TORFAEN was well-represented at the One Voice Wales awards on Thursday night in Builth Wells, with three awards coming back to the county.

The annual awards ceremony is held to celebrate the work of local councils, and is open to all of Wales’s 735 community councils.

Blaenavon Town Council’s intergenerational project, run in partnership with Big Pit, was named Best Community Engagement Initiative, and the town council’s website finished runner-up in the Best Website category.

Mayor Cllr Gareth Davies, council clerk Kevin Warren, Big Pit education officer Sharon Ford, project lead Cllr Alan Jones and website administrator Cllr Jackie Huybs attended the event.


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Cllr Davies said: “We’re thrilled that our projects have been recognised by One Voice Wales, which provides training and good practice standards for all our local councils.

“The Intergenerational Project has been running for just under a year. The aim was to base it on age-friendly and dementia-friendly principles and have it run by volunteers of all ages.

“It’s been a great success and will continue through 2019 and hopefully beyond that.”

Cllr Davies said the website was launched only late last year and was still a work in progress.

“It’s very rewarding that it had already been regarded as an example of good practice,” he added.

“We’re very happy with today’s results, which show that the Council is working hard to give our community and our residents services which make a difference.”

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Caitlin Takel receiving the award for Best Youth Engagement on behalf of Pontypool Youth Council for their work on young people's mental health. Picture: Pontypool Youth Council.

Elsewhere, Pontypool Youth Council picked up the award for Best Youth Engagement for their work on young people’s mental health, where they presented the idea of using a play to raise awareness and engage people in the discussion around mental health, and proposed training courses for teachers to help with mental health issues among schoolchildren.

Caitlin Takel, chairwoman of the youth council attended the event with Cllr Gaynor James, leader of Pontypool Community Council, deputy leader Cllr John Killick, assistant clerk to the council Jane Wright and Callum Jones from Torfaen Voluntary Alliance.

Miss Takel said: “It’s really exciting to think that our project could be used across Wales.

“You don’t really think that a group of 10 teenagers from Pontypool could develop something this huge and make an impact in that way.”

Cllr James added: “I felt very emotional and was so proud of Caitlin.

“It was amazing to receive first prize for Pontypool Community Council.”