Members of staff in PLANED all volunteer outside of their main roles, and three of them, working in their spare time supporting local community and village halls in the Preseli area in the north of the county, have enabled £10,000 of funding to be obtained for their local venues.

Working through PLANED and using in-house skills to apply to the National Grid Community Matters Fund, the PLANED staff engaged with their local community halls and were able to draw down the full grant available under the title of the ‘Preseli Community Fuel Support Project’.

The project, championed by PLANED, will be able to support four halls identified – Bwlchygroes, Hermon, Crymych, and Brynberian – and through a small steering group involving applicable volunteers from each hall, deliver the collectively agreed outputs around advice and support during the challenging winter months ahead.

The funding will enable the halls to act as a catalyst for providing weekly support and information session within a safe, warm environment for local residents, with hot drinks and meals also being made available during the daylight hours each hall will be subsidised and supported to be opended by the funding.

Cris Tomos, who worked with colleagues including Hedd Harries and Sophie Jenkins on drawing down the funding via PLANED, said: “Bringing this serious amount of funding into those halls here in the north of the county, will enable tangible and practical support to be provided to both them as key community assets, and also for members of those communities to access and engage during the winter months.”

Iwan Thomas CEO of PLANED added: “The key with bringing in this £10,000 of funding for those halls, is down to our great staff who volunteer in various groups and organisations, and working together, are able to draw down serious funding for a serious purpose and providing outcomes that communities actually need in this cost of living crisis. Working with existing campaigns and professional partners such as PAVS and the Pembrokeshire Community Hub to support the Keep Warm, Keep Well campaign, will be central to this joined up approach which PLANED are pleased to promote and support.

The funding will start to be distributed early in the new year, with a series of weekly activities, open sessions, and information points all commencing in the four halls to now benefit from the volunteering of the PLANED staff.