Building Livelihoods Strengthening Communities Wales
The Livelihoods Project is an Oxfam project which is being funded by the Big Lottery over 3 years. The project is an extension of Oxfam’s 2009 Sustainable Livelihoods Approach pilot project, which worked in partnership with 8 community groups across Wales, including South Riverside Community Development Centre in Cardiff.
What is the aim of the project? –
- To support families and individuals to develop long-term resilience and maximize their livelihoods
- For people to develop their skills and confidence through education, training and voluntary opportunities
- For people to get involved in more community activities
- To engage with local service providers and ensure they have a good understanding of the needs of local people and ensure they are providing relevant and accessible services
How will it do this? –
The project is all about intensive, tailored support. This will mainly be in one-to one sessions but may also be within a group setting.
The project uses a Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) to supporting individuals. This starts with what people have (their Assets), not what they lack. It assumes that everyone has strengths, skills and assets that they use to get by, and the Livelihoods Worker aims to support people to maximise their potential – or build up their livelihood.
The Livelihoods Worker will not do things for the participant, but instead support the participant to reflect, make their own decisions, and take action. The Livelihoods Worker may accompany individuals in taking action until they are able to do it themselves. The Livelihoods Worker will have time to spend with an individual or family to provide this support.
Diane first got involved with the project after attending a Confidence Building session the project ran. Diane had a previous successful career as a chef. When this got cut short following an accident in the workplace, this had an impact on her physical and her mental health, leaving her lacking in confidence and unable to leave the house.
The Livelihoods Project has provided a regular support network and a purpose for
Diane to leave her flat at least a couple of times a week. Diane has received support from the Livelihoods Worker to consider her longer term goals and how to begin making them a reality. She has attended a number of training courses, events, activities and trips, including the Oxfam Peer Mentor training.
Diane supports and mentors others in the weekly Job Club now. Her goal of having her own patisserie business selling cakes and bakes, as well as doing some demonstrations and teaching, is well on its way to becoming a reality. She is due to start a Teaching Adult Learners course in the next few months.
Peer Mentors –
The project has a number of Peer Mentors, some of whom are also receiving support from the project. Peer Mentors have a very important role within the Livelihoods project. They receive training and support to use their skills and knowledge to support others within the project. Peer Mentors provide encouragement, coaching and moral support. They have also played a large part in developing and facilitating the service provider training, aimed at encouraging local services to make changes to how they do things.
Who is the project for? –
Anyone in the Butetown, Riverside or Grangetown area who feels that they would like some help with moving forward and achieving their goals. If you are interested in getting involved with the project as a Peer Mentor we would also love to hear from you!
Who to contact –
Anna McVicker is the Livelihoods Worker and can be contacted on 07958171827 or 029 20220309.
We are based at South Riverside Community Centre, Brunel Street, Riverside, Cardiff, CF11 6ES. Anna works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so pop in for a chat or give her a call.
Listen to the Livelihoods Worker, Anna McVicker, talking about the project on Radio Cardiff and explaining how volunteers can get involved; http://www.mixcloud.com/CardiffInAction/cardiff-in-action-episode-33-oxfam-and-pyramid-project/