New eco learning Residential Centre for disadvantaged families nears completion thanks to funding from Unity Trust Bank

Valleys Kids, a charity which provides a lifeline for thousands of families and children living in poverty in South Wales, is putting the finishing touches to its new eco learning Residential Centre following a substantial funding package from Unity Trust Bank.

Valleys Kids embarked on the £2 million redevelopment of Little Bryn Gwyn in the Gower region in 2017 and the loan, from the commercial bank with a social conscience, will help complete the cutting-edge project.

The charity, which was established in 1978, provides free community development, education, arts and recreation services for 4,000 people every year.

Tony Larkin, relationship manager at Unity Trust Bank, said: “Valleys Kids makes a real difference to the lives of young people who experience poor social and economic circumstances.

“We work with organisations that share our values in wanting to make a positive difference to society and we’re proud to support the Little Bryn Gwyn project.”

Grants from major Trusts including: People’s Postcode Lottery, the Moondance Foundation, and the Welsh Government have helped transform Little Bryn Gwyn from a ramshackle cottage into a 25-bed residential centre offering outdoor learning and environmental education.

Set in six acres in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), it will be used by families from Valleys Kids’ community hubs in Penygraig, Penyrenglyn, Rhydyfelin and Dinas.

Richard Morgan, Funding Director at Valleys Kids, said: “One in four children live in poverty in South Wales and 12,000 16-18 year-olds are not engaged in education, training or employment.

“We believe that everyone should have the chance to make the journey from dependence to independence, despite poverty and urban degeneration which threatens the future of our children.

“The memorable experiences gained at Little Bryn Gwyn offer huge benefits for our young people by helping them to develop their self-esteem, confidence and communication skills.

“We are delighted with the support we’ve had from Unity Trust Bank.”