Relationship Course

Today we held the second workshop in our relationship course. We spoke about LGBTQIA+, what those letters represent, and what it means to be Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Transgender / Queer / Intersex / Asexual. The + represents those who do not identify as any of these. As well as this, the group discussed what it means to identify as non-binary, and how to be an ally and show support to LGBTQIA+ people. We also talked about what the colours in the Pride flag represent. Nicole spoke about the drag project she does in her spare time, and we watched a video of a drag queen talking about their experiences. We will be at Pride Cymru this weekend, so we hope to see you there. 

Reconnect Focus Group

This week our Focus Group members travelled to Caerphilly town where we met up with staff and members from Cardiff People First. We explored Caerphilly Castle inside and out, learned about its history, and heard some amazing stories. We then headed uptown to Wetherspoons for some lunch, and despite the weather being wet and miserable we had an amazing day. We hope to arrange another trip with Cardiff People First – and other People First groups – very soon.

Reconnect Focus Group

Yesterday the Reconnect Focus Group spent the morning at Taraggan Educational gardens, where we continued weeding and getting our plot looking nice and presentable. The gardens are so relaxing and it’s amazing being outdoors.

During the afternoon our Focus Group was joined by Rhian Cook, from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, who asked the group for feedback on easy-read hate crime leaflets her organisation has produced. We were also joined by Zoe Gibbs from Cyfannol Women’s Aid, who met the group in preparation for a future visit when she will talk about the work the work of Cyfannol.  It was lovely to meet them both and we’re looking forward to working with them further in the future.

Relationship Course

Thanks to everyone – including Joe Powell, Chief Executive of All Wales People First – who attended our recent relationship course, which was designed by Ffion and Lisa French from Insight.  The group talked about what makes a good relationship, what makes a bad relationship, and the warning signs of a bad relationship.  They also discussed how to make friends, and how to deal with falling out with friends.  The session finished with a ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ relationship quiz designed by Vale People 1st.  At the next session on 25th August we will be talking about identity and LGBTQ issues.  Everyone is welcome to join us then. 

‘Have Your Say’ Consultation

Thank you to everyone who attended our “Have your Say” consultation this week at Fleur De Lys Community Centre. What a great day we all had discussing our lives, and what we would like to see in our community. We had great conversations that brought tears and laughter. Caerphilly People First will now work towards looking for funding to deliver on your recommendations, needs and ideas.

Reconnect Focus Group

The group spent the morning volunteering at Taraggan Educational Gardens, where we did some weeding and tidied up a new plot, which is now ready grow some more vegetables and fruit. We then went back to the office and provided feedback on the work that Ffion, Natalie and Sarah are involved in with the University Of South Wales, called ‘Co-producing accessible outcomes for people with Learning Disabilities’. A massive shout out to our Tuesday group, who are all fantastic – it’s lovely to see them all become independent and confident. We’d also like to welcome Gethin, who spent his first day with the group this week, and will be joining us every Tuesday from now on.

Reconnect Focus Group

On Tuesday 28th June the Caerphilly People First Reconnect Focus Group had another craft session with Cheryl from the Parent Network. We made fairy jars, and some members made bracelets for themselves, friends or family. Thank you Cheryl for another fantastic session.

We’d also like to welcome Sam who has started volunteering with Caerphilly People First. Here are his thoughts on his first session – “I felt that it was really good, I learnt some new skills, for example participating in the allotment project along with the craft session. I feel that my confidence and social interaction are being developed, as I can come across as a shy and quiet person who can get very nervous when meeting new people for the first time. Thank you for your help and support, it’s very much appreciated. I look forward to seeing everyone at the next session.”

If you would like to get involved in the work on the allotments or our craft sessions please contact us on 07488 350518, 01443 834444 or 07940 474640.

All Wales People First Adfest 2022

This year’s All Wales People First conference, otherwise known as Adfest, was held on 21st and 22nd June in Conwy, North Wales.  The theme of this year’s event was ‘Reconnecting’, and ‘celebrating the place of people with learning disabilities in Welsh society’.  This was the first in-person Adfest since 2019, and Christy and Ffion attended as representatives of Caerphilly People First. 

On day 1 the keynote speech was given by Stuart Todd of the University of South Wales, who talked about the Covid impact study he has carried out.  He was followed by Joe Powell, Chief Executive of All Wales People First, who engaged the group in a session called Devil’s Advocacy.  This involved Joe asking questions like ‘should people with learning disabilities be the first to lose their jobs during Covid?’ and inviting attendees to give their views.

Ffion and Christy attended two workshops on day 1: ‘Health and wellbeing’, hosted by Carmarthenshire People First, and ‘Holding on to your rights’, hosted by the British Institute of Human Rights. This was followed by attendees giving feedback from all the workshops being hosted.

After this, it was time to relax.  Some people had a swim, some went for a walk, and some just caught up with friends they had met over Zoom during Covid.  After sitting down for our meal, the evening ended with a disco hosted by DJ Gerraint, which was great.

The morning of day 2 was spent enjoying the ‘Speakers’ tents’ where various organisations – including Welsh Ambulance Service, Gig Buddies, North Wales Together, Practical Pilates, and the Through our Eyes photography project – gave presentations about the work they do.  It was especially great to meet Victoria and Rachel from Gig Buddies, after having only spoken to them previously on Zoom.

Other organisations, such The Ambition Party Project, Rainbow Gogs yr Enfys, Conwy Connect, Improvement Cymru, Cheeky Pants, and Rainbow Gogs yr Enfys, had exhibition stalls where they provided information (and sometimes goodies).    

Also on day 2, All Wales People First held an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) where members voted on proposed changes.  The conference ended with the Mirror Awards, which are presented in celebration of the great work done by self-advocates and groups over the past year.  Well done to all the people and organisations who won an award!

It was a brilliant few days away in North Wales and great to be back meeting face-to-face.  The Quay hotel, where the conference was held, and where most people stayed, was excellent.  The staff was very helpful, the views were beautiful, and the food and the service was outstanding.  We can’t wait to see you all next year in South Wales when we’ll do it all again!