The Corwen company in the running for a major prize

A DENBIGHSHIRE social enterprise is up for a major prize after boosting the South County economy by more than £ 4million in just three years.

The Corwen-based South Denbighshire Community Partnership (SDCP) has been shortlisted for the prestigious Steve Morgan Foundation Awards for its pioneering work in the surrounding Edeyrnion region in tackling rural poverty and isolation.

Now they are calling on local supporters to vote for them in the awards which span North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire, in the over £ 250,000 category for charities and social enterprises with the most d local impact.

Over the past three years SDCP, a grant-funded community charity headquartered in Canolfan Ni in Corwen, has helped local people claim unpaid benefits, introduced community transportation along the Dee Valley, ran a meals-on-wheels service and even started a hydro-electric system. power supply diagram.

That quarter of a million figure is overshadowed by the economic and social impact of the small team and their volunteer volunteers who operate from the Canolfan Ni Community Center on London Road, Corwen.

SDCP Executive Director Margaret Sutherland said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this major award and for a small organization here in Dee Valley to be nominated alongside major charities and organizations. from Liverpool and Cheshire.

“We think this is recognition of the work that we and the people of Corwen and Dee Valley have done to improve the lives of the local community and especially those who suffer from poverty and loneliness.

“Now we would just like to ask our many supporters to help us by voting for us on by the end of the year, as those votes will count for 20% of the final decision. . ”

The awards were started in 2001 by multimillionaire businessman Steve Morgan, founder and former chairman of housing giant Redrow who lived in Ruthin for several years and even played rugby for the local club, and over the years. Over the past 20 years, his foundation has donated over £ 300million to charity.

SDCP’s local work with Citizens Advice Denbighshire (CAD) has helped Edeyrnion area residents claim £ 1.8million in benefits in just over two years, with 70% of that money spent locally and with each pound estimated at three times, providing a £ 4.1million boost to Dee Valley’s economy.

Margaret Sutherland added: “We have received tremendous support from the Wales National Lottery Community Fund and have worked closely with CAD, which was an integral part of our offer for funds to address rural isolation and rural poverty.

“We are working to reduce fuel poverty through the Corwen Energy Local program and we are also working with CAD on recycling their school uniforms and helping people reduce their energy costs and debt.

“It helps people in very difficult circumstances, many of them are very concerned about debt, but although they are entitled to these benefits, they just weren’t claiming them.

“We work in many areas of need and the activities we organize and deliver at Canolfan Ni are so important, as are the connections our meals-on-wheels service and prescription and grocery deliveries create with some of the most people. isolated from the community.

“We live in an area of ​​spectacular beauty, but often this beauty also hides real poverty and is part of our mission to reach people in need and connect them to their communities.”

Among the most recent activities launched at Canolfan Ni is an arts and crafts group led by mother of three Kelly Kibble-White, of Cynwyd, who said: “SDCPs are great and they work. so hard here.

“I got involved because they organized activities for the kids during the summer and it was really a lifeline for me.

“They do so much and the vulnerable in our communities rely on them so much. ”

SDCP also receives financial support from other sources including Betsi Cadwaladar Health Board, Morrison’s, Moondance, Community Foundation Wales and Cadwyn Clwyd, while continuing to work closely with Denbighshire County Council on joint community development programs. and community transport.

Their rural transport services include bus rides on their 16-seater community minibus while their fleet also includes a Toyota Rav 4 hybrid SUV and an electric MG and Peugeot van, used for the shuttle service and in-home meals – they also provide two charging stations for electric vehicles at the back of Canolfan Ni.

The partnership serves Corwen and the surrounding villages of Glyndyfrdwy, Carrog, Cynwyd, Llandrillo, Gwyddelwern, Betws Gwerfil Goch, Melin Y Wig and Bryneglwys, an area covering 100 square miles and this year expanded its operations on the A5 to Llangollen .

Community engagement manager Sally Lloyd Davies said: “This is an area where there is a lot of rural poverty, with older people often living in isolated areas and during the pandemic it has been a very busy time. scary for them.

“At the height of the pandemic, we have been a lifeline to many isolated people, bringing them purchases and prescriptions, making regular phone calls with friends to chat and just being a friendly face passing by.

“We sent a flyer out to every home in Edeyrnion, in over 1,800 homes, with a phone number for people to contact us and our volunteers were awesome, whether it was taking calls or making calls. ‘make deliveries and make phone calls to vulnerable people to make sure they’re okay and just to chat with them.

“Every Tuesday, we called the people registered with our purchasing department to take their orders, we went to the store on Wednesday and we deliver on Thursday.

“Our appeal for donations for the food bank was also very well received and we kept people posted on Facebook posts. ”

About Myra R.

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