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Boosting health and wellbeing in Merthyr

1 July 2015


Cardiff University is teaming up with communities in Merthyr Tydfil to help boost health, prosperity and wellbeing as part of a major project

The Merthyr launch of Strong Communities, Healthier People takes place at Dowlais Engine House on Thursday 2 July.

The University is working closely with residents and community groups in the North Merthyr area, one of the Welsh Government's Communities First areas which features Gurnos, Penydarren and Dowlais.

Communities First is the Welsh Government's flagship programme designed to improve living conditions and prospects of people in the most economically disadvantaged communities across Wales.

The University team will work with local people and listen to their views about their communities.

With a focus on improving health and wellbeing and fighting poverty, the University and the community will attempt to find solutions together to tackle some of the issues raised.

Strong Communities, Healthier People is also working in the Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown Communities First area in Cardiff, where a local launch takes place on 10 July.

Dr Eva Elliott, Strong Communities, Healthier People lead from the University's School of Social Sciences, said: "The University has been working with communities in Merthyr for a long time but this project offers a wonderful opportunity to have a major impact on people's lives.

"We've linked up with the Welsh Government and decided to focus on the Communities First clusters of North Merthyr and Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown.

"This will be a real partnership in which we will listen to what those communities want and work with them to tackle issues related to health, prosperity and wellbeing, and build resilience in communities.

"The University will also hugely benefit from this partnership because it will inform our future research projects and will help us to build strong community relationships."

The Merthyr launch, Celebrating Our Community, runs from 2pm to 8pm and includes a community choir, exhibitions and films from young people, a pop up museum and a community leadership taster session with Citizens Wales Cymru.

Strong Communities, Healthier People is one of the University's five flagship engagement projects, otherwise known as its Transforming Communities programme.

The University is working with Welsh Government and communities in Cardiff, Wales and beyond in areas including health, education and wellbeing.

This includes supporting the Cardiff Capital Region, connecting communities through hyperlocal websites, building community engagement models and helping achieve the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

Strong Communities, Healthier People recently agreed to play a key role in a new Welsh Government scheme using culture to help tackle poverty.