The Ogwen valley project aims to tackle challenges such as transport poverty and loneliness
The Member of the Senedd for the Arfon constituency was reacting to the official opening of the Dyffryn Gwyrdd venture in the Ogwen Valley.
The project’s hub at 27 High Street, Bethesda was officially opened by the Member of the Senedd and her Westminster counterpart Hywel Williams MP on Friday.
The hub will act as an information centre as the venture aims to tackle issues facing the local community, such as transport poverty, littering, and rural loneliness.
The Dyffryn Gwyrdd project is Partneriaeth Ogwen's latest project. Partneriaeth Ogwen was set up in 2013 as a local partnership set up by three community councils with the aim of working collaboratively across the valley. The Dyffryn Gwyrdd project was supported by a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund grant.
One of Dyffryn Gwyrdd’s priorities is tackling what is referred to as “rural transport poverty”, an issue affecting those who cannot afford or access travel. They intend to get to grips with the problem by setting up a green community transport scheme, providing electric vehicles and developing a fleet of electric bikes.
They also hope that the numerous volunteering opportunities provided will also tackle loneliness, provide local people with skills, and create jobs.
Working alongside Cyd Ynni and the new GwyrddNi project, the hub will provide advice for local people to tackle fuel poverty.
So far Dyffryn Gwyrdd’s work has led to having a community-owned electric car for use by local residents, Beics Ogwen, a community workshop that repairs bikes and gives people an opportunity to try electric bikes, and the planting of community gardens.
The electric car has been used as part of the Community Buddy Scheme, to ensure that 25 meals-on-wheels are delivered weekly.
Siân Gwenllian MS, who cut the ribbon at the new hub said;
“This is the multifaceted approach that Wales needs.
“The Dyffryn Gwyrdd project addresses a host of issue facing the local community, doing so in a sustainable and green way that reaps rewards for the community.
“It shows the endless possibilities when communities come together for the benefit of local people.
“This great resource, right in the middle of Bethesda is just one example of the commendable work of Partneriaeth Ogwen.
“Communities like those in the Ogwen Valley face major challenges, but as they did during the pandemic, the communities have come together to establish something special.
“It’s particularly good to see the emphasis on acting within the greater context of the climate crisis, whether it be through the efforts to become a plastic-free community, the litter picks, or the planting of 200 oak trees.
“It was a genuine pleasure to officially open the hub in Bethesda, and I look forward to seeing Dyffryn Gwyrdd’s work going from strength to strength.”
Huw Davies, Dyffryn Gwyrdd’s manager has reacted, thanking “the Lottery and all other supporters and partners who have enabled us to provide this new service.”
“The hub will be a centre where people can pop by for information and advice about resources and services - everything from using our electric vehicle for attending hospital appointments, learning how to convert a bike to an electric one, to information on green volunteering opportunities and planting and growing food locally.”
Cllr. Paul Rowlinson represents a part of the Ogwen valley on Gwynedd Council and helped to establish Dyffryn Gwyrdd.
“It's great to see the Dyffryn Gwyrdd Office officially opening.
“This exciting project has been set up with the aim of establishing a truly green community in Dyffryn Ogwen.
“The project will bring people together, provide opportunities to learn new skills and find jobs, help people heat their homes more efficiently and grow more food.
“The dedicated staff have been working remotely so far.
“This convenient High Street centre will be an opportunity for everyone to pop in to witness the excitement.”