Diocese Of Swansea
Church In Wales

Our Projects


Contact Faith in Families

Chief Executive Officer 

Cherrie Bija

Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Board for Social Responsibility,
Penplas Family Centre

6-9 Llangwm




Tel: 01792 588487




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Charity Number: 1095035

Companies House: 4440970

Registered at Eastmoor Centre, St. Barnabas Church, Uplands, Swansea SA2 0LP

Save our centres appeal! 

We have 3 Family Centres in Swansea based in deprived communities across the city which have been established for many years to meet the needs and demands of the areas.

"This Centre helps anyone in the community that needs their help.  They don't judge they just want to help as many families as they can and without the centre where are all those people who need their help on a daily basis supposed to to go?  What will happen to these families like me?" Donna

Welsh Governments Tackling Poverty program - Communities First is coming to an end in March 2018. A total of £260,000 is needed for these Family Centres - which is 79% of the overall funding.  

These Centres will have to close, services to children and families in these areas will end, a skilled and passionate staff team will be made redundant and relationships built up in these communities for almost two decades will be lost.

£20,000 will give us a lifeline whilst we secure sustainable funding for these vital centres and services. 

"In July 2016, I graduated with First Class Honours degree and am now currently studying towards a Master's degree in Research at Swansea University, hopefully going on to a PHD next year. Without the family centre this would not have been possible. The impacts that this has had on, not only me, but my family, is huge." Cheryl Havard


Summer hunger

When schools out for summer, not everyone cheers, there are children and families in our communities that go hungry and are isolated for the 6 weeks break.  In 2017 we have seen an increase of 45% of children accessing our breakfasts and lunch clubs - please see clip from Channel 4 news -


Each week our Family Centres have provided summer fun activities for thousands of children in Swansea, the first week of August 2017 we provide free hot meals for 739 children!  We have worked closely with Carolyn Harris MP and the Eastside Foodbank this summer to ensure that struggling families have the helping hand that they need.  

The funding for these centres primarily comes from Welsh Governments Tackling Poverty Programme - Communities First- which is finishing in March 2018, therefore we have a real risk that these centres will not be around for the summer of 2018.


Looking for volunteers:


17th October 2016

Faith in Families is celebrating today as the next stage of the St Teilos Church development starts, after working with Jim Shill and Luke Hurley of Hurley & Davies Property Consultants and receiving a million pound funding from Welsh Government, Big Lottery People and Places, Garfield Western Foundation the Capital Development beings.
Cherrie Bija and Canon Padraig Gallagher hand over the keys today to Jon Hellier from Interserve who will produce our fantastic Community Hub next Summer.  We will have a new Worship Area, a Community Café, a Youth Club, Afterschool club, Childcare, Training areas and offices. Its very exciting as this new chapter begins.  

Thank you so much - We did it!


We walked 53k along the gruling path that took us up and across two mountains, in 11 hours and 43 minutes of non-stop trekking, crossing the line 77th out of 192 that competed that day, that’s not counting the ones that didn’t make it.


It has resulted in numerous injuries, many aches and great pride, in not only the passion and commitment of our team, but the work that Faith in Families achieves and the lengths that we will go to, to celebrate that.


If you haven’t had chance - It is not too late to show your support and commitment by sponsoring us through:




and if you want to see the gory pictures of the injuries just log onto our Facebook page.


Thank you in anticipation.



23 days to go - 50k, 4 women, 31 miles, 2 mountains all in 1 day to raise money for our wonderful charity


Faith in Families have a Childrens project that is based in its 3 Swansea Family Centres.  The aim of the project is to provide fun, learning and play opportunities for those young children who have difficulty accessing such important experiences due to various disadvantages.  The cost of this project is £130,000.00 to run for 3 years to make real and meaningful differences.


Children in Need have fantastically given us £110,000 we have £20,000 left to raise.  Take a look at this video to see the difference together we can make - https://youtu.be/J3Oep-pzYM4


Some of our senior managers have come up with the crazy idea of completing Trek Fest to raise the rest of the needed funds -


Please sponsor the team through http://www.justgiving.com/swansea-brecon-dbsr






Friday 18th December 2015

New Family Centre premises will go ahead 


Excitement and delight fills Faith in Families as we announce that we have achieved over the Million Pound funding required for our capital appeal to redevelop St. Teilo’s into a real Community Church in the heart of Portmead.


This comes after nearly two years of petitions and we are thrilled to announce that the success of a People and Places BIG Lottery bid that together with Welsh Government, Garfield Western Foundation and the Church in Wales has enabled the realisation of the start of this amazing project, which the church family have whole-heartedly supported.


St. Teilo’s will provide a Family Centre, open to all ages, where a range of activities will take place including parent and toddler sessions, high scope play group, healthy family lunch, after school club, holiday play scheme, adult courses, breakfast club and sessions for young people over 10 years of age, to learn new skills and develop friendships whilst having a great time together.  Also, a community cafe with free Wi-Fi and social enterprises will be developed for adults of the area, led by the community, for the community.


For over 12  years Faith in Families – Penplas Family Centre, have been delivering successful, researched early intervention and preventative services for children, young people and families strengthening and supporting families and the welfare of children in this disadvantaged area, creating amazing stories of achievement.

The Centre started in a donated Gwalia 2 bedroomed house but very quickly the demand for our services exceeded the space and when the attached property became available Gwalia, after seeing our outcomes, donated the other side and completed the capital work in turning these two houses into one Centre.



Now 12 years on we have waiting lists for all of our services, and are using outside premises to deliver larger groups to meet the need as best we can.  


 St. Teilo’s Church  is a building, that we already fill twice a week, delivering a Family lunch to over 40 people regularly and Parent and Toddler Group to many as well as family fun days and celebrations, all of our services providing positive differences, building relationships, enabling children and families to have fun.


However the facilities need updating as there is only one toilet and it is a sizable hall that if sectioned off and modernised could become an exciting community asset. Luke Hurley of Hurley and Davies Property Consultants has been working with us on this project pro-bono for the last 18 months and I would like to say a big thank you for his support.

Faith in Families have a number of Centres and outreach projects across Swansea and Brecon, we are well established in these areas, we have a dedicated staff team, whom I am proud to lead and we are all looking forward to celebrating this success, especially at this time of the year.

All services will continue in Penplas Family Centre, as this will still be a centre for services in the area, however we are now so looking forward to starting off 2016, with this fantastic project and I myself have a pink hard hat on order”    Cherrie Bija – Chief Executive Officer – Faith in Families


“Myself and the team at Penplas are thrilled at the news!  Having St. Teilo’s Family Centre will enable us to build on the fantastic services we currently run, which will allow us to offer more tailored services and reach out to different members of the local area, creating a much needed  hub in a the heart of a fantastic community.”  Leanne Evans – Penplas Family Centre Manager – Faith in Families


“The work which Faith in Families carries out in some of the most needy areas of the Diocese represents the Church at its very best, putting to practice, through the work of the dedicated team at Faith in Families, that most fundamental of Jesus’s commands to love your neighbour. I congratulate everyone who has worked to achieve another wonderful result, and I thank all those agencies, individuals and businesses which have provided expertise advice and financial support. St. Teilo’s has long had a very special place in the life of its local community and this latest development will see it cementing even closer links with that community.” The Right Reverend J Davies (Bishop of Swansea and Brecon).



Penplas Family Centre - 24th November 2015

So today we were assessed by the Healthy and Sustainable Pre- School for children's mental & emotional health and the settings environment.

We passed with flying colours - the assessors were really impressed with all the different sessions we run, the way we use our space, how children, young people and families are the heart of the project and how we reuse, reduce and recycle! 

Huge thanks goes to our amazing team here at Penplas who are fantastic at what they do - without all their hard work, dedication, ideas and pure craziness we wouldn't be able to do half the things we do - Well done!


Celebrating Children In Need - 13th November 2015

We are able to fund some of our Playworker via CIN, and without this vital funding we wouldn't be able to provide such a wide range of services via our Swansea based Family Centres.  

Here is a video showing how much fun the children, families and staff have 

Children in Need video


Community projects set to celebrate as Minister announces £1.6 million boost

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Communities and Tackling Poverty

Minister, Lesley Griffiths, will today

announce £1,602,014 for five

community projects in Port Talbot,

Swansea, Pembrokeshire and


The Community Facilities Programme provides capital grant funding of up to £500,000 for community and voluntary organisations to help mitigate the impact of poverty, through creating and improving local facilities.

The Minister has awarded £154,852 to Bulldogs Boxing and Community Activities in Port Talbot to extend its current gym so it can be used by the wider community, including disabled users and amputees. The extension will also create smaller rooms, allowing the team to offer counselling for people suffering post traumatic stress and peer mentoring sessions, as part of a successful armed forces veterans support scheme.

Faith in Families is set to receive £500,000 to relocate the Penplas Family Centre in Swansea to larger premises. The family centre offers a range of services for children, such as school and holiday clubs, speech and language services, access to children’s mental health services and a library. Moving the centre to St Teilo’s Church is set to increase the number of children able to take part in the after-school club annually to 140, with 250 children able to benefit from holiday play schemes.  

Bethel Chapel in Pembroke Dock has been awarded £48,705 to refurbish unused parts of the chapel to create a drop-in coffee shop, a meeting/training room, a Trussell Trust food bank and a debt counselling service. The Chapel already runs coffee mornings, a parent and toddler group and a low cost weekly lunch service for vulnerable people, such as the elderly, isolated or homeless.

The Minister has also approved funding for two churches in Caerphilly – the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Newbridge and St Dingat’s in New Tredegar. The Tabernacle will receive £498,460 to renovate its upper school room in order to extend its current community services. The funding will enable the church to hold more training and youth activities, establish a food bank in partnership with the Trussell Trust, and take part in the Night Shelter scheme where churches provide a place for homeless people to shelter in winter months.

The Parish of Bedwellty and New Tredegar will benefit from £400,000 to refurbish and extend St Dingat’s Church, which is the base for the Rhymney Valley Food-bank. The Church works closely with the local Communities First Cluster and hosts a variety of local services, including the Citizens Advice Bureau, and the Local Authority Housing Benefit and Social Services teams. The funding will enable the Church to accommodate even more community groups, develop a social enterprise selling crafts, floristry and food, and increase the number of people using the building by at least 140 a month.

The Minister will announce the funding during a visit to homeless charity Emmaus, one of the first projects to benefit from the £10 million Communities Facilities capital fund.

Emmaus received £500,000 to renovate Nant Lais, a former sheltered accommodation block in Bridgend.  Once open, the refurbished building will provide high quality accommodation for 23 homeless people.

The Minister will say:

“I am delighted to announce this funding which is set to transform local facilities. These projects truly are the heart of their communities, providing a huge range of services from counselling and after school clubs, to food banks and advice services. The money will enable the projects to expand their work further, throwing opening their doors to even more people in the local community.

“It has been great to see first-hand here at Emmaus the difference this capital funding is having. Once open, the wonderful new facility will have a life-changing impact on vulnerable people, providing much-needed accommodation, work and support.”  

This is fantastic news for our Penplas Family Centre that is bursting at the seams - we are now eagerly awaiting news from the Big Lottery Fund as to whether we have secured the other £500,000 needed for the project.  



31st January 2015 - Fundraising support - article from the South Wales Evening Post


29th January 2015 - Chief Executive Officer, Cherrie Galvin talks on local radio about our exciting news and how people can help

Click here to hear her interview



28th Jan 2015


Faith in Families, as part of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, has been part of the Bonymaen community since 1999.  Our commitment to supporting children, young people and families in this area is set to continue.  We remain dedicated to making a difference to the lives of the people of this part of the Swansea.


Bonymaen Family Centre has been a huge success story and is much loved by those who have used the many facilities which it has to offer.  This is reflected in the many comments which have been received.


Vanessa Varns said, "The centre means so much to me and my two children.  The centre has helped my family and I become part of the community and I cannot thank them enough."  


Natalie said, "With the help of Faith in Families I have become more involved with my children.  If the centre was not here I would not get out because I would not have the confidence to do so."


Other comments include "It's a real life-line for parents." (Tricia Watts);


 "If the centre was to close, it would be a great loss to the community." (A. Bowen);  


"I have received a tremendous amount of support." (M. Jones-Manning);  


"We need this Centre.  It keeps children off the street.  As a single mother it means a lot to me." (Sarah);


The support I have received has been immense.  The job club and the play-scheme has been a life-saver.  The community needs this." (Joanne Hedges).


Faith in Families would like to state its appreciation to Swansea City Council for allowing us the use of Cwm School for the last four years and before that at Cefn Hengoed School, enabling us to develop the wonderful stories which have been reported.  Although Cwm School is now needed by the local authority for a different use, Faith in Families is determined to ensure that the work, relationships and friendships which have developed over the years will continue.


The Church in Wales, also faithful to this work, has agreed to lease the building and land of St. Margaret's Church, central in the community, and an exciting commitment to the Eastside of Swansea.  The development of this site will take the Family Center forward into the future in a more sustainable and purposeful way, ensuring that the vision and values held by Faith in Families, particularly the early intervention and preventative strategies are not only the most cost effective ways to support the community but ones which have the most positive impact on people's lives.


The building of St. Margaret's  will need to be redeveloped but, in the meantime, Faith in Families is working with its partners in the community to find suitable  temporary solutions which will ensure the continuity of the services which it provides.


Faith in Families is now appealing for capital support from business and professionals for this project to go ahead as quickly as possible, given the need to vacate the Cwm School site during the next few months. 


Faith in Families would like to hear from anyone interested in becoming involved with this exciting project to develop the new Bonymaen Family Centre and helping to save these vital services for the community. Please contact our central office on Swansea


01792 644106 or through email at admin.bsr@swanseabrecon.org.uk



Bonymaen Family Centre under threat

Bonymaen Family Centre was established in 1999, for over 15 years we have worked with Children, Young People and their families within this community, providing lots of services, support, advice and friendship.  We have been given notice by Swansea Local Authority to leave our current venue with no offer of alternatives and therefore Faith in Families has a great concern that our work in this area will come to an end.  We would like to invite all our friends, colleagues, partners and supporters to attend a meeting on

Thursday 8th January at 9 a.m. in Bonymaen Family Centre

to discuss ways in which we can sustain what we believe to be a vital service in this area.  Please come along and share your support.





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