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Take Charge in Ynysangharad Park

Take Charge in Ynysangharad Park

Accessible and safe

Now that lockdown has finally begun to lift, we decided to start in-person activities with our Take Charge participants. Our first in-person group activity was a group map reading and spotting walk around Ynysangharad Park. This was thoroughly planned with a risk assessment to ensure the activity could be safe and accessible. Since the pandemic began, there has been a lot to think about when planning our first in-person group session.

Alongside our standard accessibility requirements, such as wheelchair accessibility and easy access by public transport, we needed to ensure our session was as Covid-safe as possible. All our employees have followed Innovate Trust’s Covid policies. We have also made sure our participants complete our accessible Covid Training session to prepare them for returning to in-person activities. Our teams must do everything possible to ensure our participants are as safe as possible. Take Charge can provide these accessible, safe activities. These activities are vital for our participants, who are vulnerable to severe illness if they contract Covid-19.

Combating isolation

With these things in mind, we planned our activity in Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd town centre. We began the activity by introducing everyone to each other to try and ease any nervousness. For many participants, it has been a while since they met new people, and like the rest of us, they may have felt a little out of practice! Focusing on our well-being has been especially important since the pandemic began; people have spent much time isolated at home.

The activity included a spotting sheet which had the added benefit of improving our participants’ well-being. It allowed them the opportunity to focus on their surroundings in more detail. Mindfulness positively impacts mental health, and this was an excellent way to introduce our participants to the concept. It has been beneficial for our participants to get out of the house, meet new people and go into nature. These things are all essential to improving our well-being. Take Charge provides the specialist support our participants need to be able to try new things like mindfulness in a safe, accessible way.

Exploring the area

We then discussed the map on the front of their sheet and the spotting activity. These activities proved very enjoyable, and our participants had not tried map reading before. It was a great new work-related skill for them to practise. The map-reading activity proved to be a fun opportunity for our participants to improve their observational, teamwork and counting skills which are all essential in the working world. With Take Charge, our participants have had the opportunity to try a new skill such as this.

This activity also allowed our participants to learn more about their local community. We stopped by various sites and monuments to discuss why they were important to us. These included a graffiti art wall with a Pontypridd theme with images we could all recognise. Leading to a positive discussion on what our community means to us, which is precisely the kind of discussion the Skills and Wellbeing team is keen to facilitate.

Exploring Welsh history

Ynysangharad park also contains various memorial monuments, including the miners’ memorial, the war memorial and a statue of the authors of the Welsh National Anthem, Mae Hen Wlad fy Nhadau. Our participants learned a lot about the local area through this activity and why we must remember these groups of people. This project has allowed the residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf to learn more about their history and culture. It is essential that we are all aware of these things as well as being able to learn about others.

We held this session twice as it was so popular, and we wanted to allow our participants to participate. This activity was successful for many of our participants in improving their well-being. It has enabled people to learn a wide range of work-related skills. Thus allowing them to achieve their goals of finding volunteering or further learning.

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