11th February 2016
Bonymaen Family Centre Capital Appeal
It’s hard to believe that it is just over a year ago when over a hundred community members turned out at the old Cwm School to show their support for Bonymaen Family Centre and all the services and activities that are provided there.
Whilst we lost our appeal to stay in the building Faith in families remain dedicated to making a difference to the lives of the people of this part of the Swansea and reiterating that we believe that they Matter and deserve the opportunities and chances to be the best they can be.
Bonymaen Family Centre has been a huge success story and was much loved by those who have used the many facilities which it has to offer. This is reflected in the many comments which we 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).
“My name is Donna and I have been coming to the family centre for the last three years. It has been without a lie the worst three years of my life and if it hadn’t been for the Centre I think I could very well of ended up in a padded cell rocking back and forth. They have helped me through bereavement and many family problems and they have helped make me a better person and a better mother. I have attended a number of courses and even got my NVQ in Business and Admin. 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 go? What will happen to these families like me?”
So what did happen?
We moved out of the premises in April 2015 and now deliver our services across the community in various venues.
One of the venues that we have been using is St Margaret’s Church, which is central in the community.
An exciting commitment has come from the Church of Wales to lease this building to Faith in Families for 99 years to enable Bonymaen Family Centre to have a secure long term venue.
The development of this site will take the family centre forward and redevelop the worship space of the church, in a more sustainable and purposeful way, ensuring the vision and values held by Faith in Families, particularly that 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.
Church in Wales has leased Faith in Families the building for 99 years at a peppercorn rent.
However it is not fit for purpose and needs to be redesigned and refurbished which they have also given us permission to do.
Hurley and Davies Property Consultants have been working with us pro-bono to draft these plans and we have identified a real opportunity to continue and sustain our work in this community.
We have aspirational ideas of what can be achieved within this building and at this site.
We know our work fits with the Local Authority and Welsh Government Strategic objectives and with Faith in Families Vision and Values.
We are thrilled that we are through to the second stage of a Welsh Government Community Facilities Programme Application and are looking for stories from our supporters as to what they would like to see if we are able to give Bonymaen their own Family Centre.
Mike Hedges AM “I would like to offer my full support to this venture as it would be hugely beneficial to the area”
Carolyn Harris MP “There is a huge need to expand the service currently provided and an opportunity had now arisen to move into a larger property which would allow more people in the area to benefit from this vital service. I would like to offer my full support to this venture as it would be hugely beneficial to the area”
Hayley Wheeler – Just the beginning “The services provided at Bonymaen are invaluable to the community and families, they provide the foundation for family progression, future hopes, dreams and goals, learning and development all this with the security of their own building would represent stability and dependability to the local community”
Rhian Munt & Richard Brown – Health Visitors “As Health professionals working in the immediate vicinity of the centre we had been able to signpost vulnerable individuals and families to the Family Centre for support. The service was of major importance to us as we have very little else in the way of local support. The Family centre offered a venue that was comfortable, accessible and fit for purpose, it offered all of the facilities our young families needed under one roof. As the centre was located in a prominent position in the locality, our families were familiar with it, which encouraged attendance. We as health professionals eagerly look forward to working with the Family Centre again, hoping that we can reduce the potentially poor life chances of the families living in an already recognised deprived area such as Swansea East.”
We need to now raise a Million pounds and would love to have your support, hear your stories and receive any donations.