HLF Catalyst Grant - Conservation, Preservation and Volunteering in the local Welsh Community

In order to make ABC more effective as an organisation, from September 2013, it undertook a programme of training, mentoring and workshops. It is important that we thank those generous organisations who provided us with meeting rooms (Welsh School of Architecture, University of Wales; National Museum of Wales; Community Foundation in Wales) and space in which to hold our workshops (Dyfed Archaeological Trust).

The programme started on 10 September with a day-long training at the Institute of Fundraising on ‘essential fundraising’. This was followed on 18 September with Abigail Tweed holding a one-to-one session on high net worth individuals. Abigail has worked nationally and internationally with national businesses, individual donors and fund holders. She has also worked with high net worth individuals across the UK and abroad and has established a range of corporate partnerships, including sponsorship opportunities in various sectors. She is development associate with the Community Foundation in Wales.

The first trustee workshop took place on 20 September. This focused on governance, the role and responsibilities of trustees, where ABC is heading, and how to manage this change. This day-long session was facilitated by Bobby Lambert, consultant, trainer, facilitator, evaluator, mentor to humanitarian, development and social enterprises, whose professional experience includes 10 years as Chief executive of RedR, a London based international humanitarian organisation, 3 years as Executive Director of the Good Earth trust and more than 10 years’ long-term field experience in developing countries. Bobby also acted as mentor to ABC's executive director throughout this 9 month process.

In October, a two-day course on corporate fundraising at the Institute of Fundraising was attended, followed by a course at the Directory of Social Change on how to make the ask for major gifts. November was jam-packed with two courses at the DSC on individual giving and how to develop corporate support, plus our second trustee workshop run by Abigail Tweed on developing a fundraising strategy for the whole organisation. In December, Claire Deacon worked with ABC's executive director on partnerships. Claire, an historical building consultant and project manager, is currently CEO of the Cambrian Heritage Regeneration Trust and CHRT Ventures. She has been a member of the Historic Building Council for Wales, and conservation officer for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

In January 2014, Geraldine Delaney held a session with ABC's executive director on evaluation and strategy. Geraldine has a wealth of experience in many areas of the built heritage environment and rural and urban regeneration. She has worked extensively in community development and community based education and training and with the voluntary sector, and has developed and managed both SRB projects and schemes. She also has over 25 years construction management experience and has successfully developed funds from a variety of public and private sources. Later that month the director and the trustees participated in a workshop on major donors led by Judith Egerton. Judith is a consultant with Action Planning and her experience over the last 15 years in the voluntary sector stretches from fundraising audits, to individual giving strategies and from feasibility studies to managing relationships with donors and prospective donors. She has also secured major grants from statutory bodies and trusts and foundations, both in the UK and the USA.

During March and April, the following took place: a one to one session with Abi Tweed on planning the 25 April trustee workshop on strategy and action planning; a one to one session with Claire Deacon on community support; a sponsorship training with A&BCymru; and a one to one session with Geraldine Delaney on monitoring and evaluation. In May and June there was a follow-up session on sponsorship with A&BCyrmu, a one to one with Clare Deacon on friends and memberships; and a final trustee workshop with Geraldine Delaney on our plan for the future.

The capacity building programme has now drawn to a close. It was an energetic and demanding 10 months. It provided ABC with the opportunity to pull together as a team and to learn about ourselves and how we will face the future. We appointed two new trustees during this period; took on our Programme Development Officer; and organised an event that took place in September 2014. As well as extremely thought provoking, this process clarified what we need to do over the next couple years. This included the review of the PDO research and reporting; presentation events; new, existing, potential partner and funding development; identification of a pilot building; development and submission of HLF pre-application; development of other match funding opportunities, and lots more. Thank you HLF!!

During 2017 ABC ran a series of community events and workshops as part of our Grass Roots Heritage Project.  These events were focused around Myddfai and Llanddeusant in the north-western corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The many abandoned traditional buildings which came to light during our Historic Landscape Mapping Programme, helped to inform the focus of the workshops and events throughout the year.

The last year has been an amazing opportunity to celebrate and share this very local heritage. It’s been really good to take time to appreciate some of the fascinating hidden histories which are right on our doorsteps, but which are often overshadowed by ‘big heritage’ like castles and stately homes. Our community events meant we met lots of new people and were able to provide support and advice about looking after older buildings that survive in this part of rural Wales, and also hopefully inspire those involved in the project about the rich cultural heritage that these small abandoned buildings represent. Adfer Ban a Chwm worked with over twenty volunteers who helped to record some of the buildings identified through our mapping programme, and talked to many local people throughout the project and at our five key events.

See our news section and project pages for more information

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Copyright © Adfer Ban a Chwm (ABC)

Felin Uchaf, Llanddeusant, Llangadog, Carms. SA19 9UH

Charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Company no 6591116. Charity no 1124385