – Valleys Kids’ Succession Plan

The Future

Valleys Kids is determined to make sure that this significant change is accomplished successfully. We have been working hard to plan for a new senior management structure and for the process of transition.

A new CEO post has been created. In our opinion, it provides a rare opportunity for somebody who can help maintain a remarkable legacy of community development work while also equipping the organisation with new leadership and ideas.

The Board has moved quickly to agree proposals for a new management structure, to be put in place if additional external funding can be secured. This includes potential recruitment of a Director of Programmes/Projects and a Director of Business Development to assist the new CEO. The plan also provides ongoing roles for Richard and Margaret, enabling us to continue benefiting from their experience, skills, and commitment to Valleys Kids. Initially, they will act as interim Directors in the new posts outlined above. At an appropriate time, the two of them will become Founding Advisors/Ambassadors, working on a part-time basis.

One of our biggest challenges is ensuring that the management structure and our finances are closely aligned so that we can guarantee sustainability. The new structure does provide increased management capacity. This is justified by the need to focus more systematically on some crucial issues (such as forward planning, financial resilience, fundraising, digital working and social enterprises) and greater interaction with audiences and stakeholders outside the organisation.

Bids to potential funders (to provide revenue for three years in support of the transition) have met with an incredibly positive response. This readiness to provide support is testimony to the high regard in which Valleys Kids is held.
The changes in senior management do require us to undertake a major transition programme at a time when many other challenges must be met. Over the past year, the Board, staff representatives, Margaret and Richard have developed detailed plans for the transition. Good progress is being made, despite the disruption to services caused by Co-vid 19 restrictions. Moreover, throughout this period, Valleys Kids has continued to play a key role in providing vital help to families and to our communities. The reports we receive and the direct comments we hear from who receive essential support are inspiring and moving. This gives us confidence that we can move forward together with a shared sense of purpose.

At present, the intention is to advertise the CEO post at the beginning of February and to complete the recruitment process early in the new financial year.

Working with others

Valleys Kids has always recognised that working with others is a prerequisite for effective community development. Constructive relationships with a wide range of partners are at the heart of our agenda for supporting disadvantaged communities to achieve improved well-being outcomes.

Over four decades and reflecting the many activities which Valleys Kids provides, we have succeeded in building up strong partnerships with very diverse organisations, This includes: over 30 funding bodies (including trusts); public service agencies nationally and locally (especially those which have responsibility for education, social care, housing, health, leisure, arts, environment, safeguarding, social equality and justice); third sector organisations; social and commercial enterprises; tenant and other organisations representing service user and community interests; churches and chapels; etc. We have also been engaged very actively in various multi-agency partnerships which seek to promote co-working, needs analysis, the provision of services and effective use of resources. This is an opportunity to express again our thanks for your support.
Our track record in collaboration is grounded in our commitment to openness, trust, shared values, common goals and regular communication. Richard and Margaret have played a central role in formulating and representing the collaborative ethos that we’ve adopted so successfully. As we embark upon a major period of transition, we will be looking to all our allies, colleagues and friends for help and support. You are a key stakeholder in the change process.

The Board and staff representatives have agreed a strategy for communicating with all interested stakeholders. It involves a series of meetings, supplemented by written briefings. If you have any queries, or comments about the material or about the transition programme as a whole, you’re welcome to contact us. We look forward to having further conversations.

Phil Evans, Chair
Valleys Kids’ Board of Trustees

The Magic of Play

2020 was an extraordinary year. No one has been left untouched and some have had their lives turned upside-down. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our communities. Thanks to their donations, Trust support and emergency COVID response grants, Valleys Kids has supported thousands of people over the year and we are still doing it now.

We delivered over 300 parcels of clothes and toys for families and children were struggling before Christmas.

Despite the huge challenges and difficulties, it has been inspiring to see people reach out to offer help. To care deeply about the plight of others, even when some are suffering themselves.

The resilient Valleys’ community spirit remains strong. We will survive, and seeing the joy of children playing, gives us all hope for a brighter future.

Here’s to Peace, Joy and Health in 2021

GoPoolit to Support Valleys Kids

A new social media platform, GoPoolit, has just launched! We are one of the first charities to be on the social network, and we want you to join us.

Imagine if every ‘Like’ you’ve ever received on your social networks was a 10 pence donation to Valleys Kids ?

It’s a simple concept: sign up to GoPoolit and post what you normally would on your usual social networks. Then, just click share!

On each post, you can nominate Valleys Kids – which means your friends, family and followers have the opportunity to donate between 1-10 pence to us if they like what you’ve posted!

It’s an easy way for you and your network to support our vital work every day – without breaking the bank. The power is in your pocket change. We believe that the smallest gestures can have the biggest impact.

By signing up to GoPoolit today and nominating us to your posts – you will be joining thousands of others who believe that our social media posts can be a force for good in the world.

Don’t forget – if your post goes viral, it could pool a huge amount of small donations for us!

We’re so excited to be on the GoPoolit platform – but we need your help.

Sign up today at http://www.gopoolit.comand download the GoPoolit app – which is available on iOS and Android devices.

We can’t wait to see you on GoPoolit!

Comedy and Improvisation Workshop

Yanc Cymru Youth Arts Network Cymru are very pleased to announce that the very wonderful ‘Flossy & Boo’ will be running a Comedy and Improvisation Workshop for our South Wales event.

Flossy and Boo will guide you through elements of Clowning, comedy, Physical Theatre, Storytelling and Audience Interaction to generate new ideas and push your creativity further.

Where: Sherman Theatre.
When: February 12th
Time: 6.00pm-8.30pm
Cost: YANC members – £15 full price, £10 concessions (student/unemployed)
Non members – £30 full price, £20 concessions (student/unemployed)

This event will be BSL Supported

Any further information or to book please contact jain.boon@ntlworld.com

For all our young people who are emerging artists / interested in creating story and theatre. Book up for what promises to be a wonderful workshop, contact Jain

The Magic Porridge Pot by Sherman Theatre

In a village on the edge of the Enormous Forest, Aggie is always trying to help her mother and the other villagers, but often ends up just making a mess. Whilst on one of her adventures Aggie is given a magical pot which makes tasty porridge, but when her mother tries her hand at it and can’t make the pot stop, the town is filled with porridge and Aggie’s help is really needed… by everyone.

The Magic Porridge Pot is overflowing with songs, music and fun for all the family, especially those under 7, this Christmas.

ArtWorks Valleys Kids, are delighted to welcome back the Sherman theatre this year with thier show the Magic Porridge Pot.  We will be hosting a community performance on Monday 6th November at 6pm in Soar Centre, Penygraig, CF40 1JZ

Tickets WILL sell out fast so please reserve them through ArtWorks on 01443 303032

Mess Up the Mess presents ‘Us Proclaimed: Clywch Ni’

The ArtWorks team are delighted to welcome back Mess Up the Mess with their youth production Us Proclaimed: Clywch Ni Created by Aled Pedrick, Ifan Davies, Cwmni Pluen and the young people of Mess Up The Mess Theatre Company in collaboration with National Youth Arts Wales.

Us Proclaimed A5 Flyer [3] Us-Proclaimed-MUTM1

 

 

A brand new bilingual play with music inspired and created by the young people of Mess Up The Mess Theatre Company alongside actor and writer Aled Pedrick, composer Ifan Davies (lead singer of Sŵnami) and director Gethin Evans (Cwmni Pluen).

 

 

 

 

Us Proclamed: Clywch Ni throws a spotlight on the unique identities, perspectives, passions and interests of young people growing up in Wales today. Through song, comedy, poetry, drama and movement find out what makes this tight company of young people tick.

‘We have a light, a spark, a source of ignition
We’re bright, you’re dark, trapped in indignation.
Our voices fade, like smoke behind the wall of your creation-
Why can’t they hear us screaming?’

Come along to Soar Centre Friday 8th September 7pm for an unforgettable night

Valleys cinema presents ‘Fire at Sea’

Situated some 200km off Italy’s southern coast, Lampedusa has hit world headlines in recent years as the first port of call for hundreds of thousands of African and Middle Eastern migrants hoping to make a new life in Europe. Rosi spent months living on the Mediterranean island, capturing its history, culture and the current everyday reality of its 6,000-strong local population as hundreds of migrants land on its shores on a weekly basis. The resulting documentary focuses on 12-year-old Samuele, a local boy who loves to hunt with his slingshot and spend time on land even though he hails from a culture steeped in the sea.

We are so proud to bring Fire at Sea to communities in RCT with the support of ICA and their crossing project.  To book your sea please contact Claire on 01443 303032

Friday 4th August 18.30 – Soar Centre, Penygraig