Bettws Biscuit Club commended in national awards

Bettws Biscuit Club commended in national awards

Bettws Early Learning Community’s Biscuit Club is highly commended in national awards

A community group supporting local families run by Bettws Early Learning Community (ELC) and partners has been recognised as good practice in the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru Welsh Housing Awards 2022.

The Biscuit Club, which is an informal weekly group where parents can meet and discuss any issues that they may need help with, was one of the projects highlighted in United Welsh Housing’s commendation in the Supporting Communities Award.

United Welsh’s Working Families project supports the Biscuit Club in partnership with Save the Children Cymru, primary schools and community groups in the Bettws area of Newport, South Wales.

The club, which meets for coffee mornings, provides a safe space for people to build relationships and connections in the community, which in turn is helping to improve mental health and wellbeing.

It is a key part of the work being carried out by Bettws ELC to bring families and local organisations together to make sure children in Bettws are getting the support they need to thrive, learn and have the best possible start in life

Jonathan Conway, Family Engagement Worker, United Welsh, said, “I think Biscuit Club is an excellent example of what can be done when working with communities to deliver support that they need both for them and alongside them. It is great to see the increased confidence of community members and their willingness to support one another. Once it is truly sustainable, it will be a legacy for the community.”

The Biscuit Club provides an opportunity for local services such as housing associations like United Welsh, health visitors and family information officers to offer advice to parents and their children including a range of practical training courses such as how to write CVs, learn digital skills or make healthy food go further on a budget.

It is also supporting parents to overcome isolation by building a support network and improving the confidence of members.

Emma Young who attends the Biscuit Club said, “My mental health has improved, as I had no-one I knew in Bettws, as I’m not from the area. It’s given me a support network and helped get my confidence back. Doing courses to help me gain employment has also been a great help.”

Kerstin Nott, Bettws ELC Project Officer, who runs the Biscuit Club, said she was delighted that this important project which brings together organisations and families to find solutions and improvements, has been recognised on a national stage.

She said; “We know the Biscuit Club is making a difference. Communities are resilient, especially when people come together and with the support of our partners and local services, we can make sure their voices bring about change.

“To quote one of the parents after a session with our team: “Now we feel heard.”

The Welsh Housing Award Supporting Communities Award celebrates projects that have gone above and beyond working to support their communities during these difficult times.

*You can read more about United Welsh’s highly commended award in the Welsh Housing Awards 2022 Good Practice Compendium and for further information on the Bettws Early Learning Community project, visit https://bettwselc.org.uk/