Blackwood Safe Places Scheme

The Safe Places scheme has been launched in Blackwood.  In this case a safe place is a place for vulnerable people when they become scared, feel lost, or feel at risk whilst out in the community.  Many shops on Blackwood high street have signed up to the safe place scheme, so just look for the logo pictured on the cards below in their shop windows if you need help.

The ‘In Case of Emergency’ cards you can see below are cards on which you can fill in your personal details, and also the details of the person you’d like to be contacted on your behalf, in an emergency.


Pan Gwent Networking Event

Members and staff recently attended a Pan Gwent networking event at Able Radio, Cwmbran.  People First groups attending talked about future events, and members exchanged ideas about possible funding and talked about which areas we need to focus on.  The groups also discussed the importance of self advocacy.


Public Health Event

On Thursday 15th August 2019, Ffion Poole, Kath Toms, Sharon Cochrane and Christy Taylor attended a public health event, run by the NHS Aneurin Bevan Health Board, held in the Congress Theatre, Cwmbran.  At the event we talked about future plans in terms of Health, Housing, Community, and Wellbeing.  It was a very successful and interesting day, and at the end of the event we received a goody bag to thanks us for our hard work.  We are looking forward to the next public health event.


Training in Bert Denning

At the end of June, Ffion, Kath and Sharon (supported by Christy) visited Bert Denning Centre.  The centre provides support for service users who have learning/physical disabilities, and mental health issues.  We delivered Safeguarding, and Ambulance training (when to call 999) to the group and staff.  We also talked about screening for cervical and bowel cancer, and how the tests are done.  We had a brilliant morning and were greeted with such warmth, we look forward to visiting again in the near future.

bert denning

Carers’ Week

During June Caerphilly People First attended a Carers’ Week event in Newbridge, where there were numerous stalls and information stands set up by organisations such as the ambulance service, SENSE, Co-op funeral care, drug and alcohol support for youth, the Alzheimer’s Society, and GAVO.

At the event we learned that unpaid carers looking after loved ones living with illness, disability and mental health conditions, or as they grow older, are seven times more likely to be lonely compared with the general public.

Urgent support is much needed as the number of adult carers rises by a third to nearly nine million, and seven national charities have called for a change in the way society supports unpaid carers.


Celebrating Women Event

In May 2019 Ffion Poole, Kath Toms, Christy Taylor and Sharon Cochrane attended the ‘Celebrating Women’ event in Lansbury Park arranged by the Caerphilly Parent Network.  The event included speakers, games, and workshops entitled ’what it means to be a woman’ and ’if I could I would’.  There were also information stalls on health screening and domestic abuse.

Free pamper treatment was also available at the event, and a couple of us had our nails done and our hair cut.  It was a really enjoyable day and we’ll definitely attend any future events run by the Parent Network.


women 2


On the 16th May Ffion Poole, Kath Toms and support buddy Christy Taylor delivered training to Caerphilly County Borough Council staff in Foxes Lane.  The training provided to the project officers and training officers included Medical Training and Safeguarding.  They really enjoyed the training and the feedback was amazing.  Here are some of the comments we received:

‘Brilliant training, really enjoyed it!’

‘Great trainers, good engagement.’

‘Very informative courses, trainers were professional and I learned a lot.’

‘The presentation was clear and full of helpful advice.’

Kath and Ffion always enjoy providing the training, and if anyone is interested in receiving the training you can contact us on 01443834444 and ask for Ffion Poole or Christy Taylor, or email us on



Team Building Trip

At the beginning of April Caerphilly People First staff and members went on a three-day team building trip to Tenby.   We spent the first day exploring Tenby town and the beach, and in the evening we were joined by Sophie from Pembrokeshire People First.

On the second day we headed to St.David’s, the smallest city in the UK, where we visited the beautiful cathedral.  In the evening we were once again joined by Sophie, along with her sister Lucy.  On our last day we went to Folly Farm where we were joined by Sophie.  We all enjoyed our time away and can’t wait for our next team trip.



National Council

On 30th April 2019 Sharon Cochrane and Christy Taylor attended the National Council meeting at Able Radio studios in Cwmbran.  The National Council is a bi-monthly meeting where reps from People First groups in Wales meet and talk about issues from their local areas, and also national issues.

One of the subjects on the agenda was LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning) and how people can get support on identifying, and telling their friends and families.  Ffion and Sharon provided information about a group in Blackwood that people can attend if they identify as any of the above.  It is held at Blackwood Basement on the last Saturday of each month, and if you want to contact them you can find information on:  

 Ffion also told the group about Switchboard LGBT, a helpline which you can ring for one-to-one confidential advice and support on LGBT issues.  You can contact them on 0300 330 0630 and their website is:


Learning Disability Awareness Training In Schools

Caerphilly People First has been involved in a very important project which involves visiting schools to provide learning disability awareness training to pupils aged 7-11.  The training was put together by Caerphilly People First along with Hayley Gray and David Williams from the Gwent Regional Partnership Team.

The first training sessions took place at Pontnewydd Primary School in Cwmbran in October 2018, and was carried out by Caerphilly People First members Ffion Bethell and Kath Toms, with support from staff member Christy Taylor.

The team trained 233 pupils aged 7-11—including some with special needs—and on completion each student was given a goody bag and certificate as a thank you for taking part.

In January training continued in Malpas Park Primary School in Newport, where training was delivered to 115 pupils.  The training will continue in various other schools during the next few months.

We hope that the outcome of the training will be that young people will become more aware of the issues faced by people with learning disabilities, and gain an understanding of their lives. school training